Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lemons to Lemonade

I'm sure you've all heard the saying about the lemons and lemonade:
If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

It's one of the most important lessons we can ever learn.

I'll never forget my Cousin Mickey with whom I exchanged emails for a number of years.  He told me that he thanked G-d every morning when he woke up.  I told him that it's a Jewish custom.  There's a prayer to be said as we awake.

Modeh Ani Le’fanecha
Melech Chai V ’Kayam,
Shehechezarta Bi Nish’mati B ’Chem’lah
Rabah Emunatecha.

"I Gratefully Thank You,
living and eternal King,
for You have returned my soul within me with compassion -
abundant is your faithfulness!”
Most people probably couldn't understand why Mickey loved waking up every morning.  He had CP Cerebral Palsy and spent  most of his life in a home for the handicapped.  I doubt if it was the sort of life most would wish for.  That is unless you couldn't get around independently in your old wheelchair, or couldn't talk or hear or tell jokes.  Because of his great personality, Micky had a lot of friends.  The staff at the place where he spent his final decade plus would tell me that he was the most popular person there.  I had no doubt. 

I only knew Mickey the last few years of his life.  I hope I've managed to internalize his lessons.  It's so easy, too easy to just kvetch and complain and give up. I must  admit that at times I do that.  I have trouble shaking off insults and unpleasant things that happen.  Sometimes it takes me days to calm down.  That's not good, not at all.


Jeffrey Rosenberg said...

Hi Beth,
I grew up with Mickey, as a child Mickey (my older teen cousin) would ride me around on his three wheel bike in the basket (this was before he was confined to a wheel chair). He had a brilliant mind for math and would help me with my math homework. Mickey knew every baseball stat for each NY Yankee for over 40 years. I never thought of Mickey as handicapped just my older cousin.

Batya said...

Jeff, thanks so much for posting this. I can just imagine what fun you must have had with Mickey living close by. Thanks for sharing the story.