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60 years ago my Baube, Ida Olshansky Friedman, passed away, I was just nine years old. Just days before I was in the car, my mom was taking Baube and Zayde on errands, and when we dropped them off at their apartment at Blackstone Manor, Baube promised they would see me for my birthday on March 4th. However, I never saw Baube again. She suffered a massive stroke the day before my 9th birthday and passed on March 9th, 1959. Tonight according to Jewish tradition is her Yarzheit, I will light a memorial candle that will shine for 24 hours to remember her. (The Yarzheit date is based on the Jewish date of passing.)
March 9th has another solemn significance as well, my father-in-law very much a father to me, passed away in 1987. Edwin Peter Hale hung on through my birthday barely able to wish me a Happy Day, but in his humorous way congratulated me on my 39th year, two years early. I will be 39 forever, thank you, dear Mr. Ed.
The loss may stay with us forever. However, it is time that allows us to look back and appreciate the love and special moments we were able to spend with one another. As a young child, I spent many days with my Baube and Zayde. I use to call them my old fashion grandparents as they never learned how to drive a car, and they share stories of the old country, Russia. My zayde read the Yiddish paper (in Yiddish) and sprinkled Yiddish into his English conversations. My Baube always appeared more American at least in my company she spoke only English. She was a short, plump lady who could give you that soft loving hug even from across the room (or in your memories.) She was a cook, a baker, but not a candlestick maker. I loved her (and still do) despite our short time together.
My father-in-law was only in my life for a short time. He also taught me love and share big bear hugs along with words of wisdom that he learned in the school of hard knocks. Edwin was a gentle giant, and I am so blessed to call him father!
So today I remember life as it was 60 years ago and also 32 years ago and I hold their memories close to my heart and share with you that they were two special people who guided me on my path to today.
Time does heal sadness and loss; it doesn’t take it away it provides us a way to hold it near and dear with fewer tears and more smiles as we see the shadows that provide us strength.
February has many fine meanings for me. First, it’s the month before my birth month. It’s a short month, and soon it will be Spring, that makes me smile a lot. However, this month is full of challenges that could be obstacles.
Tomorrow, February 2nd, Puxatawney Phil sticks his head out of the ground, looks for his shadow, and always, without question announces six more weeks of winter. Winter not being my favorite season, especially this past week with sub-zero temperatures, I am not to keen on listening to his premonition for the end of winter.
On February 3, 1984, my best friend, my partner, became my husband. We had a private ceremony on that day. Although we had every intention to marry, we married on that day to prove to a custody judge that our relationship was legitimate and retaining custody of my oldest son was appropriate. Although this is a day to celebrate, we chose to have a wedding with all the trimmings in July of that same year, to share with friends and family, not for maintaining custody. However, 20 years to the day, my POPs passed away. Now that day and date are filled with a rush of emotions. Additionally this year on said date, I will be attending a Memorial Service (Funeral) for a cherished musician who recently befriended me.
February 4 for most of my life was a great day, my favorite cousin, Gloria celebrated her birthday just four weeks prior to mine. As soon as I was old enough to send her cards or call her to wish her a happy day, my yearly routine included this very special girl. In my mind, she will always be the cute petite cousin who I looked up to with respect and so much love. Sadly, my Gloria passed away just weeks before my mother in 2016. I am blessed to still be in touch with her children and grandchildren keeping that connection alive and bright.
February 14th has never been special in my past. I was not the young girl in high school or college with boys or a boy sending me flowers, and or professing love for me. Although my husband of 35 year treats me special every day, Valentine’s Day is just another day in our lives. Rich refuses to be nice to me for just one day! (I am blessed.)
One reason I loved this short month is that my mother was a Leap Year Baby. It became a standing joke that not only was my mother shorter than all of her children; she was also younger in birthdays! When mom died on October 11, 2016, she was 96 in years but 24 in Birthdays. (Don’t worry, we never let her go a year without a celebration, she enjoyed birthday wishes on the 28th of February and the 1st of March.)
So as this month begins I will face it head-on. Each day is another step closer to my favorite seasons, Spring, Summer & Fall. Join me in sharing memories that will warm us adding sunshine and smiles into our lives. We are not guaranteed a future, that is why we must live in the present!
If you leave in Cleveland, Ohio or any other Midwest or Northern state having a snowstorm is not unusual this time of year. It’s funny, growing up in Detroit, Michigan, we had a lot of snow in the winter. much more than what we have today, and yet we never stopped. But many of us here are hunkered down. My Beetle will not make it out of the garage the snow is so deep, and my condo sub-division has no idea when we will get plowed. Alex’s car is under siege by the snow, and there is a layer of ice under the snow. I guess back in the day we had warmer clothing, studs on our tires and a STUDDLY BURLY guy in our home or down the block who was always available and able to shovel someone out. I’m not complaining but sharing how soft so many of us have become, myself included.
