Adding A Very Special Facebook Friend

So this was really strange what happened to me before Yom Kippur. 


My parents passed away 5-6 years ago already.


I always miss them so much!


Somehow, on Facebook, my dad’s Facebook profile came up, which I was surprised to find. 


Looking at it, I saw under his friends was of course, my mom. 


I didn’t even know my mom had a Facebook page (I don’t think she ever really used it). 


But I was so curious, I clicked on her profile.  


I saw the prominent blue and white button to “Add Friend.”


And I saw my hand reaching to press for that button. 


I so wanted to reach out and be able to be with, see, communicate with her again. 


Then I stopped myself realizing that the friend request, unfortunately, couldn’t go to Heaven. 


If only it could…I would be so happy to press that button and have my mom hear from me again. 😉


(Photo of my dear parents from Florida)

Visiting My Parents

graves

We went to visit my parent’s graves yesterday. 


Now, between the Jewish high holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, it is customary to visit and remember our blessed loved ones. 


We went to spend time with them, tell them how much we miss and love them, and how hard it is without them. 


I was so moved by how beautiful my daughters spoke out loud to my parents in heaven–their words and tears were so full of sincerity for how they miss and love their dear Oma and Opa. 


They could articulate what was so hard for me to say, but which weighs so heavy always on my heart. 


We sat on the ground at the base of their headstone feeling their presence and hearing their words in memory and through my wife who has a special ability to somehow reach them.


My wife told me how she could see my mother literally dancing in heaven, and my dad always worrying about us and looking out for and telling us to be more religious…always, more religious. 


I wiped the dust off that had settled on the stone over the last months, and wished that I could somehow magically, with whatever spiritual energy I could muster, raise them up and bring them back to us.


The thought of years or decades of going on and not being able to see and speak with them again, in person, is forever impossible for me to imagine. 


The loss of my parents over the last few years has left an emptiness in my heart and keeps me asking myself, will I really be able to see them and be reunited with them again some day in heaven. 


My daughter reassured me that energy, including our personal energy, never disappears, it only transforms, and my wife said that she could feel that they were okay and happy!


I recounted the joke my dad used to tell about not wanting to be buried at the edge of the cemetery, because that’s where the water runs down, and he didn’t want to get rheumatism. 


I know how much they loved us and I could feel it sitting at their graves with the warmth of the sun over us and the cool breeze blowing against us. 


I will live out my days, trying my best to emulate in my own way my father, who was a servant to the L-rd in all that he did, and who taught us strict right from wrong, and as my mother who took care of us no matter what challenges or suffering were faced. 

 

Finally, we asked for their forgiveness for any wrongs we committed and for their blessing for what is to come.


I am grateful to them and G-d for every blessed moment with my family and to experience the beauty and learning of the world, until it is my turn to be gathered to my family and the L-rd in the after. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Amazing Will

Prosthesis

So this is amazing Will. 


He is a veteran who was disabled and is missing a leg. 


But that doesn’t stop him from going to the track with his beautiful son to play ball and do some laps. 


In a few short moments he switches between his regular walking prothesis and the carbon fiber running blades for playing and working out. 


All I could say to Will was how amazing he is. 


And he is amazing Will for what he can do despite any disabilities–he turns his disabilities into abilities!


And he is amazing Will not just because of his name and his service to his country and his devotion to his family, but because of his willpower.


Will is determined to succeed no matter what. 


Not to compare, but I thought to myself what excuse do I have with my titanium hips.


Get the heck around the track for another dozen Andy!


And I did, and I am losing weight and getting back to myself. 


I think the lose of both my completely dear parents the last couple of years was more than traumatic for me. 


But they would want me to heal and to be me again.  


I know they are watching and I want to make them proud. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

It’s Got To Be

Tunnel

So I read a book review the other day that I haven’t been able to get out of my mind. 


The book was by an atheist who had 2 near-death experiences. 


And while for other people, they see the light at the end of the tunnel–and are reunited with family loved ones and are in bliss from being with the Heavenly Father…


This guy saw nothing but blackness and said it was empty and nothingness. 


And he was dead serious about it. 


He said there is nothing after we die, absolutely nothing. 


Now, while I have always believed in life after death and even in reincarnation if we still have more growing and learning to do, I had heard others say contrary beliefs in the past.


One guy in synagogue when I was a young adult used to say, “When you die, you’re as dead as a dead dog!”


Lovely thought (not), but I never took any of that seriously. 


Yet, this guy’s book somehow got to me on a deep level. 


Maybe because I lost my beloved parents over the last 2+ years and am still deeply mourning them, and the only thing that can possibly console me about that is the notion that I will one day be reunited with them and see them again. 


So the opposing idea that it’s really over–that I will never see them again–experience their love and laughter again–is beyond my comprehension–it literally blows my mind in a bad bad way. 


Also, I said to my wife, if this atheist is by any chance right (not about G-d) but about there being no afterworld, then what is the purpose to anything we do–who cares?


Without G-d, without Divine will and justice, and a world-to-come, there really is nothing but darkness and not just after we die, but now too–because it would all be purposeless. 


No, I cannot believe that!


The atheist saw nothing afterwards, because he believes in nothing–it’s a measure for a measure. 


For those who believe that there is more, much more–there really is. 


It has to be that way…for anything to make sense. 


For us to try so hard. 


For us to go on.


For us to have a purpose.


For there to be justice.


For there to be us. 


My dad used to tell me that “No one has ever come back from the other side to tell us what’s there.”


So it really is the ultimate mystery of life…but I choose to believe in life now and in life later. 


The miracles of my own life and those around me show me again and again that there is design, there is order, there is a plan, there is a purpose and I will find mine. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Save Our Children

Missing and Exploited Children.jpeg

I was very taken by this ad yesterday for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children


NCMEC is primarily funded by the Justice Department for preventing and assisting with solving child abductions, child sexual abuse, and child pornography. 


It’s horrible when something bad happens to to an adult, but when it happens to a child–that is catastrophic. 


I remember my dad used to say when he went to the funeral for a child–“A child is supposed to bury his [/her] parents, and not the other way around!”


It is unthinkable the pain that a helpless child goes through when taken or abused.


And for the parents, who are responsible for and love that child, I don’t think they can ever rest or be at peace for a single moment, until the child is, please G-d, safe again. 


This reminds me of the tragedy this week, where a one-year old child was one of the victims in a terror car-ramming at a bus stop in Israel that wounded 11 people. 


Unfortunately, the baby’s leg that had been nearly severed by the terror attack, was unfortunately lost despite heroic attempts by the doctors to save his leg.


What did this kid do to deserve such a trauma and fate? 


As the NCMEC motto states, “Every child deserves a safe childhood.”


How can people be so cruel to others and especially to innocent children?  


Despite G-d’s love and caring in this world, evil still exists and every time a child goes missing, is exploited, or is hurt/killed is proof of this, and is a mandate for our need to fight for their good. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)