Paying It Forward
For she considers a field and buys it, and from her earnings she plants a vinyard...
In a world whose daily headlines scream despair, pain, and imminent annihilation; wherein families are sundered by accident, divorce, illness or abuse; where peace seems to be receding faster than the speed of light, and war drums are beating more quickly on almost every continent...
I am blessed with great friends.
I have debts long-outstanding, and this week, I "paid them forward" as the book says...
I can never adequately thank or do anything for those people in my life who have done so much for me, and I want them to know that what we do is due to their past kindnesses to me or us.
To Grandma Ruth, who taught me the full measure of love, and accountability to HaShem;
To Andee, who walked to work for three months so I could use her car to commute a farther distance to my job;
To Judy, who among countless kindnesses, never embarassed me with my undergrad or post-graduate poverty, but always had an open door, a full tank of gas, and one poverty-stricken winter, even a new pair of skis for Hanukkah so I wouldn't be the only one left out of the ski trip;
To Gail and Kate and Tali and Malca, who among others, showed me Holland and how to love living there;
To Bonnie, who showed us how to save our son's sight;
To Cheryl, who has taught me the real meaning of courage and grace and never stinted in love and friendship despite her own family's demands on her;
To Jilly, who has kept my spirits up with love and laughter;
To my colleagues on both sides of the courtroom who have taught me about justice and compassion;
To Hillel and Chana, and Israel and Gittel, who helped my soul find its way back home;
To Yisroel and Penina, and Lori and Reuven, who gave us a community, a warm welcome and great meals, no matter the circumstances;
To George and Harriet, who have fed and sheltered me more times than I can count;
To Virginia, who taught me how to be a mother, how to love and to accept love in return;
To Steve, who has given my husband the brother he never had;
To Michelle, the sister of my heart who has given me trust and family;
To Lani and Adina and Marv and Miriam, who showed me what "family" really means;
To Basya's mom, who taught me that independence isn't necessarily a virtue and that its okay to ask for and receive help;
and to the hundreds of other people who have crossed my path, and given me a gift of time or help or service that I can never repay and can't even adequately catalogue here (the man who gave me a ride so I wouldn't have to hitch-hike "because its dangerous" and he remembered being hustled when he hitched; the mechanic who fixed the minor problem in the engine and told me "no charge" because, really, it was nothing, and others like these)....
and the men and women of the military who stand post far from home, in the cold and dark and danger, so we can sleep a little more safely at night....
For all of these people who are part of my life, and those who have touched it only briefly, I am grateful. I cannot repay them, but the Husband and I have taken steps that will pay these debts forward, with interest. We hope we are planting some of the future. Selah.
Thank you, all. Don't think for a moment I didn't notice.