Showing posts with label Together. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Together. Show all posts

October 20, 2019

Having Each Other

So I hurt my back last week. 

Incredibly painful. 

Difficult getting up from sitting or laying position. 

Today, I was trying to walk it off a little.

One of my kids was walking with me taking good care of me. 

We ran into a neighbor. 

She was nice and asked about what happened. 

I told her in brief and said how grateful I was for my daughter taking me for a little walk while I try to heal with G-d's help. 

She smiled and said how lucky I was (which I acknowledged). 

I asked if she had any kids, thinking that she did. 

But she goes to me:

I have no one!


I was a little surprised that she didn't have anyone and how she said it. 

I sort of repeated it quizzically. 

She goes:

Well I did have a cat but she was 19 years old and I had to put her down. 


I felt really bad for her, especially since I know she had an operation this last year and is planned for another one coming up. 

I said that we're her neighbors and friends and that she can call on us whenever she needs someone. 

This whole thing just made me so upset--no one should be so alone. 

I  really pray that G-d has mercy on his children and that no one should be alone and that we should all have caring and loving people around us always. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 3, 2019

Relax, It's Just Sex

Just thought this was a really funny-sad display in the window of this store in Tel Aviv. 

It says:
Relex It's Just Sex
Forget that Relax is spelled wrong. 

But advertising for sexual items in such a casual way...like it's sex and what's the big deal.

Maybe I am old school, where sex actually meant a deep personal relationship and emotional intimacy. 

...Where you partner was also your spouse and best friend.

Now--unfortunately--it's just sex!

I think as a society that we have lost something here. 

...Something important. 

If it's just sex, and it's just with anyone, then what does that leave for us with that someone truly special in our lives? ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 3, 2019

Best Baby Carrier Ever

This is just a great picture!

I have to call this out as the best baby carrier ever. 

What a combination between a kangaroo pouch and a cozy snugli.

Anyway, it's comfortable, fun, and good-looking.

Can't you just see your baby in this?  

(Thank you to my son-in-law for sharing this with me)
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December 12, 2018

Loneliness Is Death

There is a very important article in the Wall Street Journal today on the link of loneliness to death. 

Frightening loneliness statistics:

- One in 11 Americans over age 50 "lacks a spouse, partner, or living child."

- More than 1 in 4 baby boomers is divorced or never married.  

- 1 out of every 6 people lives alone. 

Research indicates that loneliness leads to early death. 

The impact of loneliness is equivalent to:

- Smoking 15 cigarettes a day

- Drinking 6 alcoholic beverages a day

Loneliness is worse for mortality than:

- Obesity 

- Physical activity

"The effect of isolation is extraordinarily powerful...we have to address loneliness," says the former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 

Whether you are extroverted or introverted, we all need human interaction, sharing, caring, touch, and love.  

Truly, no man is an island!

Those that are stranded on loneliness island need to escape it and make their way back to human civilization.

Alone our lives are dull and stunted; but together, we have the inherent social dynamics to be able to experientially learn, grow, change and mature. 

Alone we die--together we live. 

It's not just power in numbers, it's life itself. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 8, 2018

Columbus Day Apple Picking @Larriland Farms, MD





 


 

Thank you G-d for the beautiful day today.

We got to celebrate Columbus Day and the discovery of this great nation with a day off. 

H-o-l-i-da-y!

We spent some time apple picking at Larriland Farms in Maryland.

They also had a Broccoli picking and a gorgeous field of sunflowers.  

It was a little warm today (up to 90 degrees), but it was nice to be outside and together. 

I am so grateful for every moment and for the delicious apples we brought home. ;-)

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 17, 2018

Today is Father's Day

What a beautiful Father's Day card from my daughter. 

Also, the message she wrote to me inside was so thoughtful and mature. 

It is wonderful for me to see her grow up to be such a lovely young lady. 

The cover of the card:

"Father:
Neither an anchor to hold us back, 
nor a sail to take us there, 
but a guiding light whose
love shows us the way."


As parents, we certainly don't have all the answers either for ourselves or certainly for our children. 

And frankly, the kids don't want us to tell them what to do or how to do it. 

The best we can really do is to be there for them--to spend time with them, to support them, to show them we really care, and to provide perspective, balance, and faith. 

I used to love going to my parent's house even if just to lay on the couch and feel the comfort of being "home" and with them. 

