Count Your Blessings
It came to mind after we received a phone call from our friend Tatyana, who together with her husband Solomon, moved from San Francisco back to their home town Kishinev, the capital of the Eastern European country Moldova, a few years ago. Tatyana called to let us know that Solomon had died, he was 64. She went to a store and when she came back home, he had passed. It was not the coronavirus, but heart failure. He was at among the 655,000 Americans who die from heart disease each year – that’s 1 in every 4 deaths. We live in times when the subject of possibly getting sick and dying is constantly mentioned by the media. After Solomon retired, the couple sold their home in San Francisco, and securely invested the proceeds, which allowed them to live comfortably for years to come. They traveled a lot. Last summer, they rented a house in Spain for two months. Recently they bought land to build a new house in Kishinev. And then in a blink of a second, everything changed.
The coronavirus has created an environment, where most of us cannot enjoy our lives to their full extent. Everyone is waiting for the “miraculous” vaccine to return our lives to “normal”. Unfortunately, we cannot meet our new granddaughter for that reason. But why should we stop feeling that we are alive? We still can enjoy many things we were accustomed to. We cannot travel to Europe, but we can go to Hawaii and Mexico after testing negative for the coronavirus. Some of our friends have rented homes in Oregon and resort areas in California. Next week we are going to our favorite place for four days – The Sea Ranch (a story will follow). After we received the phone call from Tatyana, I asked my wife Elfa to start making reservations for next year’s travels. One of the ways to feel alive, is to celebrate life. Today, Friday, December 11th, is the first day of the Jewish holiday, Hanukkah. It is called the Holiday of Lights and commemorates events which took place in 140 BCE. We are celebrating it together with our daughter Alona and her boyfriend Jeff, who specially came from Southern California. It is going to be the first celebration for our granddaughter, who together with her Mom, Tamar and Dad, David will join us through Zoom.
Let’s count our blessings and let light into our lives.
P.S. Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days. Each night, we light a candle in a special candle holder called a Chanukiah. The number of candles increases every night, for eight nights, plus one more which is used to light the others. In these four images I show how even light can be shown in a different light in the hands of the photo-artist.