Life is Full of Blessings - Let's Count Them! - Pay it Forward
There's a senior residential community that abuts the congregation I belong to. The most senior member of this congregtion ( a women close to 90) was in mourning for the loss of her brother, her last remaining sibling. This morning I paid her a condolence call. Though I frequently make condolence calls, this one was different.
Not too many 90 year olds sit "shiva" (the 7 day period of mourning observed by Jewish mourners) in solitude. There are usually other family members "sitting shiva" with you and there is comfort derived from the sharing of both your memories and your pain. But, Mrs. Berg was the last surviving sibling in her family, and the only surviving child of the deceased lived in South America, so she was alone.
Knowing this, I made the effort to visit with her and brought her some homemade soup with crackers for lunch. I went with the intention of lightening her spirits and left with her lightening mine. She spent our time together telling me something about her youth, her family and her travels.
She was born in Romania and escaped with her family just a few days before Romania entered World War II. They spent 3 years in Italy until they could get the proper papers and transport out of Europe. They all wound up in Argentina where she lived fo 17 years. She married there and subsequently moved to Rockland County NY to join her husband's family.
This woman never had an easy life, but you wouldn't know it from talking with her. She's always upbeat and everything is always, Thank God, fine. I went to see her so that I might help ease her lonliness - and I think I did; but, in the process she lifted my spirits.
So much of what we take for granted, are things we should be thankful for each and every day. This visit was a reminder that life is full of blessings. Let's not forget to count them.