I didn't have to think about what I did or said--I could just be me, and they loved me for that. 

Now, I want my home to be that for my kids. 

Even though they are adults now, they know we are always here for them in any way that they want or need us. 

Our home is always their home. 

Our love is always surrounding them. 

My father used to say, he would go through fire for his family, and I always knew he meant it. 

I could count on him for anything.

I miss him always, and especially today, Father's Day. 

But I can carry on his fatherhood to my children and try to be a good dad--there, and loving and giving--no bounds, no expectations, no judgment--just love, plain and simple. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 16, 2018

Shabbat Risk

I haven't played Risk in years. 

But my daughter and her husband came for Shabbat, and we sat down and had a great game. 

We distributed the countries. 

Placed our enemies. 

And went to battle, army to army. 

By the time it was over, my daughter had conquered Europe, Africa, and North and South Americas.

It was so good to see her taking country after country from my son-in-law and me. 

My son-in-law joked that he had underestimated her. 

We had a good laugh and nice time just sitting down at the kitchen table and playing a board game. 

Afterward, we went down to the pool and relaxed in the deck chairs and then my wife and I took off our shoes and walked in the grass in the garden. 

I laid down on the beautiful green lawn and looked up watching some planes jet over in the clear blue sky. 

It was absolutely beautiful weather and a marvelous day today with my family. 

In the morning we went to Synagogue and the sit-down kiddush with our friends.

I am grateful to G-d for all this and for the peace of the wonderful Shabbat! 

Also, what more can a man ask for Father's Day. ;-)
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March 6, 2018

Makes My Heart Sing

Just thought this was really beautiful. 

The yellow butterflies with the background of the blue from the sky and ocean, and the white of the soft clouds. 

Feeling like this makes my heart sing. 

Sort of like love. 

It's simple, but so clear. 

We're free and flying alone, but together.

We're one with the universe and also with each other.

Butterfly, butterfly into the wild blue yonders. 

No worries, just soaring, at peace, happy, and oh so free. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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February 18, 2018

Together 4Ever

In elementary school, the children sing about love and romance. 

"The spades go.
Two lips together.
Twilight forever. 
Bring back my love to me."

When 2 people are together, it's as if the angels in heaven themselves are dancing and singing. 

Love seems to make everything in the world right again. 

Recently, an old person from my building lost his wife of over 60 years!

I see him around and while he continues to go about doing his everyday things, I can see that he misses his wife so much. 

He is broken, and his strength is gone. 

I remember my grandfather and father the same way when they lost my grandmother and mother, respectively. 

Completely devastating to them--their wives were their lives and what made them complete-- afterward, they were never really the same. 

Our companions are truly our other halves. 

When someone asked the old man from my building how he was doing late last week, he simply responded:
"I'm getting along the best that I can."

He said it was such sadness and loneliness for his wife who passed that his words literally cut right through me. 

People need each other--no one is an island--and especially loving couples who have been together for decades and decades--they are for each other and with each other, even if "together forever" is just a song that children sing...it is what we all ultimately wish for. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 14, 2017

What Women Want From Men?

So I was talking to this nice gentleman.

He was telling me that he lost his wife of over 27 years to cancer--this happened over 15 years ago. 

And since then, he had a girlfriend who recently broke his heart and married someone else. 

I felt really bad and sorry for this nice man--who is always so friendly and intelligent.  

He says to me:
"Over the years, I've learned what women want from men."

I ask him inquiringly:
"And what is that?"

He's obviously glad that I asked, and he proceeds to tell me:
"Women want two things: curiosity and security."

Not understanding what he means by the first one, I ask:
"What do you mean curiosity?"

He looks intently at me and says:
"Women want to talk, and they want to know what's going on."

He explains to me that if you talk and be a good listener to women and provide (your part) materially in a stable relationship with them--they will be happy and you will be happy. 

This is sort of the "Happy wife, happy life" idea that I've heard before. 

Listen, even at this stage in my life, with a wife and two lovely daughters, I can still learn something about what makes women happy...teach me the pearls of wisdom and I will learn it well. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 17, 2017

Happy Father's Day

So it's Shabbat and that's one of the wonderful times to look at old photos in the albums and boxes. 

Yes, this was before digital photography!

I came across this art that my daughters had given to my father and mother when they were still alive--I think it was plastered on their refrigerator for a while. 

This photo seemed to bridge the past, present, and future for me. 

