Evenings, now, I always get a seat on the #1 train – during rush hour! It’s the perk that comes with the white hair, the wrinkles, and the overstuffed brief case. I qualify.
And this infinite courtesy gives me ample time though little space to meditate. I am elderly (old, actually, however elderly has such a nice casual ring). I am not yet on my deathbed. My brain is still clear though a few disputatious colleagues might challenge the premise of that claim. Nor have I ever been formally religious though I suspect myself a secret believer.
Once squeezed onto a crowded Independent Rapid Transit (IRT) seat, I regularly mull over my thoughts in a private thanks giving. Just before that, I need several minutes of secular speculate over previous generations of New Yorkers; I wonder whether they had smaller rumps! Especially when my current seatmate is very large and expansive.
Unlike my dear sister, Marilyn, who began her deathbed letter to me by apologizing for her poor handwriting, I make no excuses. I have done the best I could with life’s hardest challenges – including my daunting computer!
In my mind, I address my offspring:
Children, you’re kind and decent people and I am inordinately proud of you, as was your late father. I wish the three of you and your families happy, busy, fruitful lives: live where and how you choose to, and do what you like to do. Making friends. Eating sumptuously. Laughing a lot. Spending money recklessly. Reading voraciously. Helping others.
You have each followed your many eccentric, inclinations: pediatrics, teaching; writing: fiction, poetry, screenplays, plays, non-fiction. You have wandered into Jewish humor, Nashville “Country” music, soccer, chess and the myriad other interests that captivate, including the various pushbutton technological wonders. You are masters at twiddling dials and pushing buttons.
What a wealth of information, experience, argument and humor we have shared! Except for the technology; I strove mightily, you know, but was defeated early by the challenge of the cell phone.
My dear children and grandchildren, I cherish this ride on the #1 train every evening DURING RUSH HOUR, so I can savor these thoughts of you who are absolutely the heirs Grandpa and I had hoped for. Menschen! We were blessed.