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
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
It is two days before my first marathon ever, and the only thing I am thinking about is my race-day shirt.
I hadn’t run more than 4 miles up until March of this year, when I got a credit card…fraud alert that New York Road Runners had charged me $250 for winning a lottery entry into the marathon. I had just turned 40, and this wasn’t the type of birthday lottery I imagined winning, but it made sense. My marathoner dad, Dr. Harold Galena, had only started running when he was 40. A road-running… >> Read More
Growing up in the 1970s and early ’80s in suburban Long Island, I celebrated Halloween just like all the other kids in the neighborhood. My parents, first-generation Americans and the children of…Eastern European Jews, viewed Halloween as just another brick in the American home they were building—no different from Thanksgiving or the 4th of July. We dressed up as witches or vampires, looking decidedly more adorable than frightening, we went door-to-door chaperoned by our parents or older siblings, we remembered to say thank you when we… >> Read More
My father had energy that was larger than life. He protected us and made his presence known when he was healthy, sick and now, even after he passed away this summer.
He loved God, his family and…was a diehard Cleveland Indians fan. Last year, we watched the World Series with my father every night. I hoped that Cleveland could win in his lifetime with all of us around him. I cried when they lost. My father didn’t die suddenly. He was sick for nine years before he passed. When he was… >> Read More