Four years ago I fell on the ice during the winter and broke my femur requiring surgery and two weeks in rehab. I refuse to put myself in that same position. Therefore I am willing to be soft! But with softness comes empowerment and my theme for today is empowering myself to accept what is! When we empowered we give ourselves the opportunity to become stronger and more confident in our choices. For me, I am making choices that make me happy without contributing to someone else’s unhappiness.
A special thanks to Candace Pollock of the Intentionality Gurus, Candace has guided me through her bi-weekly podcast with newclevelandradio.net to listen to my overactive brain and allow my heart and soul to respond, if necessary. The words, “if necessary” is my personal mantra, not everything is necessary just because my thoughts dictate it at the moment.[i]
Katie the Carlady soon to be podcasting with newclevelandradio.net. Katie will be bringing coffee and cars to our venue. Katie’s backstory has been a journey that has led her to be an influential individual for many, and many of those individuals may never have met her. She is full of energy and brings out the best in others. I have only known Katie for a year, and yet I am mesmerized by her. For the first time in my life I am not wishing to be her, but to capture her dynamism and light my drive.
CANCER SUCKS, and I hope I will never have to experience the cobblestone path Melinda has traveled. However, she brightens my smile and my approach to health and wellness. Melinda posts Facebook Live moments regarding the “Heart Mojo,” the spirit and words she will share in her upcoming podcasts in February! Melinda as well as Katie, and Candace will be joining me in a new venture that kicks off this Wednesday night.
Please join us, Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019, at Vista Springs, Greenbriar, in Parma, Ohio. We will be hosting a Meet & Greet for women and men that have a story (personal journey) to share that will enlighten the lives of others. It’s time for each one of us to shed the angst from the fall out around us and seek a path that will allow us to live with heart. We must let our heart and soul fill our brain with the peace and lightness we all deserve. Please feel free to join us at 6 pm – 8:30 pm where Vista Springs will host the event, bringing us together for the “Empowerment Journey.”
The “Empowerment Journey,” this is your chance to share, learn, and be the person you want to be.
[i] (https://www.spreaker.com/show/the-intentionality-gurus-with-candace-2018) & (https://www.spreaker.com/show/the-intentionality-gurus-candace-2019)
I am so proud to share that my oldest son, Steve Rogovin, he is now a part owner in a new restaurant in Chicago. “Brothers and Sisters.” https://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/ct-food-brothers-and-sisters-opening-soon-20181018-story.html
Steve is also a practicing attorney with the law firm, MPSLaw in Chicago.
If you find yourself in the Chicago area, please check out, “Brothers and Sisters.” Brothers and Sisters, 2119 W. Chicago Ave., www.brothersandsisters.fun
As the story goes, a baby was born, the mother was Mary, and the father was Joseph. Although for some it seems, Mary was a virgin, and Joseph was not the biological father, God was. As the story continues, this baby boy was named Jesus, another word for Messiah. The Messiah is a leader of a group of people who need to be saved. History (through the Bible) creates a moving story of this baby through manhood who was a carpenter by trade as well as a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader. However, upon his death, the Christians took them for their own.
Today, Christmas Day, Christians celebrate/commemorate the birth of Jesus by gifting to others as the Three Wise Men (Kings), presented presents to Mother Mary. Gold was provided as a symbol of kingship/leadership on earth. The incense, frankincense, symbolized deity, and myrrh an embalming oil signified death. These gifts exemplify the life that Jesus was destined for.
Today, many celebrate Christmas as a day of gifting that is more about receiving than giving. It is not that we do not have kindness in our hearts and provide for the less fortunate, but many ask the hollow question what is
in it for me?
As many will sit around their living room’s early in the morning, around a tree glowing with lights and shiny objects, they will be impatient to find out if the biggest or the smallest gift-wrapped box is for them and will it be the item from their long list of wants, not needs? In some homes, there will be looks of disappointment, in others satisfaction or ecstatic joy!
In our blended religion family, today is a day of caring and remembering each other. Often our gifts are not expensive surprises, but the acknowledgment of want and need combined. We typically spend the day alone, no big family gathering quietly in most respects. Sometimes we take in a movie, and other years we nap the day away, exhausted from work and other obligations. Our home is not a Norman Rockwell painting of what the holidays are supposed to look like, ours looks like the reality of the moment.
The reality of the moment sounds mysterious, but it is all about accepting who we are as individuals and not placing expectations in our way that may ultimately turn a Good Day into a Bad Day. I have been known to do just that over the years. I would listen to the PR hype and the comments, of co-workers, friends, and family and expect that today would be a “Hallmark Movie” day, when often it would turn out more like a “Twilight Zone” episode.
