A touching reminder of what really matters …

It was cold last Friday and extremely windy so I wimped out. Truth be told I was also lazy, so I took a Lyft where I was going. Lyft, in case you don’t know, is a ride-sharing company like Uber.

The minute I got into the car before I’d even settled myself enough to close the door, the driver told me that mine was his favourite apartment building in Toronto. He then immediately went on to tell me it was because of our doorman.

Further explaining, he told me that 20-odd years ago he was a newcomer to Canada, an immigrant who Continue reading

Celebrating my dad

I’m publishing my blog a day early this week because today’s my dad’s birthday. He’s been gone a long time, 31 years. Hard to believe. I never missed his birthday, even after I moved to Toronto.

From as far back as I can remember, my mother and I always drove ourselves into a frenzy trying to figure out what to get for him and how to celebrate. He was hard to buy for — not because he was picky — because he never wanted anything. He always said he had everything he needed. Same thing with parties. He liked to keep things low key. Except when the shoe was on the other foot and he was doing something for others — and then nothing was too good or too much trouble. He threw himself into the task with absolute zeal.

That was my dad. Kind, sensitive to the needs of others, caring and generous to a fault. He embodied all the values that are in such short Continue reading

The first man in my life …

Yes, that’s me in the photo. With my dad, a very long time ago. Hard to believe I was ever that tiny. Oh, how I adored him. We were extremely close, up to the day he died, 30 years ago. Hard to believe that, too — that it’s been so long. I still think of him every day and still miss him like crazy.

He was an amazing dad. For that matter, he was a pretty amazing human being. Kind, thoughtful, open-minded, generous, loving, loyal, honest as the day is long.

When I needed advice it was my father to whom I turned, always, even as an adult. His friends and my friends often turned to him as well, as did many members of our family. You could always count on him to be fair, objective and Continue reading

Turkish delight …

I saw a wonderful documentary last week, about street cats in Istanbul, where hundreds of catsthousands of them roam freely, and have for thousands of years. In the film, Kedi, we meet seven of them.

To be perfectly honest, much as I love cats, part of me wanted to see the film and part of me didn’t. I hate to see animals (or people) suffer and I was afraid these pussycats would look Continue reading

What the world needs now …

Do you remember that Burt Bacharach classic, What the World Needs Now is heartLove?” And, by the way, if you do, Dionne Warwick wasn’t the first to sing it, even though that’s probably who you associate with it.

It was offered to her, she turned it down and it was recorded by Jackie DeShannon on March 23, 1965 in New York.

What you probably don’t know is that, in addition to Jackie DeShannon and Dionne Warwick, the Supremes also recorded it — along Continue reading

You just never know …

I don’t know about you, but lately, everywhere I turn I seem to be confrontedshock with bad service. With people who don’t value your business, who just don’t care.

It’s particularly frustrating and disappointing when it’s companies you deal with all the time, where you’re a regular, loyal customer. That really Continue reading

Day 71. Being Generous

Yesterday I wrote about my dad; and one of the qualities I talked about, was his generosity. I’ve been thinking about it and, while he was certainly generous about sharing the fruits of his labour, it was all the other, much more important and meaningful ways he was generous, that made him the wonderful and beloved human being that he was.

What comes to your mind, when you think of ‘generosity’?

For me it’s when someone needs a hug, and your arms are outstretched. When someone needs a shoulder to cry on, and yours is waiting. When someone needs a sounding board, and you’re all ears. When someone’s in trouble, and you’re there to lend support.

When someone needs attention, and you’ve got all the time in the world. When someone needs a helping hand, and yours is at the ready.

Generosity of spirit, is what I’m talking about.

Continue reading

Day 33. Come Again?

Sometimes I have no idea why an idea or a thought pops into my head.  Last night, for some reason, just as I was going to bed, I suddenly thought about reincarnation.  Why?  Who knows.

It didn’t keep me up all night, as my ideas often do.  In fact, I think I fell asleep as my head touched the pillow.  But I remembered it this morning.  And, because I do believe that there’s a reason for everything, I came to the conclusion that this is the topic I should be writing about today.  So tell me …

Do you believe in reincarnation?  Do you believe that, once you’re dead, your soul can begin a new life?  And that you (as in your soul or your spirit)  can come back as another human, as an animal or even in a spiritual sense — depending on how good or bad you were in your previous life?  Karma.  Reincarnation is, by the way, at the very core of the Indian religions.  In an earlier post (in fact in a few of them) I talked about how kind, compassionate, understanding, generous and selfless I found the Indian people to be, when I visited there.  I am sure this is at least one of the reasons for it.

In jest I always say that I’d like to come back as one of my cats.  And who wouldn’t.  No stress, lots of love, never hungry, never thirsty, and a comfortable place to lay your head (my pillow) when you’re tired.

But in all seriousness, the idea of rebirth is not an altogether unpleasant thought, at least not for me.  Which is contrary to the teachings of my tribe (Jews).  In fact, within the majority of sects within Christianity, Islam and Judaism, it is not believed that we come back again. Continue reading