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Mom with a View


How do you want to be remembered?


I had the rare privilege of meeting recently with a spunky, attractive woman who is over 100 years old.

My mind couldn't quite grasp all that she has seen and experienced. From World War I to World War II and the Holocaust, through Korea, Vietnam and Iraq. The birth of the state of Israel, the Six-Day War, the Yom Kippur War, the Intifada... And the inventions or more common usage of planes, cars, movies, phones, televisions, computers, cell phones, DVD's...The medical breakthroughs, the scientific discoveries...

I couldn't resist asking, "What was the most interesting thing of all?"

Her answer shocked me.

The "most interesting" of all, the definitive moment of this beautiful elderly woman (the oldest human being I have ever met) was when she caught her husband and her best friend together.

A lifetime of over 100 years and this is the most significant memory. All that counts is the personal.

It's a sobering thought. Certainly what the Almighty remembers us for is our actions, particularly those towards our fellow human beings. It seems that's what people remember also.

If we build many tall buildings but our children despise us, our memory will not be a blessing. If we discover the cure for a catastrophic disease but treat our colleagues like dirt, our accomplishments will be compromised.

If we accumulate wealth but don't share it, we probably won't be remembered at all.

If we're successful in business but destroy our marriages or our children, it'll all be for naught.

Imagine: 100 years. She saw the dreams of many become a reality. She saw movements rise and fall, countries come and go. She has literally "seen it all."

But one scene remains strong and vibrant. It's a powerful lesson for everyone. The Almighty gives each one of us the chance to write our own script, to create an individual legacy. Let's choose the plot wisely.

June 30, 2007

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Visitor Comments: 8

(8) aliza, July 5, 2007 4:34 PM


Betrayal is a powerful thing. Trust is the first thing we learn, and trust is the backbone of every relationship we will ever have. There is no greater earthly trust than that we have in our spouse - the person we share our lives with, physically and emotionally, forever.

To have that trust betrayed is terrible. Add to that the betrayal of a best friend, and trust gets crushed into dust. It takes a long time to build that faith back up, to be able to trust another person that deeply again.

That kind of pain stays with you. The key is in not letting it control you.

(7) hadassah, July 3, 2007 10:33 PM

Short but powerful

Thank you for sharing this, Mrs. Braverman.

(6) ruth housman, July 3, 2007 6:27 PM

the Plot Thickens

I found the commentary moving, namely that this very old woman, who had experienced so much, was still dealing with the most upsetting of memories and this of course, had to do with LOVE. I do believe that LOVE is at the core of all of our lives and has everything to do with connection and meaning. That said, I think we're all following a SCRIPT and that the script we are following has to do with something we still talk about as FATE, namely, we came down to do a job here and what we encounter along the way is a SOUL journey. So I am not sure we are making it up as we go. My life ot total visible synchronicity is saying, yes, on this plane we have the illusion of choice, and must exercise a morality of choice, but experiencing such massive connects as I do constantly is placing me at a position of paradox with respect to this issue of what is scripted and what is not scripted. And, if it's not scripted, then how can we ask God to write us in the Book of Life for another year? There are paradoxes every step of the way with respect to these deep issues and I am not only encountering them, but I am thinking deeply all the time about such issues.

(5) Michal, July 3, 2007 2:34 PM

What do I want people say after I died?

I would love them saying:
She had good times and had bad times, but she had a strong connection to God,
and He did miracles for her.

(4) Anonymous, July 3, 2007 12:44 PM our lifetime

Well described, Mrs Braverman.
One wrong or wronged by one, stays with you forever in a broken heart. "Real tears fall from the heart and cover the soul"
Practice kindness.

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