Simcha – Joy

My mother once said that every morning, I should be able to wake up, look in the mirror and be happy with the person I am. If I looked back at myself, hated my inner core or felt I was going down a bad path, I should seek help.

Ah, those words from the mouth of a clinical psychologist.

My mother somehow found joy and happiness, despite the uphill climb of life.  Life was not easy for mom, but she had this eternal optimism and strength that things would work out in the end.  She surrounded herself with friends, family and good people.  She celebrated the holidays, gathered people in her home, invited friends to be part of our lives.  She celebrated life and fought so hard to remain here.  She loved her grand daughters and family more than anything else in the world.  Inner happiness and joy was always there for the taking.

She left us way to soon.  Mom was not here for the birth of her grand daughter, Alex.

So it seems so fitting to bestow upon our daughter, the Hebrew name of Simcha (Hebrew translation for Joy).  Tonight, we will bless her with this name, in honor of my mom, Joyce.

May her legacy and love of life live on through our daughter and family.



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The Motherless Mother Club

I have thought about this entry for a few weeks.  Actually, I obsessed about the words I would type.  I shouldn’t be in the position to have to write these words.  My mother should be here kvelling over her granddaughters.  She should be here telling me that everything will be alright and that with time, I will get through the rough patches.  She should be cooking dinner for our Sunday night gatherings.  She should be planning for Thanksgiving and the winter holidays.  She should be surrounding our family with matriarchal strength, love and warmth.

Instead, I am a motherless-mother.

I lost mom sixteen months ago and this is the first time I have written the words:  motherless-mother.  I am a motherless-mother. 

For those who belong to this club, you understand the pain.  Some days are easier than others since you are forced to continue.  There are children to raise, a marriage to nourish, work, life…..  but underneath it all, the pain is sitting at the surface.  It comes out when you see a grandma pushing her grandchild in a stroller, shopping for school clothes together,  giggling while out for ice cream.  It appears when you feel lonely or low and just need to turn to your strength, mom.  The pain grows worse over the holidays or during another missed birthday or milestone.

Then the pain thickens when you remember everything she will miss.  I wish I was more religious and believer that somehow, she is still here.  There are times that I think she is standing besides me, smiling.  Maybe she is not missing everything…..

Who said the pain will lessen?  I am constantly reminded that our family will never be the same without mom here in our lives.  I am continually aware that what I had was rare and fortunate and I feel for sorry for myself more often than not with our loss.

We get through the holidays and family gatherings with a broken smile and grief in our heart.  I try and mask the pain so our children don’t have to see the tears of sadness.

We seek out other motherless-mothers, so we don’t feel so alone.  They understand.

We constantly think about our lot in life and how our children are missing out on that unconditional, grandmotherly love.

And then we put one step in front of the other and know that mom would want us to continue on with life.  To love our families and cherish every day as if it was the last.  Those words use to have no real meaning to me, since I thought mom would never really die.

For those who still have a mom – please, tell her how much she means to you.  Spend the holidays together.  Share your family time together.  Cherish your memories and create new ones.  Never go to bed angry at one another.  Speak to her often. Hold hands and hug often.  Love her and allow her to love you back, as only a mother could.

For someday, you too will be in the motherless-mothers club.


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Palo Alto Will Never Be The Same Without Steve Jobs

Palo Alto mourns the loss of one of our own. Our beloved visionary has left us.  We think of you when we walk down University Avenue and stroll in to the Apple Store.  We think of you when we pass by Apple Headquarters in Cupertino on 280.  We applaud you when we speak on the phone, take a picture, share movies, listen to music.

Silicon Valley and the world will never be the same without Steve Jobs.  May your memory and legacy live on through all of us.

(Pictures taken by Jill Asher.  In front of the home of Steve Jobs on Thursday, October 6, 2011)

(Pictures taken by Jill Asher.  In front of the Apple Store on University Ave.   Thursday, October 6, 2011)

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Hello Blog, It’s Me. Mama.

Hello Blog,

This is me, your Mama.  You don’t know me yet, but we are destined to spend a lot of time together.  It’s not enough that I recently gave birth to our third daughter at the age of 42.  It’s not enough that my eldest daughter started middle school just a few weeks ago. Yikes, do I really have a sixth grader?  It’s not enough that our middle daughter (who constantly reminds me that being the middle child is just like the creamy center of an oreo – the best part) keeps me busy with theater, soccer and dreaming about owning an organic garden and pig farm.

Yes, life is pretty busy and hectic in our silicon valley home.  You could say that there is never a dull moment.  Certainly, you would be right.

However, I decided to embark on a new venture.  A new beginning with you, a blog.

Truth be told, I’ve resisted writing a personal blog for a very long time.  How much should I share?  How do I keep our private lives… well private?  What will my daughters think when they read this some day?

I am not exactly sure where this will go but I am glad you are here for the ride.

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