You just never know how much time you have left...

One of the ways God has blessed my life is through my daughters:  they are both beautiful, bright and creative young women.  They are unique from one another in style, personality and disposition and yet deeply connected, too.

Today I spent the better part of the day wandering Brooklyn with Jesse.  It was a day of errands for her as she both gets ready to return to school - she is the lead teacher at a middle school in Brooklyn - and settles into her last month before becoming a momma.  During this last month she and her husband Michael are working extra hard to get their condo ready for the baby's arrival at the end of September.  

So there were small chores to do and I got to tag along as we went to a Chinese tailor for slip covers, an upholstery shop in the heart of Hasidic Brooklyn, small bakeries and then a little bistro in Park Slope for lunch. Nothing special happened today - we walked a lot - and enjoyed strolling the land of Hasidim before sunset.  We went into one Judaica store where I risked asking for a new Jewish prayerbook in English.  The clerk looked at me - and my earrings - made a slight frown and assured me that his stored did not carry such an item.  After we left I chortled that I should have known better; after all, it was a Reformed prayer book.  (I also had to laugh out loud as we came upon a shop marked "lingerie" only to discover cotton house coats, etc.  Let's just say there is a world of difference between Orthodox Jewish lingerie and let's say… Victoria's Secrets.)

Later we'll head out for a late supper and an even later movie - something we've been doing since she was a small child - as we both love seeing a show in a theater.  I am grateful to spend gentle, everyday time with her.  It is an ordinary but very sacred celebration to me.  Tomorrow I'll do a little more wandering in Manhattan before heading home.  Then on Sunday I'll get the chance to know another set of blessings at dinner with my other dear daughter.

Not long ago I did a funeral for a man who as nearly 90.  His daughter said to me that just a month before he died they had a chance to spend two full weeks with their dad:  it was a time of ordinary blessings and conversation, telling stories and long walks.  "I am so grateful for those two weeks" she told me again and again.  "Because you just never know how much time you have left…" Ain't that the truth?


Peter said…
Chaim Potok was an Orthodox Jew, who, after serving in the Korean War as a chaplain, felt that it was impossible to live in the 20th century as an Orthdox Jew. he became a Conservative Jew and struggled as a writer for the rest of his life to answer those profound questions that confront all faith groups, within the context of Orthodox Jewry.
RJ said…
One of my favorites, Peter, and I am grateful for your comment. You must be getting ready for some huge adventures soon, yes?
Phil Ewing said…
Sending blessings and best wishes to your daughter and all the family. Exciting !!
R.J If you have Pete's e mail please can you send to me as I have lost it and I don't want to lose touch if he is off soon.

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