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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 May 8, 2012/ 17 Iyar, 5772

Her child still missing, a mother soldiers on

By Mitch Albom








http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There was a movie not too long ago, based on a book called "I Don't Know How She Does It." It was about a working mother juggling a high-powered job, a demanding family and endless obligations.

I don't know how she does it. I found myself thinking about that phrase -- but in a whole different context -- while standing next to Banika Jones on the porch of her decaying home in Detroit.

If Jones' name sounds vaguely familiar, it's because her 2-year-old daughter, Bianca Jones, was a headline for several months this past winter. And not the way you want to be a headline.

Young Bianca was first believed to be inside a car when it was stolen. After weeks of exhaustive searching, authorities charged her father, D'Andre Lane, with her murder.

To this day, there is no body.

To this day, Banika believes her baby is still alive, somewhere.

And meanwhile, there we were, on the porch on Custer Street, talking about how Banika had been a day away from losing her house, due to missed payments on a reverse mortgage.

Your baby daughter goes missing. You don't know if she's dead or alive.

And they're about to put you in the street.

How does she do it?

"I lost a job last year and I was actively looking for a new one when my daughter disappeared," Jones said. "And as you can image, that derailed my job search."

Banika and her other daughter, Bella, 7, were living in the Custer Street house, which was given to them by Banika's grandmother. Unbeknownst to Banika, her grandmother had a reverse mortgage, and missed payments led to the house's imminent foreclosure.

She was one day from being homeless.

"I was devastated," she said. "I really didn't know what I was going to do."

As she spoke, I glanced at the front of her house. Taped on the window pane was a flyer with a picture of her missing daughter, and a phone number to call if anyone had any information.

I saw that flyer, then I saw Banika, and I couldn't get that phrase out of my head. I don't know how she does it. If my child were missing, I doubt I could stand up, much less uphold a conversation. If I thought my baby had been murdered, no amount of comfort could bring me to my feet -- let alone to deal with foreclosure or imminent homelessness.

But I realized, especially here in Detroit, how often I have been alongside victims of awful things, a murdered spouse or sibling, a child lost to war, a parent taken by drunken driving, a terminal prognosis, an eviction.

And yet these brave people speak, they serve you coffee, they say thank you. They soldier on. They face the day.

I don't know how they do it.

In Banika Jones' case, one crisis was averted. We were able to save her house through our charity Working Homes/Working Families and fix it up. A job was arranged thanks to the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries, which now employs Banika -- who spent several years in the Army -- in working with homeless veterans.

"It puts me in a place where I can move forward," she said, "where I can help people too, to make sure that no one ends up where I was about to end up....."

She still has no news on her missing daughter. The flyer remains on her window. There are more court dates involving the accused father.

Yet Banika Jones cares for Bella, she works five days a week, she straightens her salvaged home, she is even planting a garden across the street with neighbors who want to help feed the community.

If you stood next to Banika Jones, you might have no idea the private torture she is going through, the monumental issues she's had to deal with this year alone.

But that could be true of anyone you see today. So many people carry private burdens, yet push up a smile and drag through the everyday hours of life. That's worth remembering the next time we think a person is rude or aloof. We never know what they might be wrestling with -- especially in these difficult times. I don't know how she does it. Or some days, how any of us do.






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