December 2016, after losing my mother two months earlier, and accepting the fact that I was no longer a child, I chose to enjoy life with all its ups and downs, and to stop assuming my day, Christmas or any other should be a certain way! Growing up we did not celebrate, being Jewish as we are, but we would enjoy the day in some small way, maybe even extending Chanukah beyond the traditional eight days and nights. Perfection is only a mindset, and sometimes I would dream about a repeat performance, and other times I could not wait for a redo. However, each day is a new day and unique from another. I am working on making each day bright and festive, not just for myself but for others, with a smile, a nod, words of acceptance, and a spirit of friendship and love that begins with self.
It is not selfish to take care of yourself when you share yourself with others, freely and willing!
May you enjoy your Christmas, December 25th, 2018 (and beyond) without expectations as you share your spirit to be felt by another.
The reality is we need a newer photo
Blue is not just for boys, it’s a beautiful color that can be worn by many. In fact, blue comes in many shades/hues and for that reason, we should all be voting BLUE on November 6th, 2018. Although my wish is that we could eventually get rid of the party system, and democratically vote for the best candidate who will communicate with his/her constituents and do what they are elected for, representing the people who place them in office.
I like many of you am tired of false advertising and lying and cheating scoundrels. Although the lying and cheating have gone on since the beginning of time, sadly it’s become the norm. I will admit I have told my share of lies in my life, and not to hurt or endanger another, but the political jargon has gotten out of hand and there is very little truth in what is being said.
This election day is very important and everyone who is registered must vote. Every vote does count, and we have seen what happens when we become apathetic or believe we can’t make a difference. If you believe your vote is not worth counting maybe you should refrain from complaining about what is wrong with your city/town, state, and government. At least casting your vote you are sending a message as to what you want, need, and believe in!
If you don’t know what you want, need or believe in, it’s time to look in the mirror and ask yourself one important question, do you want to live in a society where you have a choice or live in a country that takes your choices away from you? If you want the ability to make a choice (good or bad) and learn from your mistakes, you must vote this November 6th. We all must work together to regain our freedom. Whether you want to believe it or accept the facts, we all have roots from various demographics. The United States is a real melting pot where many migrated to create a new life for themselves and their families. If not for the immigrants, we would not be who we are today.
When you look in the mirror ask where your parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents were born, and find out that you too are a blend of our new global society. Let’s make it a safe democracy.
Finding a home. I have repeatedly said, I am not religious, I grew up on traditions set in our home by my mother and father. They created their customs based on their upbringing. As a young girl growing up on the Northwest side of Detroit, I believed I would marry someday and live just blocks from my parents and friends and raise my children in a similar manner, while adding some personal choices created by my husband. However, planning is often just a dream as life is not static, constantly evolving.
Since my first marriage in 1971 to my divorce in 1978, and my second and last marriage in 1984, my search for a home (not a house) has been important to me. I am very blessed that my husband Richard of thirty-four years (not counting tomorrow,) has remained by my side as I continued to look for that missing piece. Every time I went up to Michigan to visit with my parents and extended family and friends I thought that the only place I would ever capture this feeling of mispacha was up North.
Fast forward to the past two weeks, the Jewish High Holidays, and the Hebrew anniversary of my mother’s passing. What I have been searching for has been so close by that I am surprised I did not fall into if before. I found a home (not sure I can afford the mortgage) at Temple Israel in Akron. A special thank you to Rabbi Josh Brown who heard my plea for friends and family and put a plan in place. On Yom Kippur the holiest day of our year I met not one (Elaine), but one multiplied and became, many new friends. For the first time since 1971, I feel connected and I want to share the feeling of joy that fills my heart.
I need to also thank Candace Pollock, show host for “The Intentionality Gurus” https://www.spreaker.com/show/the-intentionality-gurus-with-candace-po. Candace has helped me find the GURU in me to explore what is important in my life and out my natural fears aside. It is not easy walking into a room filled with strangers, as the song goes, “One is the Loneliest Number.” However, not only did I walk in, but I reached out to Rabbi Brown asked for something I needed, a connection. It is the understanding of intentionality that provided me with the courage, strength, and perspective to ask. If we don’t ask we will not get!
I am not any different from many of you. Too often in life, we wait for the right time to move forward and many of us miss that time as we are too busy waiting for something that has no specific time or place. It takes stepping forward and asking, sharing, and being aware, and I am now walking through life with my eyes wide open and my heart prepared to allow connections.
I offer each of you to enjoy each day of life – allow yourself to be aware and feed your heart and soul as you find the place…
As Dorothy from the Wizard Oz says: “There is no place like home…”