Monthly Archives: December 2011

Happy New Year!

Soon it will be 2012. 2011 and all its ups and downs will be left in the dust, and we start again with a fresh slate.

As I look back on my first complete calendar year as a legal US resident, I cannot help but smile. We went through so much to get here – yet I feel like I have lived here forever. We have integrated well – we are settled in our home, in our neighborhood, the boys are happy in school, I have a job I love. The best part? Being with the KoD constantly. (and not having to drive six hours to see him every other weekend and contend with border crossing aggravation)

2011 was great – other than the surgical component. Praying for a happy 2012, a year of peace and harmony, a year in which HockeyFan will get accepted to the high school of his choice (we hope), where Lenny starts his last year in school (GULP), where Squiggy and ChatterBox continue on in their schools and do well.

Wishing you all good health and happiness for 2012!


After a while

My sister-in-law sent me a copy of this poem soon after we met 20+ years ago, after I went through some things. Over the years it has come back to me many times.

I have some friends who are going through some tough times in their lives – I just wanted to tell them that they are strong, they will continue to be strong, and that they can use this adversity as a learning experience, and turn it around for the good.

After a while you learn
The subtle difference between
Holding a hand and chaining a soul
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t always mean security.

And you begin to learn
That kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes ahead
With the grace of a woman
Not the grief of a child

And you learn
To build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is
Too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way
Of falling down in mid flight

After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much
So you plant your own garden
And decorate your own soul
Instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers

And you learn
That you really can endure
That you are really strong
And you really do have worth
And you learn and you learn
With every goodbye you learn.

Veronica A. Shoffstall

Another priority question.

This one from a reader:

Who is on top of the priority list once you’re married? Your parents or your spouse? What if your family majorly dislike your spouse?  Do you show up to family events without  him / her, or do you stay home to support him / her, or do you go and present a united front even though you know your spouse will be miserable and mistreated?

Happy Birthday to the Love of My Life

Happy Birthday to my KoD…… wishing you a wonderful day, an awesome year – and may all your wishes come true. So blessed to spend my life with you.


This follows from a conversation with a friend recently, and maybe it’s a second marriage thing, or not.

What is top of the priority list – the marriage or the kids?

There is no simple answer – I was just curious as to your thoughts.

Mothers are mind readers?

I think not. The kids have a snack shelf with all the stuff they take for school. Over time the selection has become a lot healthier, but still it’s not all stuff that the KoD and I eat.

“Ima, why are there no more xyz left?”

Um, probably because when one of you took the last one you left the empty box there on the shelf, leading me to believe that there were still some xyzs left. Or you actually threw away the box without informing the grocery purchaser that there was replenishment needed.

And yes, this is apparently another mother failing. Pass me the bad mommy award….. sigh.

Wednesday’s Wacky Sign

This made me laugh so hard….. Do I annoy you, dear KoD? Not *that* much? OK… 🙂

Give some tzadaka this Chanukah

Parents of Disabled Children Need a Break

A former single mother of a special needs child raises money for disabled kids in Israel.


Faigie Grunberg was a single mother of two when Refua V’Chayim reached out to her and gave her disabled daughter a monthly Shabbaton – so that Grunberg herself could get a break from her 24/7 job of raising a quadriplegic child with cerebral palsy.  When her daughter Daniella Meira was 7, she passed away a few weeks after Chanukah.  Grunberg now initiates a yearly fundraising campaign for Refua V’Chayim to hold a Shabbaton in Daniella’s memory.

“When you’re raising a disabled child, you don’t have a second to breathe,” Grunberg stated.  “Your every moment is dedicated to making sure she’s alive, healthy and comfortable.  When someone reaches out to you and helps ease the workload, it refreshes you so that you can keep going.”

As part of the campaign, Faigie hired Moshe Flam to create a website,, that enables people to donate.  Refua V’Chayim is a registered Israeli charity; funds collected through the site go directly to Refua V’Chayim’s PayPal account.  Grunberg’s goal is to completely fund an extra Shabbaton, which is slated for early January.  The total sum needed is 45,000 NIS, or around $11,500.  Grunberg is grateful for the 8,200 NIS she has raised so far.  The donations are coming in from all over the world, from Israel, the US, the UK and the Netherlands, to name a few.

Refua V’Chayim was chosen as Grunberg’s charity of choice because, she says, “they go above and beyond to make sure your child is getting full medical care and enjoys herself.  They train volunteers for the long-haul, so that the kids have the same dedicated counselor that they develop a relationship with.”  All of the children who benefit from Refua V’Chayim’s services get their own madricha for the weekend, and a group of friends they can look forward to seeing throughout the year.  In addition to the Shabbatons, Rav Naftali Weinberger and his wife Ruchi, both very active in Refua V’Chayim, garnered funds to purchase Daniella her wheelchair – a 10,000 NIS gift that Grunberg could not afford on her own.

In 2008, Grunberg heard that Refua V’Chayim was forced to hold fewer Shabbatons due to lack of funds.  “I had to do something,” Grunberg stated.  “This time of year tends to be very dark for me, because the pain of losing Daniella Meira comes up again.  I thought to myself, I have to do something to bring light right now.  Organizing this fundraiser for the past few years has brought real meaning to Chanukah for me.”

Breast Cancer …I mean TOP Cancer

Read this article: Coy euphemisms, tragic implications

Basically a publication has been released to the more religious in Israel talking about the importance of breast cancer prevention, except not once, according the article, does it mention the word BREAST. They call it a special women’s cancer. Um, men get breast cancer too!

Has this gone too far? Discuss.

Memory Lane

I had to be in Boro Park today for a meeting, and on my way out of Dodge Brooklyn, I wanted to drive by a place that’s very special to me. I used to spend summers at my late grandparents’ house in BP – and I have such fond memories. I loved them so much, and they helped me be who I am today. I owe them so much.

I haven’t been back there in years, but I thought I would stop by. An homage of a sort, I guess.

It looks similar, yet different. The new owners have put their own mark on it. But standing there, looking at the house, I was so surprised to feel the tears flow. It’s been years since Saba and Savta passed away – but I could feel their presence, their spirit, hovering around those bricks and mortar. It sounds so strange to see that written in black and white. But that’s what I felt. They were not sad tears, just cleansing ones, I guess.

I wanted to knock on the door and go inside but I felt that it would be intrusive so I didn’t. But I feel good that I went, not that I really understand it….

Do you have a similar place that stirs up happy memories for you?