My parents are gone now to Hashem--already 2 and 3 years--and I still can't believe it. 

At the annual Mother's Day and Father's Day--it's just another time of year to remember how much I miss them all year long. 

For me now, it is also a chance to be grateful for my lovely children that G-d has so gracefully blessed me and Dossy with. 

Smiles, hugs and kisses, love and caring for one another--this is what life is all about.

Father's Day to me is not about the gratefulness of my children to me, but rather of me to Hashem and them to be blessed to be a dad and have the chance to give back to such lovely children--to the next generation that greatly supersedes me and mine!

So I'm crunched in the middle in time between wonderful parents and beautiful children and as my dad would joke, it skipped a generation (hopefully, not really). ;-) 

(Source Photo: My Girls)
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October 10, 2016

Visiting My Parents

We went to visit my parent's graves yesterday. 

Now, between the Jewish high holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, it is customary to visit and remember our blessed loved ones. 

We went to spend time with them, tell them how much we miss and love them, and how hard it is without them. 

I was so moved by how beautiful my daughters spoke out loud to my parents in heaven--their words and tears were so full of sincerity for how they miss and love their dear Oma and Opa. 

They could articulate what was so hard for me to say, but which weighs so heavy always on my heart. 

We sat on the ground at the base of their headstone feeling their presence and hearing their words in memory and through my wife who has a special ability to somehow reach them.

My wife told me how she could see my mother literally dancing in heaven, and my dad always worrying about us and looking out for and telling us to be more religious...always, more religious. 

I wiped the dust off that had settled on the stone over the last months, and wished that I could somehow magically, with whatever spiritual energy I could muster, raise them up and bring them back to us.

The thought of years or decades of going on and not being able to see and speak with them again, in person, is forever impossible for me to imagine. 

The loss of my parents over the last few years has left an emptiness in my heart and keeps me asking myself, will I really be able to see them and be reunited with them again some day in heaven. 

My daughter reassured me that energy, including our personal energy, never disappears, it only transforms, and my wife said that she could feel that they were okay and happy!

I recounted the joke my dad used to tell about not wanting to be buried at the edge of the cemetery, because that's where the water runs down, and he didn't want to get rheumatism. 

I know how much they loved us and I could feel it sitting at their graves with the warmth of the sun over us and the cool breeze blowing against us. 

I will live out my days, trying my best to emulate in my own way my father, who was a servant to the L-rd in all that he did, and who taught us strict right from wrong, and as my mother who took care of us no matter what challenges or suffering were faced. 

Finally, we asked for their forgiveness for any wrongs we committed and for their blessing for what is to come. 

I am grateful to them and G-d for every blessed moment with my family and to experience the beauty and learning of the world, until it is my turn to be gathered to my family and the L-rd in the after. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 1, 2016

The Unmarried

So I know like everything, marriage is a choice. 

But more and more people are choosing to be unmarried. 

Today, in the Wall Street Journal, 48% (almost half) of American eligible voters are unmarried. 

And almost 40% of births are to unmarried couples. 

The average age for getting married for women is 27 and for men 29.

While of course, it is tough to find (and keep) your soulmate and a lot of it has to do with mazel, it seems like there is not enough appreciation for marriage. 

Everyone who is or has been married, I am sure, has had their share of disagreements and fights with their "better half," and certainly some abusive and cheating relationships are way better off undone!

But for the most part, I believe that life is greater and fuller with someone special to share it with, and it is part of our learning and growth to couple, care, give, and love. 

I remember when my Opa (grandfather) lost my Oma (grandmother) and when my dad lost my mom and those where some of the most heart wrenching traumas, I think I have ever witnessed. 

"What G-d has joined together, let no man break apart." 

When I got married, the Rabbi blessed us that we should be Ra'im A'huvim or best friends, and that is a very beautiful blessing to have. 

My advice is to try it and hopefully like (or love) it--I think it's worth even all the I Love Lucy moments.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 27, 2016

Coupling, The Beauty Of

So just a couple of birds, right?

Not to me!

There were a number of reminders to me today about how special and fortunate it is for any of us to be with someone we love.

It's not just that two heads are better than one. 

Pretty much, everything is better with a partner who looks back at us and smiles. 

We magnify the joy and we share the sorrow, together.

What my dad used to call my mom, his "better half!"

What we are lacking in, often our soulmate can fill in the blank. 

