Saturday, March 20, 2010

The First Day of Spring

By Susan Esther Barnes

Two weeks ago my friend Mark, who has been grappling with cancer, announced that for the first time in two years he would be able to work five full shifts in a row.

That day my friend Gail’s mother, who had been ill for a number of years, died.

About the same time, my friend Joanne’s brother, after playing cards with some friends, developed a sudden headache, began to throw up, then was rushed to the hospital with a massive stroke, where he died a short time later.

We sat shiva for Gail’s mother and Joanne’s brother on successive evenings.

Last week, Mark went to the hospital for a treatment to burn out a tumor, and emerged saying he didn’t know it was possible to be in so much pain. The doctors are trying to readjust his medication.

My husband caught a cold and snored so much, I spent much of the week sleeping on the couch downstairs.

On the windowsill in the kitchen the orchid is sporting six soft but strong white flowers, while in the pot beside it the first basil sprouts are peeking out from the damp dirt.

This morning, two 13-year-olds were called to the Torah and became b’not mitzvah. They are now considered to be fully responsible members of our community.

And today is the first day of spring.

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