My Mother-in-Law - My Inspiration
  Why My Mother-in-Law is My Inspiration At the age of 99 my mother-in-law-continues to amaze me, and to teach me by example about aging and attitude, and about courage, grace and dignity. While it is true that she has genetics on her side, what is so admirable is how she deals with life's challenges..  As an almost-centenarian she has outlived not only her beloved husband of 67 years, but also all of her friends - and she is the only living member (of her generation) of what was once a very large family I am proud to share a letter I wrote three years ago - a letter which illustrates why I love my mother-in-law and aspire to be like her.  Letter to Mother-in-Law My Dear Rose You are probably wondering why you are receiving a letter from me. I decided to write this when - recently - I happened to be watching the video we have of the ‘mock wedding’ that Jay [her son - my husband] and I had arranged for you and Al [her late husband] in celebration of your 60th wedding anniversary [they were married for 67 years]. I could not take my eyes off your ever-present smile – a smile that radiated warmth, excitement, happiness, appreciation and love. Even your eyes were smiling! Age 80 with husband Al - at mock wedding for their 60th anniversary As I sat and watched the video, I thought about how that smile typifies who you are, and that is what led me to want to tell you what it is that makes you so special in my eyes. First and foremost, it is your attitude to ...
Comments Off on My Mother-in-Law – My Inspiration
Overcoming Adversity
  True Inspirational Stories Give Us Renewed Hope and Optimism Once in a while the unexpected crosses our path. We witness events - true inspirational stories - which elevate us from the ordinary to the extraordinary, touching our souls at the very deepest level. Earlier this week I experienced such an event, filling me with joy and strengthening my belief in the inherent goodness of humanity. Background In order to do justice to this inspiring story, allow me to briefly outline the context. Being a lover of both traditional and popular classical music, I have developed a passion for the wonderful “Johann Strauss Orchestra”, led by its founder,  conductor and violist par excellence, Andre Rieu. He and his 60 member orchestra regularly perform at concerts across the globe, and follow a tradition of holding an annual concert in his home town of Maastricht in the Netherlands. This annual event – for some 5,000 people - is recorded on video, and released a day or two later to movie theatres around the world, for just two showings. I attended the first of these earlier this week, and it was there  that I witnessed one of life's most uplifting stories. The Announcement The three-hour performance was, for me, an absolutely magical experience, culminating (about 15 minutes before the end) in an announcement by Andre Rieu that he had invited another orchestra - called the Jostiband Orchestra - to join him on stage. This, he explained, was an orchestra with a difference, in that all the members were mentally challenged adults. Under the loving and watchful eye of their conductor, approximately 25 of these individuals proceeded to join Andre and his Johann Strauss ...
Comments Off on Overcoming Adversity