Friday, May 29, 2015

Life is Beautiful But...

“Life is beautiful but not always kind,” said the 95 year old matriarch. “ You will need resilience and courage.” This blessing for five-month-old Naomi Adele followed the ritual of calling out her Hebrew names for the first time in community.
Light-haired and blue-eyed Naomi Adele was showered with words like peace, love, health and happiness by other family members. The familiar formula. But Sophie’s words, in contrast, added a truth that we all know but rarely express.  
We beam at the loving wedding couple; we gaze at the precious infant child; we applaud the  proud college graduate when she receives her diploma.  We breathe in the joy these moments contain, and we silently pray for a bountiful tomorrow. The future, however, winks back at us sarcastically.  Maybe they will have a storybook ending and maybe they won’t. But in this celebratory frame of mind, we prefer to believe in fairytale endings.
Life is beautiful but not always kind.
“I have had many setbacks and upsets,” Sophie admitted. “ I just keep on going. I have had a full life. I am not finished yet.”
Her elegance attracted me. Her outspoken demeanor inspired me. Her truth bothered me.
“You are a beautiful and kind lady,” I said. I added no “buts” to my compliment.  

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