One of the things that I love the most about Aunt Gerry is how communicative she is about love. One night we went out to dinner in the neighborhood (Thai), and I wanted to pay the bill (duh), and we fought about it. She said no, I said yes, she insisted, I insisted. She won. And she won by putting her hand over mine and saying, “Shoham, I cherish you.” How often do you get to hear that in your life? How often do you say it? Who’s sitting next to you right now? Do you cherish them? Go ahead, put your hand on theirs.
Last night, after getting back from the gym, I was reading the paper, trying to keep up with Aunt Gerry as always, and we were chatting a little about our days. She came over to me and was like, “our time together has meant so much to me, it’s been like an awakening.” And I felt the exact same way. We talk about things that I don’t talk to most people about - loss, grief, love, happiness, anxiety, sex, politics, communism, imperialist tendencies, separation of church and state - everything; and she is from a generation that is associated with NOT talking about ANY of those things. Maybe it is the breadth and scope of her experience that enables these conversations, maybe I relate to her because at my young age, and her much older one, we have surprisingly been down similar roads.
She sometimes just turns to me and says, I’m so lucky, my life is so full and rich. And she’s right.
Lesson 5: hands on hands, cherish.