July 9, 2017 High School, Assisted Living and All that Jazz

I was not happy in high school.  But I don’t know many people were.  People may not have talked about it, but the angst was as palpable as the raging hormones.

So it doesn’t make me happy to see that in Netflix’ 13 Reasons Why, high school life is just as tortured as it was way back when. Cliques, in-crowds, mean girls, divisions like jocks and nerds, uggh.  I have doubtless some good memories and one incredible friend who I am still close to today– that’s my shootout to you Cory, and a couple of other nice connections — but all in all, the best thing I can say about it is that I got out, I graduated, I survived.

And that’s why it’s so depressing to see that when one needs the help that assisted living provides—that same kind of bullshit stuff is replicated.  Although here there’s no surviving, or  “getting out” because at this point you’re nearing the end of your road.

I’m thinking of this because my mother-in-law is living at one of these places —and it is very nice, and they treat here well—but there are these mean girls.  Now my mother-in-law has one of the happiest, most up beat personalities you’d ever want to meet (you can see who David takes after! ) but these mean girls make fun of her because she doesn’t remember things.  Now I can understand that it’s not fun to have the same story repeated at lunch everyday, but why don’t they ask for their table to be changed rather than being mean?

It’s easier to be mean I guess. Rabbi David Woznica, in the first documentary that David and I produced together said, (and I am paraphrasing—after all it was over twenty years ago!) that the reason that the Talmud lists 613 mitzvot is that without them, left to their own devices, people wouldn’t do the right thing. I think that’s true.  People don’t seem to naturally have good hearts.

My mother-in-law does.

Today she is lucky and always grateful. She is lucky because she found a friend where she lives that appreciates her spirit, her happy and optimistic nature and doesn’t seem to mind when she forgets stuff- which is a lot.  She is grateful, as she repeatedly shares with everyone who will listen, for her amazing children,  grandchildren and great-grandchildren and for the life she has.  I am grateful that she still has the wherewithal to remember that.

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