My Gifts
Closing ThoughtsOpinion

My Gifts

Shaindle Schmuckler shares memories of songs she sang to two generations of children and how COVID will be remembered.

Shaindle Schmuckler spreads her energy and humor as a regular contributor to the Atlanta Jewish Times.

Shaindle Schmuckler
Shaindle Schmuckler

I sang the same three songs as lullabies first to my own four girls, and then to each of my grands (grandchildren). Curious which ones?

“Oifen Pripetchik” (on the fireplace, an old Yiddish song), “Summertime,” and an old Irish lullaby called “Tura Lura Lye.”

Today, I listened to Ella Fitzgerald sing “Summertime,” bringing back beautiful moments of my life, moments which became the fuel creating memories.

Memories which are the most precious gifts to hold in my heart.

When my grands would spend the night, we would sing these lullabies. Actually, I sang as they swayed and giggled while sitting in front of the fireplace in my bedroom (It’s fake; it is actually a heater made to look like a fireplace). We would first each share the best part of our week.

The “Shema” was the very last thing we sang before closing our eyes and praying we have the gift of life when we wake up.

These are gifts impossible to duplicate; these are gifts that give me life.
There is no sense in denying this will be remembered as THE YEAR. It will be referred to as BC (before COVID) and AC (after COVID). We will all look back on this 2020 year in ways we could not even imagine just a year ago. Everything is different; everything feels upside down.

Gift giving will take on whole new meaning, with creativity being key. Thank you hugs are forbidden, women are suddenly sporting very long hair, learning to “do” their own nails, trimming the hair of men who dare and everyone absolutely learning to measure 6 feet.

To thousands of us, the greatest gift of this year 2020 is the gift of health. The gift of first responders, the gift of all those volunteers in medical trials, the gift of creativity, the gift of innovation and adjustment, the gift of a fashion statement, which not so long ago would have brought terror to those looking down the barrel of a gun, or the tip of a knife.

What am I referring to you ask? I am referring to The Mask.

Masks have become a serious fashion statement!

A mask for goodness sakes. Who would have thunk it? And not only just a mask, but masks in every fabric, every size and color under the sun.

Have you seen the masks for kids? Kids’ masks are a manufactures dream come true. Just as there will be the 2020 must-have toy, kids will need masks to complement their dreams, masks indicating their favorite story characters and heroes.

Just as masks have reached their pinnacle of success, our word for 2020, bringing the heebie-jeebies whenever we say or hear it – COVID 19. Now there is a curse word we did not expect.

And how about them voters? New voters entering our democratic system joining all of us who vote whenever a vote is required – keeping our democracy well oiled. All of us voters can relay a mail-in vote story or an early voting story. Let us not forget the candidates phone calls. Many of us are in serious competition to determine who has received the most candidate telephone calls in a single day. Myself, I would venture to say I am up to eight to 10 a day. Do these callers not realize they are repeating themselves? Wait, how can they, I don’t think robots can think – yet!

Take just another moment or two, for the greatest gift of all: The Gift of Loving.

Ode to my four girls:
You never needed to be told
Explanations were not required
You always knew which path to take
Which journey would be yours

From the moments of your arrival,
why did you chose me, and then I knew
You were lighting the way for me
to become the best version of
The mommy you would need

Although we were not always looking
At newness in the same way
You showed me how to enjoy what we
Discovered together each day

The lessons you taught me
such patience and pure love
Supporting my search
For my authentic self

We each respond to the world
A bit differently
However, you always bring kindness and
Wherever you go, to whomever you meet

Thank you for choosing me
Thank you for your strength
Your insights
Your unconditional

You are the gifts
That make me whole.

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