Monday Morning Musing

It’s early and I know that this may read like more of a diary entry. So be it.


Yesterday was somewhat unusual.



I woke up a little late (nothing too unusual so far), not quite  early enough to take my son Benny to my synagogue's Purim carnival before 10:30 am or so. We missed the moon bounce (I doubt they'd let me bounce anyway), indoor carnie games and arcade-like prizes. Leaving that slight disappointment aside, I drove a little ways to attend a memorial service for a very special friend. In truth, I'm still trying to better articulate my thoughts and feelings on this, but will try to write something worthwhile in just a bit


By the time I got home from the service and a reception at their home, it was about 10 pm, and my wife Ruby was reading while my son Benny was in the bathtub. Once he dried off, we then read a favorite book or two together before both crashing relatively early (before 11 pm or so). I woke up again at about 1:45, and here I am, doing a little writing, emailing, time-wasting, speech practicing, semi-deep thinking, blogging and the like.


For the first time in a long time, I didn't watch a single minute of The Oscars telecast. Then again, the only eligible films I saw were Hotel Transylvania (highly watchable, if surprisingly so), Wreck-it Ralph (nah) and Life of Pi. "Pi" was the only 'real' film of the bunch. I'm happy for Ang Lee— an amazingly skilled director—although I only give Pi a minor thumbs-up. It was visually stunning, but I was underwhelmed by its thematic coherence and impact.


Just in case you wanted to ask me, "So, Matt, how did you feel about Life of Pi's thematic coherency and overall impact?" Damn, it's early and very late right now…but, I’ll try to be at least slightly coherent



I had met Beth and her husband Jerry through Toastmasters three-and-a-half years ago, and although we didn't have the opportunity to get together too often during that time, we forged an immediate bond, and I have always felt much better, and somehow more special, in their presence. That is to their immense credit.


Beth had a dazzlingly genuine smile—one that radiated from her heart and soul. She was petite in physical stature, but one of enormous strength, grace and graciousness. Her deep sense of gratitude to God, to family and to friends was sincere and inspirational. Despite all of her various medical trials, her faith, sense of appreciation, and positive and considerate nature never seemed to waver at all.


There are very few people that we will meet in life for whom it can be truthfully said, “Nobody could say a bad word about her (or him.)” Beth met that high standard and indeed, it is hard to imagine anybody who had the good fortune of meeting her who didn’t adore her. In her quiet, unassuming way, she was a great teacher. It was a pleasure to know her and it is a blessing to be her (and Jerry’s) friend.


I pray that this remarkable woman will continue to be a source of comfort, strength and inspiration to my friend Jerry and somehow hope that more people will emulate even a little of her extraordinary outlook on life.


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