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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan 13, 2014/ 12 Shevat, 5774

At 103, still was teaching us things

By Mitch Albom








http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | She was born just a few years after the Wright brothers invented the airplane. She was a baby when the Titanic sailed in 1912. She was a schoolgirl during World War I and a grown woman by the time the stock market crashed in 1929.

Her husband fought in a segregated Army during World War II; when he came back, he worked two jobs to buy her a house in Detroit.

She lived in that house for nearly 60 years.

And when she was 101 years old, she was thrown out into the street.

They say the mark of a society is how it treats its oldest citizens. If so, Texana Hollis was both a sad statement about America and an inspiring story about human decency.

Evicted from her beloved home because her son used it to take out a reverse mortgage — then failed to make payments on that plus the taxes — Hollis was out on the curb, her front door chained shut, her belongings stacked high behind her. It was evening, it was dark, and she was crying in her wheelchair. The image made news stories around the world.

This was in 2011. I wrote about it, then got involved to purchase the house back for her. It took months to work through the bank and government paperwork, to convince them this was more than a structure, this was a home and a life and a human being with no alternatives.

Eventually, my charity, S.A.Y. Detroit, was able to clear the title, refurbish the place and give it back.

Thankfully, Texana outlived the bureaucracy.


A TEACHER AND HER STUDENT
I remember that day vividly. I had the honor of pushing Texana's wheelchair from the van to her front door. I held her hand, which was trembling. Such a small and frail thing she was, her face still smooth in many places around the leathered wrinkles, her voice shaky but strong and high-pitched. I remember thinking "this is an American century sitting in this chair." It felt like pushing history.

"Oh, Lord, have mercy," she sobbed again and again that day. "Oh, G0D is good. I thank each and every one of you. I have my house back. Lord, have mercy."

Many Detroit volunteers helped clean her rooms, paint them, refurnish them. A few months after she was handed her keys, some of them gathered to see Texana celebrate her 102nd birthday in her own kitchen. I remember her giggling that she told someone she was 200 years old, because, "I thought when you got to 100 you just go to 200, then 300, then 400."

She laughed, a delightful laugh. She made you feel good about helping her, this longtime religious schoolteacher, who was looked after in her final years by one of her former Sunday school students, Pollian Cheeks, herself now a senior citizen.

CHERISH, DON'T FORGET
I was lucky enough to visit Texana at different times, just to see how she was doing. Although limited to a wheelchair and her vision nearly gone — living, at that point, with Cheeks — Texana always was upbeat and grateful for the time she could spend in her home.

Just before Christmas 2012, we brought her to the Somerset Collection for a holiday shopping trip. A group of people was on hand and applauded her.

"From the bottom of my heart," she said, that day, "I want to thank each and every one of you for coming to my rescue."

That's how it feels getting old in this country, doesn't it? You need someone to come to your rescue. If not, you are left to go broke from doctor bills, or be tossed from your home, or to die alone, unattended. There are many older people in similar situations to Hollis. Sometimes confused, or lacking funds, or taken advantage of by agents, salespeople or even family members.

It's sad. Our seniors should be our most cherished assets. Why not be more like cultures where the elders are the wisest, the most revered and the most tended to?

Instead, we worship youth. We are so impressed when people do something splashy at 20, but so disinterested in what happens when they're 80.

Texana Hollis died on New Year's Eve, just hours from seeing 105 calendar years. She will be buried Saturday, with a funeral at her longtime church, St. Philip's Lutheran on East Grand Boulevard.

She was a gift to us all, and a cautionary tale about our biggest obligation to our oldest and most precious citizens — not to rescue them, but to protect them.


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