Some may not even know what we are talking about when we remember the days of Archie and Edith on “All in the Family.” At this point in all of our lives, while presidential conventions are either taking place or about to take place, we were discussing the fact that Archie Bunker sort of reminds us of Donald Trump. He definitely does not hesitate to say whatever is on his mind. Archie said whatever came to his mind and we all laughed and thought it was quite funny. His relationship with Edith was charming and his bantering with Gloria and Meathead, who did have a real name (Mike), put a smile on everyone’s faces. They were a family that became a part of many of our lives.
Another family, even further back, was the famous Mrs. Goldberg’s. We laughed and cried with her family. They had the Jewish touch that we could all relate to and the Bunkers had the totally non-Jewish way of living and thinking (publicly).
Both of these programs emphasized family, whether it be mocking each other, praising each other or tolerating each other. Yet, family was the theme.
Recently, we returned from a trip to Boston. We made our yearly visit to the cemetery where the entire Glick family is buried. In a weird sort of way it is a charming experience. The cemetery in North Reading, Massachusetts, is small. You literally look at the graves and see the names of so many that you knew and remember. It gives you the opportunity to reflect and smile and cringe when you think about some of the people whom at one time you knew so well. We saw the graves of Mordechai’s friends’ parents, the leaders of the shul that his family attended in Malden, the local baker, educator, lawyer, etc. It can be a soothing and warm feeling. In actual fact it made us feel wonderful in order to be able to continue
on to our next stop in Boston.
Mordechai had decided to contact all of his first cousins who still live in the Boston area. We had not seen any of them since his sister’s funeral three years ago. The Glick clan all lived in the same city of Malden. Brothers worked together in business, sisters-in-law generally got along well with each other, and the many first cousins all had a warm relationship. As time moved on, as is the case in so many circumstances, everyone moved on with life. Even though the majority of them are still in the Boston area they do not see each other frequently and we, as total outsiders, rarely saw anyone unless God forbid there was a funeral. Again, everyone really cared about each other and has great memories of growing up together but lost touch. This phenomenon is probably not foreign to most families.
All of the cousins agreed to meet at a restaurant in Brookline. Some were not sure that they could make it, but lo and behold everyone appeared. The joy and excitement was palpable. Middle aged with graying hair, some older, and everyone thrilled to see each other—as though all of the years of having little contact meant nothing. They could not stop bubbling with excitement. One of our cousins brought a laptop in which he had put together a collage of pictures of all of them from the days when they were children. Questions about whose parent did what and where the Glicks came from originally were bantered around. In actual fact our name should be Yanisky. It seems as though the man at Ellis Island who met the first Glick who arrived there could not pronounce that name, and suddenly the Glick family was born.
A pact was made that from now on this reunion will take place at least once a year, and an email list for everyone to be in touch was established.
It is never too late for families to take the step to make up for lost time, realizing that life goes by before we have a chance to savor these special moments. Grab the golden ring and make that telephone call to gather everyone together—because it is so worth it.