And planning and executing is as a team, rather than flying solo. 

There is someone who keeps our lofty ideas in check and at the same time challenges us when it's time to think bigger. 

We learn from the other person, at the same time that we teach them maybe a little thing or two from our repertoire. 

Strategically, divide and conquer makes everything from routine tasks to complex projects easier to achieve, especially when we agree on the goal and the approach. 

Even the "occasional" disagreements and fights helps us to learn to control our temperament and to work things out or when to take a break and think things through afresh. 

Someone to reach out to.

Someone to hold unto. 

Someone to caress.

Someone to buttress. 

Someone who makes us a better person than the one we see in the mirror naked and mortal. 

Like 2 by 2 in Noah's Ark or in the birds and the bees, we are committed to that special someone. 

The Bat Kol calls out "so and so shall be married to so and so" like only the L-rd in heaven can decree from the rib of man to the flesh of a women. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 11, 2016

Walking It Good

Took a nice walk with my honey.

Down the Bethesda Trolley Trail.

Needs a little repaving work.

But it's nice lush green at this time of year. 

The exercise is good (and my diet appreciates it). 

And of course, spending time together talking and bonding is the road best traveled. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 18, 2015

I Couldn't Do It

No this isn't my car, but it's definitely old. 

So we were going to go sell one of our older cars tonight. 

One of the warning lights recently went on and when we took it to the dealer he told us it would be thousands to service it. 

After agonizing about it, we resigned ourselves to just getting rid of it and not investing anymore $$$ in an old car.

We went to the car to empty it and get it ready.

As I watched Dossy cleaning it out, all these memories started racing through my head--seeing Dossy behind the wheel as well the kids. 

Remembering all the good times we had driving here and there together. 

But this was Dossy's car and it was special to her and I knew it. 

I looked again at her and said, "I can't do it--let's just keep it."

She looked at me--and gave me the biggest smile. 

When we went back inside, she said to me, "You love me!"

And I said, "Of course, I do."

Now, we get the car fixed--some things you can't put a price on. 

P.S. Last week, she threatened to move out if I didn't agree to fix it. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 15, 2015

Beautiful And Serene Hiking Sunday

So after lunch out, we went for a little hike at Lake Needwood. 

Today was absolutely beautiful.

The sun was shining bright and emanating warmth, but the air was cool with a breeze--that is the best of all worlds. 

The path was quiet and serene except for some occasional bikers yelling, "On your left"--might as well have said get the h*ll out of the way--one bike, two bikes, three bikes...okay done. 

Dossy and I held hands like newlyweds and just walked and talked along the trail. 

The daily stress and worries seeping out and away--and I am just floating with a renewed peacefulness and gratitude to Hashem.

Thank you all merciful G-d for granting us peace--one of the greatest of all blessings--may it spread around the world and last for all eternity! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 8, 2015

His And Hers

So grateful to my wonderful colleagues and friends here at the Department of State. 

Cards for the loss of my mom and dad...one year apart, but I put them side by side, where they belong. 

I miss my parents, but this is a beautiful reminder to me that they are together in Heaven!

I am thankful for the wonderful caring people I am surrounded with who provided me their support and warm sentiments during this challenging year. 

Hoping and praying for G-d's blessings and a better future. 
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November 7, 2014

Lighting The Shabbat Candles

Wanted to share this beautiful picture

The mother is ushering in Shabbat.

The children are gathered around.

The father is in synagogue.

The mother lights the holy candles.

She covers her eyes, and makes the blessing.

"Blessed are you, G-d, King of the Universe, who made us holy with his commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Shabbat light."

She then blesses her loved ones. 

Shabbat is here, and it is time to stop all the routine, mundane things from the regular weekdays. 

There is no work on the 7th day--it is the day for Hashem!

Rest, peace, and spirituality are upon us. 

Let us celebrate together and rejoice. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 5, 2014

Walking Off Into The Sunset

My daughter snapped this photo of my wife and I while we weren't looking. 

When we got home my wife titled it "Walking Off Into The Sunset."


We both cried when we saw it!


So full of meaning...


Two people, different, but hearts and hands together.


Walking into the future, not sure where it is going to take us. 


Some day we'll be old, and we'll look back at all the times. 


Hopefully, all for the good, but always trying to make the best. 


We'll walk off into that sunset sometimes with tears, but always with joy. 


(Source Photo: Michelle Blumenthal)

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