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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 March 29, 2012/ 6 Nissan, 5772

After all these years, relearning 'please' and 'thank you'

By Susan Reimer




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) "Please" and "thank you." Teaching those words are the first steps parents take in the civilizing of their children. How to ask for something politely and with humility and how to express gratitude for something freely given.

Strange that it should be so hard for me to do that now, all these years later. So hard to find the words to ask for help and the words to say how grateful I was.

Faithful readers know that I fell - over absolutely nothing on my kitchen floor - and broke both bones in my ankle. It took surgery and some metal parts to put me back together.

It happened in early January, just as my sportswriter husband was packing his bags for the National Football League playoffs. He was as likely to get time off then as I would have been had I asked for it in the middle of childbirth. When he left for the airport, I was on painkillers, but I think he felt worse.

I have lots of girlfriends, and there are good neighbors all around me. My daughter lives five minutes away. It was not the medication that made me stumble over my words when I tried to ask for a hand. It wasn't even my pride - though I needed help with the most basic things - or my wish not to be a bother to anyone.

And it wasn't that I didn't have it coming. Like so many women, I have an attic full of good karma. We spend our lives helping each other out. We never tally up the favors. We just hope we will never need to redeem them.

But I did need those favors. All of them. And when it was time to ask for them, the requests stuck in my throat like tears. I am not sure why. Perhaps we would all rather be helping than helpless.

Having messed up the whole "please" part of what was turning out to be a difficult lesson, I then proceeded to screw up the "thank you" part, too.

Those two words seemed completely inadequate when compared to the vulnerability and the fear from which my friends rescued me. So I searched my catalogs and the Internet for gifts for the friends who stood guard while I showered so I didn't fall again. The neighbor who took me in that first weekend when I was so afraid to be alone. The friend who insisted on taking me to the doctor when my brain was clouded by pain. The friend who took me to get my hair cut so I wouldn't look as bad as I felt.

But there was nothing in any catalogs that would say a suitable "thank you" to a daughter much too young to care for a helpless mother the way my sisters and I, much older, had cared for our fading mother. So I popped for her groceries when she shopped for mine and hid my tears from her. There they were again. Those tears.

I know now that I had it all wrong.

By trying to reward my friends for their unselfishness, I was robbing them of the real rewards of friendship: The feeling you get - but never mention in polite company - when you know you have done a good deed.

And I should have known better.

When my friend Annie shattered her leg (she has been in a wheelchair or on crutches since September), I could not have been happier than to go to the local garden center and buy her mums in the colors she requested.

This was a favor different from delivering dinner in Tupperware or guarding against disaster during a shower. This was a bonus favor. It was a fun favor. One that made her confinement more endurable in a way that picking up the dry cleaning could not have.

Annie eventually invited everyone who helped her to dinner. But I never considered that a thank you. That was a party.

The real "thank you" came later - when she hobbled up my driveway on crutches to bring me dinner. She couldn't get up the steps and I couldn't get down. We just laughed at our mutual incapacity.

And I said, "Thank you." Because sometimes only words will do.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Susan Reimer is a columnist for The Baltimore Sun. Comment by clicking here.


Previously:

Fooling Mother Nature: still not a good idea

Baby Boomer: Looking at retirement, not facing reality

A chance purchase connected a woman to someone who changed her life profoundly, though they never met

Relocation starts to split up the old gang

Remember this: We all forget things

‘Superjobs’ leaving us super-stressed

On entitlements, younger generation has its say

Missing the good old days of the Cold War

Friends can be risky business for teens

In Social Security reports, a story of women's priorities

One soon-to-be grandmother's advice about sweating the small stuff

In my family's universe, I am not a star

Is America ready for a new ‘life stage’?

Paying for good behavior is worth every penny

He's on vacation, but she needs a break

Conan says what we wish we could

Body image issues get a new meaning

A spreadsheet for happiness? Thanks, but I'll take the wine



© 2011, The Baltimore Sun. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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