May 23, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

After having a bagel with egg salad following the fast, I began to wonder what I should write about this week. The last few weeks have been challenging for our family, but I am determined to see the sunshine each day as best I can in the coming year. I asked Mordechai what he thought I should write about, and his suggestion was that I should write about love. At first I thought that he was joking but, as he explained, we as a couple have a good deal to say about it.

There is no question in my mind that when we met and were starry-eyed and deeply “in love” with each other we could not imagine that many years later that same love could be so much stronger and the connection between us could be that much deeper.

I then began to think about how we throw around words. “I just love Trader Joe’s,” “Have you seen the latest series on Netflix? I just love it.” Do those feelings in any way come close to those that two people grow to feel towards each other as their relationship becomes stronger and stronger? Can we compare loving a cookie to what we feel towards another human being?

It is not just the word love that is used incorrectly in these situations. When we sit back and reflect, we use many words and expressions, and rarely give it any thought. It is when the words have special meaning to us that we are more acutely aware of what they really mean, and take offense when they are being used inappropriately. I might have mentioned in the past the dislike I have for the word “spastic.” Frequently people use the word to comment about someone’s personality or demeanor. However, when you have a child who is diagnosed with spastic quadrapalegia you know that “spastic” is not a word to play around with. Of course the person who made a comment using the word has no idea what it really means. How would they?

“Crazy” is a more difficult one as it is thrown around routinely by almost everyone. I remember as a child that I was forbidden to use “crazy” to describe a relative (perhaps my brother) or a teacher that I disliked. It was a no-no in our family. For a family dealing with mental health issues within their own home, the word takes on a totally different meaning. Similarly, we have heard people described as a “mental case.” I have no doubt that these words are used routinely by so many, with not one ounce of consideration that others might take offense. I understand that they have become a normal, natural part of our vocabulary. I am just suggesting that we should all be more sensitive to what we say.

Back to Mordechai and me. Why do we both think that our love is special? I am assuming that is why he suggested that I write about it. I guess the answer is because we do not take it for granted. We have worked over the years to instill in each other how much we appreciate the duo that we are. I listen to him and he listens to me. He hurts himself and I have pain; I cut my finger while cooking and he is right there trying to make it better. He is able to cry and not be embarrassed (because he is a man), and I can cry (easily) and he will be there. I can finish his sentences but have learned to wait until he says them without interrupting. He can criticize me (nicely) and I will realize who it is coming from and what he means. He has never been too busy to listen when I needed him, and I try to always be there for him. We have learned from the other’s tone of voice how important it is to stop and listen. We have learned that to love is to respect and honor. We have learned that to love is to forgive and cherish each moment.

Now, at a time when we are being challenged, it is interesting to me but not surprising that my beloved many times a day expresses his love for me. Perhaps this is why he suggested that I write about love. It has worked well for us because it is so deeply ingrained in us. We are truly vasar achad (one person). In a marriage, what more could anyone want?

By Nina Glick

 

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