Tonight marks the first Yahrzheit (anniversary of the Hebrew date of death) of my father, Dr. D. Geoffrey Shulman (Hebrew name: David Yaakov ben Moshe Pinchas). My father was definitely the biggest fan of my blog (for example if I had 100 page views in a week, probably about 50 of them were from him checking back to see if I had written anything new yet!). Towards the end of his life I was mainly motivated to make new posts in the hopes that he would have the strength to read them and they would make him happy; however, in this past year since his death I guess I have felt the need to process my emotions on my own and withdraw from the public stage that is the internet, hence the lack of blogging until now...
But tonight, thinking about my wonderful father, I feel like I'm finally ready to get back out there and share my thoughts on this crazy fast-paced life that seems to be racing by in the hopes that my experiences might touch one of you and make your day, your week, or your world a little bit better. And if that happens, it should be l'iluy nishmat (for the elevation of the soul in the next world) of my father, David Yaakov ben Moshe Pinchas.
Now, for those of you who don't know... if you thought my life was hectic before, you have no idea what it's like now! BARUCH HASHEM (thank G-d) I am now the fiercely proud mother of 5 children under 6!!! now how in the world did that happen you might ask, well, my secret trick was to have twin boys this past March! they're now 3 months old and we're having quite the fun time over here at the amar residence...
so I assume your first question is how i'm even surviving, right? well here i have to give credit to my dear friend shalva schneider who taught me the technique 'secrets of the baby whisperer' for having a 'blissful baby' that is predictable and content most of the time (G-d willing)... not to say my nights (and days, ha) are not still long and tiring, but they are a whole lot easier than if i had 2 little guys who just cried all day with me not knowing why... so shout out to shalva, and anyone having babies, you just have to learn baby whisperer, it's the beeeeeeeeeeeeeeest!!!
ok with that said, my other latest secret of life is being present and enjoying the beautiful moments... because as any young mother will tell you, sometimes your patience can be tested to the point where you feel you just can't take one more apple juice spill or one more argument over a chair or one more child coming in to the room right when the bab(ies) are about to fall asleep, and then your kids can do something just soooo sweet that you want to melt and you feel like an idiot for having been near outrage (or tears, as the case may be) just moments before. FOR EXAMPLE, the other day my 3 'big' kids (ages 2, almost 4 and almost 6) were playing in the living room while i was trying to get the babies down for the night in the bedroom... i was feeding them in the dark and quiet and they were seeming quite relaxed. then suddenly it came. my 2 year old scratching at the door for my attention. there it was... the frustration in my chest threatening to bubble up and explode as i contemplated how in the world i could last if i had to start bedtime routine all over again, when she switched from her vague door clawing to the utmost adorable sing-song way of saying 'Ima take'... it was more like 'EE-ee-ee-ma-a-a, ta-a-a-a-ake' and i've actually been singing it in my head for a couple of days now. i had no choice but to smile and laugh at this beautiful little being out there who wanted nothing more than to give something to her mommy (i don't even know what it was, probably a bottle cap or old carrot stick or something) and she was so happily oblivious to her surroundings that she was just merrily singing her request absent-mindedly (i think it went on for a few minutes until i finally came out... btw it didn't even bother the babies after all my feelings of impending doom)...
but what's the point? it's that the potential to melt/ smile/ feel utter joy in your surroundings is lying there around the corner no matter what you're going through. sometimes it takes a lot more strength to access, but there is always blessing and beauty to be seen if you just let yourself.
when i was thinking about my dad today, one of the things that came to mind about him was his unending sense of optimism. anyone who knew him would say he was an eternal optimist, and this was a quality in him i always deeply admired. no matter how dire the straits seemed to be he could always try to find the bright side and give you a smile or a laugh to brighten the room. even when he was so sick a couple of months before he passed away, his strength and courage, and this trait of incredible optimism, shone through. all of the approved drugs for his type of cancer had already failed him and he was moving on to experimental drugs when he told me with a smile 'don't worry jules, i'll just last as long as i can on some cocktail of experimental drugs until they find the new one that will cure me.' to me this epitomizes my dad. no matter how dark and scary the road ahead, he chose to illuminate it and see the hope and the beauty.
my blessing for all of you is that in the moments of your life, whether they be good or bad, you too should make that choice and see the hope and beauty that surrounds you.
with hopes of continued writing and inviting you into my world, and with much love,