Smile! Theres Always Tomorrow

A while back, while sitting at home in Toronto, visiting my dear father who is regrettably unwell, I wrote a heart-felt blog entry reflecting my thoughts and emotions at the time. Exactly four months have passed and there have been highs and lows. A high moment came in February when more than five hundred people turned out for a special tribute dinner at which I had the privilege of delivering the keynote and paying personal tribute.

A low moment came more recently when I called my father for some information. I’ve always referred to my father as my Google. Whenever needing a source it was often quicker to call him then researching through textbooks and what not. He would often chastise me for being lazy but the information was always at the top of his head filled with encyclopaedic knowledge. So it was somewhat disheartening when I emailed the other week seeking a reference for an obscure quote I was citing in an article, and he couldn’t provide it. He corrected me on the precise phraseology, but didn’t recall its origins. I mulled over this for some time and considered somewhat despondently how we vacillate in life. Nothing ever stays the same.
A new high moment came only this morning when scouring through a particular blog I like to visit and came across this. I knew my father was going to be attending an academic conference in Pennsylvania though I wondered how he would fare. My mother reported back that it all went exceptionally well but, as in the words of the ancient Sages, “You cannot compare hearing to seeing.” Indeed viewing the pictures on this blog really lifted my spirits.

My mother told me that the only reason any sane woman would accompany her husband on such a trip two weeks before Pesach is because “if he wanted to do it, there was no way I was going to stop him.” Different people confront their illnesses in different ways. Some allow themselves to get bogged down in the negativity while others look to challenge themselves in defiance of medical prognosis. Sometimes that attitude in itself can make all the difference between life and… Indeed according to doctors my father should not be he is at, and we thank G-d and his attitude every day for that.

There’s a lesson therein for me. Even when the low moments present themselves, I need to look beyond to the next day with its brighter prospects. After all, it’s like I often say, much as doctors don’t like to hear it: They have science – we have G-d!