God blessed my beloved wife and me with three wonderful children… a girl, a boy and another girl. We loved them intensely and they, in turn, returned our love and devotion in manifold ways.
While I love my son who is a doctor and who shows concern for my health, my two daughters are very special in my life.
My younger daughter lives in an apartment in the same building where I live. She “deposits” her beautiful Canaanite dog, Atara Carmit, in my apartment each morning as she leaves for her law office and I have the luxury of loving a faithful friend and companion for eleven hours each day.
My older daughter, my first-born child, lives at a distance from me and while I don’t see her as often as I wish, I hear her loving voice every afternoon at the same time when she calls to ask me how I feel, how did I pass the day, am I eating properly, etc.
She is a brilliant physio-therapist and an outstanding sports medicine authority. Since I have been aching for several months with severe lower back pains, something my doctor attributes to two causes, age and arthritis, it is my very caring and knowledgeable older daughter who chastises me for refusing to undergo physical therapy treatments and to do the daily exercises she recommends by stretching and bending to relieve the pain.
Of course, I could take a “religious” approach and tell her that if Hashem did not want me to have the pains, He could have removed them without troubling me to endure more pains by exercising several times each day.
My brilliant daughter does not buy my “religion” excuse. She is smarter than I am. I am immensely proud of her and of her achievements.
She is a devoted daughter and a dedicated friend to many and is an active member of several social and historical groups and societies. In addition, she is an excellent writer. Must be something in our mutual veins.
My younger daughter who lives only seconds from me has supper with me every night before she takes her dog back into her apartment. It is at that time of day that I feel most lonely.
She is a government lawyer and has great responsibility in preparing for the trials which she conducts in the law courts. The judges hold her in esteem and in high respect. And she, like her sister,is a dynamic writer.
Both of my daughters are exceedingly concerned about my health. Probably more about my mental health rather than my physical aches and pains. They can be less concerned about the physical pains because they know that I am under a doctor’s care. Therefore, the mental problems concern them more.
I am forgetful about small things so I am instructed to write everything down. I am given holy or unholy hell for over-feeding the Canaanite dog who is the love of my life.
How can I not give her a treat when she comes and puts her paws on my knee, grabs the treat from my hand and gobbles it up before coming with the paw routine for a second helping?
When my younger daughter screams at me to follow instructions of the veterinarian who is concerned about Carmit’s obesity, I only tell her that Carmit is not a “dog”. She is my baby. My child. And I am her very loving grand-paw. Silly as it may sound, it has a large degree of truth. Since my wife died almost five years ago, Carmit has become my steady companion. As one who gives love and who receives love in return.
The devotion between my two daughters is a blessing which is hard to describe. There is a six year age difference between them but in many different ways they are like twins. Their love and respect to their late mother is indescribable and they follow her traditions in almost every way.
I especially enjoy the Pesach seder, a feast fit for the angels. The most of the cooking and baking is done by my older daughter, a true culinary genius and she is helped by my younger daughter who surprises me with her creativity . Two geniuses working long hours to prepare for the special holy-day feast.
I know (my body tells me) that I have limited time until I re-unite with my beloved wife in the grave side by side. My older daughter, because of her expertise in treating the elderly, can understand my sentiment more acceptably than her sister.
My great worry, since neither of them are married, who will care for them and protect them as they near old age. Both of them are now in their 50’s and though they constantly tell me to stop worrying, I cannot. It is a parent’s duty to worry.
There is a familiar rhyme which helps me to understand the differences between my two loving daughters and my loving son.
“Your son is your son until he takes a wife. Your daughter is your daughter for all of her life”.
With that truism, my late beloved and sainted wife and I have been heavenly blessed. Three magnificent loving and caring children. A gift from God.