Friday, September 19, 2014

The Depth of "Modah Ani" on My Birthday

Yom shishi, 24 Elul 5774.

Lovely artwork by my dear daughter-in-law, Tova.
The days of our years among them are seventy years, and if with strength, eighty years. ~ Psalm 90, a prayer by Moshe Rabbeinu

So it's my birthday.

Ahhhhhhh!
And on my 57th birthday, it suddenly occurred to me at about four in the morning that unless I get special dispensation, I can only expect about 13 more years of life. (And that's without any disasters happening.)

This is not meant to be morbid. Nor is it intended to frighten my friends who are closer to seventy (and with strength, eighty) than I. It wasn't fear of death that waked me in the wee small hours.

It was the need to assess. How do I want to spend my last decade and slightly less than a half?

A short commercial announcement for my very religious friends in the Kine Hora Puh-Puh-Puh Club. Of course I believe that God will decide when each of us moves on to our next adventure; and of course I will be delighted to stick around until a hundred and twenty -- but only if it's in good health. And I hope that my speaking the words in the paragraphs above does not trigger your fear that I will make it so by saying it. I like to believe that God is not troubled by words, if they are used thoughtfully.

End of commercial.

Thirteen years to be all I can be. To do everything I ever wanted to do as Ruti. The mind boggles at the shortness of the time to do so very many things!

While I have no intention to quit my job and go off to hike the Alps or volunteer to save babies in Ethiopia -- though I have a certain admiration for those who do -- I hope I will live with more keen awareness of the value of every day.

A country song comes to mind. (Doesn't it always?) This song, written by Tim Nichols and Craig Wiseman and performed most famously by Tim McGraw, says it well.

For the usual reasons, I prefer the version by my son, Aryeh... but until I can record it, here's the original.



Seems like a nice message for the upcoming Days of Awe, too. For my birthday present to you, I give you the blessing that you will live your nice, long, healthy, happy life... like you were dyin'.


He said I was in my early 40's,
With a lot of life before me,
And a moment came that stopped me on a dime.
I spent most of the next days, lookin' at the x-rays,
Talkin' 'bout the options and talkin' 'bout sweet time.
Asked him when it sank in, that this might really be the real end.
How's it hit ya, when you get that kind of news.
Man what ya do.
And he says,

[Chorus]

I went sky divin',
I went Rocky Mountain climbin',
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull name Fumanchu.
And I loved deeper,
And I spoke sweeter,
And I gave forgiveness I've been denying,
And he said someday I hope you get the chance,
To live like you were dyin'.

He said I was finally the husband,
That most the time I wasn't.
And I became a friend a friend would like to have.
And all the sudden goin' fishing,
Wasn't such an imposition.
And I went three times that year I lost my dad.
Well I finally read the Good Book,
And I took a good long hard look at what I'd do
If I could do it all again.
And then.

[Chorus]

Like tomorrow was a gift and you've got eternity
To think about what you do with it,
What could you do with it, what can
I do with with it, what would I do with it.

[Chorus]
Sky divin',
I went Rocky Mountain climbin',
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull name Fumanchu.
And I loved deeper,
And I spoke sweeter,
And I watched an eagle as it was flyin'.
And he said someday I hope you get the chance,
To live like you were dyin'.

To live like you were dyin'.
To live like you were dyin'.
To live like you were dyin'.
To live like you were dyin'.


Thanks, kids! Loved the candles, too!
Dear Young People: You can tell the elderly by the fact that they like to talk about their health, the weather, and how the weather affects their health.

Stay tuned for a post about the weather. ;-)


And thanks for the love!

Stayed overnight at my recently marrieds, and was met with these lovely gifts. Deluxe, five-star accommodations!


Lovely artwork by my dear daughter-in-law, Naomi.

The shot glass was to add to my collection. But the award from his peers in 20 countries was probably inspired by his midot as much as his skill. And that is a pretty great birthday present for a mother.

14 comments:

  1. Happy birthday sweet friend. Miss you and wishing you and yours a Shana Tova U'Metukah! From Rebecca in Baltimore

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    1. Thank you, love. You know that every time I see your name in my email inbox I think of the next time we will play music together. May it be soon... here in the Holy Land.

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  2. Happy 57th to my dear friend and sister! I'm so grateful that you were born. You are a blessing in my life...a true gift from Hashem. How fortunate am I that I had the z'chus to meet you, become your friend and become part of your precious family. May our beloved Father renew and increase His shower of blessings and nachas upon you in the coming year, protecting you, directing you and holding you dear like the apple of His eye. May you grow in your love for Him and may your avodas Hashem in all its forms deepen and sweeten and come ever closer to perfect alignment with your holy, elevated essence. May you be nourished and nurtured, enveloped and strengthened by the love of your family until 120. Much, much love, Shalomis

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    Replies
    1. Amen!!! And back to you, dear sister and friend. You know, you are the Queen of Brachot -- so I can only wish that you will be blessed with everything you always ask for everyone else. In good health, for long. happy years!

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  3. Can't say it any better than Shalomis already did. Amen v'Amen. Love, Shprintz

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    Replies
    1. I know, right? Nobody gives brachot like Shalomis. I don't even try. ;-) Thanks for the love, friend!

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  4. Dear Ruti, what a blessing you are to so many! Happy Happy birthday. Wishing you were closer so I could take you out for nice Kiwi birthday breakfast. With love from Election Day in NZ

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  5. WooHOO! Thanks, friend. If I ever travel to NZ, I know with whom I'll have the best breakfast EVER!

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  6. Ruti, I wish you many more happy birthdays in good health. May you be blessed with all the brachas you wish for others.

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  7. AMEN! With that cyclical bracha -- and may you ALSO be given the brachot you give others -- we can repair the world!!!

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  8. Amen! Thanks, friend. Back atcha... in good health!

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  9. This post is included in Shiloh Musings: The Last Havel Havelim of 5774!

    Please read the round-up aka carnival and other posts you'll find, and then share, thanks,

    Shannah Tovah, May Next Year be a Better One for All

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  10. Thank you, dear lady. That was very thoughtful of you. You heard it here, folks! Check out Havel Havelim at http://shilohmusings.blogspot.co.il/2014/09/the-last-havel-havelim-of-5774.html for some of the best of Jewish blogging in Israel and beyond!

    ReplyDelete