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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 June 26, 2009 / 4 Tamuz 5769

Ninety-seven and independent 'til the end

By Lori Borgman

Lori Borgman
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I was certain my father-in-law would make it onto the Today Show with Willard Scott and the Smucker's jam jar. I was wrong.


He has died at the age of 97. Or "97 and three-quarters" as he was quick to point out.


He still lived alone in the old house where he had grown up on 20 acres that has been in the family for a century. He enjoyed a Bloody Mary, ate fast food and drove a convertible he bought at age 86.


He had a razor-sharp mind and took a wealth of facts, figures and temperature highs and lows with him to the grave. He was a favorite of the local historical societies.


His one acquiescence to old age came last fall when he consented to allowing a housekeeping service to come every other week. The service came once and he told them not to come back.


Living 97 and three-quarters years is a two-edged sword. He enjoyed a long life, but outlived his wife of 48 years, all 11 of his brothers and sisters, and nearly all of his cousins, high school classmates and members of his retirees' group. We all assumed he'd probably outlive us as well. He'd be like Methuselah in the Bible, celebrating his 100th and pushing on to 500.


He became a father later in life and cherished his children. He lived for phone calls and visits from his son and daughter.


Most everyone calls my husband Charlie, but my father-in-law has always called him Chuck. Whenever we crossed the state line into Ohio, we joked that the rest of us immediately lost our identities. We became Chuck's family. I was Chuck's wife and the three children were Chuck's kids. My father-in-law was old school; we were Chuck's appendages and we thoroughly enjoyed it.


He was a storyteller who perfected the art of the dramatic pause and had a way with words. He called the air "close" on humid days and often remarked that something was "boo-ti-ful, just boo-ti-ful."


A few months ago, he roughed out a lengthy list of information he wanted in his obituary on a piece of cardstock and tucked it into his journal. At the top he wrote, "I hate stingy obits!" and underlined it with a wavy blue line. Chuck and Chuck's sister had been instructed to make sure the obit was of good length and pay no regard to the cost.


The old suitcase he used to carry on visits to our house now sits in our front hall. The cell phone we gave him for his 95th birthday rests on the kitchen counter.


He was the oldest of our four parents and yet he lived the longest. They are all gone now. A heavy door on well-oiled hinges has swung shut with a resounding thud. Another generation has passed.


We now become the ones who will answer the questions about home mortgages, stuffing turkeys, colicky babies and buying tires. We are the ones who will keep the family stories alive and perfect the dramatic pause.


The umpire has swept home plate, lowered his mask and yelled, "Play ball."


If we handle ourselves well, perhaps we can make something boo-ti-ful.

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JWR contributor Lori Borgman is the author of , most recently, "Catching Christmas" (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) and I Was a Better Mother Before I Had Kids To comment, please click here. To visit her website click here.

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© 2009, Lori Borgman

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