An Unbirthday Card
Updated: Mar 25, 2020
When I started sorting papers and things that have been sitting in my bedside table, I came across a stack of birthday cards that my husband Jeff and my kids had written to me over the years. Each one I looked at was so precious. Cards from Jeff dated back to 2011, a sign of how long I’d let that drawer go unattended, though older cards were saved elsewhere. I was overwhelmed by the words of love he’d shared with me. The kids’ cards were filled with mistakes as they learned to write in English, their personalities bubbling through. And the love I felt for them was palpable.
Then I came across a few my dad had written in the last couple of years, even that big one where I turned 50. He’d signed them from both himself and my mom. But when I opened one birthday card, I was shocked to see Mom’s writing telling me she loved me.
The card is undated so I don’t know exactly when it was written. It must be from years ago when she could still connect her thoughts to action enough to sit down and pick up a pen, remember what she wanted to write, who she was writing to, and the significance of the date. She was also able to tap into her emotional landscape to know that Miriam equals daughter equals love. Needless to say, I burst into tears.
We are fast approaching Mom's birthday on March 1, She's at the stage where she doesn't understand what a birthday is, or what a significant date is, or even where she is in the world. The care facility does mark birthdays with celebrations and cake, so we'll participate in that. And perhaps we'll have our own private ceremony with Mom to shower her with the love we feel for her.
I am keeping all these precious mementos. And I will cherish that specific card from Mom as hard evidence of the woman she once was and of the love she once bestowed on her family.
This may be the last Shabbat we spend in our house in its current incarnation before we start the renovations. I’ve been leaving the packing of the kitchen for last so that we can still cook and feed ourselves as this state of limbo continues (we’re still waiting for the final building permit from the city offices). It’s amazing how much stuff can accumulate when you’re not looking!
Here’s an easy recipe for roasted carrots that uses a knife, a cutting board, a peeler, a bowl and a baking tray. Precious little to wash up afterwards, and really tasty carrots to munch on while you’re taking a break from packing.
Honey Roasted Carrots
These carrots are very versatile. It’s all in the shape that you choose to cut the carrots. Mix it up by using colorful carrots. If you cut them into small sticks, they’re a great alternative to French fries. Or go for the classy carrots cut on the diagonal. A sweet snack either way.
3-5 carrots diagonally cut about 1 to 2 in or 3 cm thick
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp date honey
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Preheat oven to 425° F / 210° C. Place sliced carrots in a bowl and toss in oil, date honey, garlic and spices. Spread carrots on baking tray lined with baking paper and bake in oven for 25 minutes.