18,987. Eighteen thousand. Nine hundred. Eighty-seven.
That's not the cost of my first car, nor the amount of my first salary. 18,987 is the number of days I have lived. My father did not get as…many. I realize my Rain Man-like exactitude may seem like I have too much time on my hands. And, to be clear, I'm not writing my own version of the iconic Rent song, “Seasons of Love,” asking how to measure a year (or years, for that matter.) For me, this number is symbolic because this… >> Read More
The parents of murdered teen Blaze Bernstein are doing their best to turn tragedy into something that resembles a triumph.
On the night of January 2, the 19-year-old University of Pennsylvania…student — home in California, visiting his parents on winter break — made dinner for his entire family. He then went out to meet friends and never returned. Bernstein was later found buried in a shallow grave in a park near his family's home, having been stabbed 20 times. A former high school classmate, 20-year-old Samuel Woodward, was… >> Read More
Just a few days ago, I happened to be with a friend when her father called to wish her happy birthday. The exchange only lasted a mere fifteen seconds, but I felt a melancholy shift inside. It…reminded me of all the years I was lucky enough to receive birthday calls from my father. My father will not be calling me this year. He hasn’t done so for the last decade. I turn 40 this year, and this birthday feels different from all the others — sadder, more somber and heartbreaking. In… >> Read More
Several weeks into chemotherapy and proton therapy, Lydia lost most of her hair. At 7-and-a-half my daughter was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma. It turned out that her night terrors and toothache…were really symptoms of a tumor growing under the surface of her right jawbone, a tumor that started in the connective tissue. As Lydia’s hair thinned more and more, I offered to shave her head. “Are you kidding me?” she said, hand on her hip and a death-ray stare in her eyes. “It’s bad enough… >> Read More
It is beyond a nightmare to have your child die. And for one mom, Anat Levitan Kaplan, the grief must be beyond anything anyone could understand. Her 9-year-old daughter, Lielle, was shot by her…soon-to-be ex-husband. Lielle's dad, a 42-year-old Israeli named Yariv Kaplan, shot Lielle, then shot himself. Both of them were found with fatal gunshot wounds in their Travis County home in Texas Monday, during a routine welfare home visit, according to JTA. Apparently, Lielle's mom and dad were in a custody battle, and their next court hearing had been… >> Read More