In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 15, 2006 / 17 Shevat, 5766

An ordinary day is a precious gift, indeed

By Marybeth Hicks

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When the alarm sounds, I awaken to a Friday morning like any other. Rolling slowly to my side, I lift my heavy eyelids toward the digital clock that sits on the night table next to my bed: 6:45.

Every morning, it's the same routine. I hustle out of bed, pack four school lunches, kiss the high schoolers goodbye and then jump in the shower. By 8, I'm ready to drive the younger two children to school. Then it's home for chores - cleaning the kitchen, starting the laundry, running the vacuum and emptying the trash - all completed before 9, my usual target time to begin work in my home office.

This day, I bury my head deeper into my pillow and pull the covers up to my ears.

Not that I can go back to sleep, of course. Mayhem ensues if mom is the last one up. Rather, I lie in the dark, watching the clock advance the day, minute by reliable minute.

At 7:04, the urge finally strikes me to pull back the blankets. I amble to the kitchen, where it's lights, coffee, action.

By 7:12, our morning routine is well under way. I'm making turkey sandwiches (one with cheese, three without), careful to pack the right fruit in the right bag (two get bananas, one gets an apple, one gets applesauce, but only if it's cinnamon-flavored).

I work around my teenage daughters, who always eat standing up while their overloaded backpacks occupy chairs at the kitchen table.

About 7:29, Amy appears on the scene, still wearing the pajama top and gym shorts she had on when I tucked her into bed last night. She's attempting a stall technique - typical for my 8-year-old.

"Why aren't you dressed for school?" I ask.

"She claims she lost her voice," Betsy interjects.

Working hard to hold back a smile, Amy mouths the words: "It's true. I can't talk." Her lips exaggerate their movements to emphasize each silent syllable.

"We don't have time for your antics. You're going to make us late," I say. "You know the routine. Get moving." I shoo her back upstairs.

"OK, I'll hurry," she says in full voice.

No one remarks on her amazing recovery.

At 7:38, Katie and Betsy head out the door. Within 20 minutes, I'm driving the younger two children to school, steering through our neighborhood and into the pale light of another ordinary day.

Most mornings on the way to school, we talk about the hours ahead. "What are your goals for today?" I'll ask. The answers usually are something like "to get my math done so I don't have homework" (Amy) or "to make it through science without falling asleep" (Jimmy).

This day, though, the ride to school is unusually quiet - and not because Amy's vocal chords have resumed their former phony affliction.

Rather, we're aware of our collective sadness as we drive past our neighbor's house, where an unusual gathering of cars in the driveway reminds us of their extraordinary heartbreak.

Just yesterday, on what should have been a typical Thursday, they lost a son, just 21, to a relentless and ravaging brain tumor. His short life was not to unfold in the ordinary way.

The sympathy that preoccupies my thoughts stays with me on the round trip to school and throughout my morning chores. Eventually, I sit at my desk to answer e-mail and tackle a project that awaits my attention, but I don't get much done.

That I'm blessed to focus on such mundane tasks stirs in me waves of tears for my friend, whose duties today will require surpassing strength and faith - the kind of steely resilience no mother wants to discover she can muster.

Instead of being productive, I mostly spend my time in the awkward awareness that an ordinary day truly is a gift from G-d. And so the hours pass until at last it's time to make my way again through the neighborhood to pick up my children from school.

This time, there are even more cars in what seems like an endless line outside my neighbor's home. It's no surprise that a family known for kindness and generosity is being cared for so tenderly by friends and relatives.

Amid the vehicles that crowd the driveway, one catches my eye, and I do a double take.

It's a pizza delivery car.

I don't know why, but a sight as incongruous as that pizza car parked outside the home of a grieving family fills me with an odd reassurance.

It strikes me as a simple affirmation that in the midst of a day so exceptionally dark as to be surreal, we all must be fed and nurtured in even the most basic, unremarkable ways.

In the aftermath of a loss so confounding, comfort will be found in the common acts of compassion the family is sure to experience in the weeks and months to come.

I don't know how you could face life's routine rhythm after your reality changes so profoundly.

I don't know how my neighbors will do it.

I only know I'm grateful for the poignant reminder to thank the Lord for every precious day - especially the ordinary ones.

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JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of 18 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. To comment, please click here.


© 2006, Marybeth Hicks