Dear Readers,

Life has its high points and low points. We celebrate great moments and endure great tragedies. The simple life of our childhood gives way to the reality of adulthood. Our salvation is love — it cheers us, gives us hope, and raises us from the depths of despair. I cannot help but be happy and have hope when my 2-year-old grandson grabs my hand and asks Poppop to walk with him or read him a book.

I am blessed to be loved by and to love a beautiful woman. We married in 1983 after meeting in college four years earlier. I was a harried sophomore pre-med and she was a beautiful dark-haired senior. Fran is a truly sweet and loving person.

She sees the best in everyone. Despite losing her father at age 2 and having a mom forced to work full-time, she somehow understood innately how to be a loving and wonderful mom. While I struggled through med school and residency, she led the parenting and made each child feel safe and loved. She continues to inspire me, and I am a better person because of her.

I am blessed to be loved by and to love three sweet children. OK, they aren’t children anymore but young adults in their 20s and 30s. In a busy world, success is often measured in dollars and position, but the love of one’s children and a close relationship cannot be bought and is priceless.

I am blessed to be loved by and to love a 22-month-old little boy. He is my first grandchild, and another is on the way. He marks my transition from middle age to old age, but none of that matters when he sits in my lap and melts my heart. He is a miracle gift from God.

I am blessed to be loved by and to love my parents. My father is 91 and mom is a few years younger. My mom still acts and thinks like a 50-year-old. She even uses her smart phone to text the grandchildren and uses the latest emojis. My father is 91 and getting older ticks him off. Good. When he doesn’t care, I’ll begin worry. They are an inspiration.

As I read this column, and with the knowledge that my deadline is in 30 minutes, I suspect this essay may be a bit self-involved. But my story of the fortune of sharing love echoes those of our readers. Jmore is read by young mothers, grandfathers, college students, even children. We celebrate all their accomplishments and how they make our Jewish community stronger. They, too, are blessed by those they love and who love them. Without love, we are nothing. Without love, there is no happiness and no peace. Without love, there is no family and no Jewish community. We are blessed.

I hope you enjoy this issue and find a reflection of your own love.

Scott Rifkin, MD, Publisher

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