giving

A Christmas Decree

December 24, 2015
Christmas 2009

That first Christmas as a widow was a challenge, and I kept the decorations quiet—mostly green and white. Instead of putting the leaves in the table, as I did when there were 10 of us, I squeezed us all close together, avoiding an empty chair. And on Christmas morning, in anticipation of the family celebration, I issued a Christmas decree: Whereas, Grumps personified the spirit …

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My Mother-in-Law, My Role Model

December 8, 2015
Helen

Helen, my mother-in-law, is my role model for giving, just as she is my role model for widowhood. Twice widowed, she learned from her first experience. I consciously emulated her when Lev died, and I often cite her as an example of how to “do” widowhood well. Today is her birthday. Everyone in the family would agree that Lev and his mother were the most generous …

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