When I turned 18 on the 18th, one of my high school teachers told me that in Hebrew, chai means “alive” and can also stand for the number 18.
Twenty years later, I raise a glass in gratitude:
- to my compassionate, hilarious, awesomesauce husband
- to poetry, from Hamlet read in my classes to “Casey at the Bat” read at bedtime
- to weeknight dinners with friends
- to theater
- to all my kindred spirits
- to health insurance
- to my students
- to my teachers
- to competent, supportive bosses, past and present
- to letting go
- to my children, whose initial foray into “Go Fish” was similar to their initial understanding of Hide-and-Seek: “Do you have any fives?” “Let me sort them.” [Kid spreads all cards from her hand on the table.] “No. I just have threes, eights, ones.”
- to those whose memories are blessings
One of my very favorite quotes (from one of my very favorite books, To the Lighthouse) is this:
What is the meaning of life?…the great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead, there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark.
L’chaim tovim ul’shalom (For good life, and for peace). L’chaim v’l’vracha (To life and to blessing).