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By Mrs. Debbie Selengut

Rosh Chodesh Tammuz

To my Dear Kallas,

I love summer.

I love the long days, I love the daylight, the early morning sun, the late day sun….

As we sat outside this evening and watched fireflies, I wanted to freeze the calendar…  But as I cannot do that, I’ll just try to savor it.

For those of you who crave the structure that the school year brings…. It will come soon enough.

And the more relaxed schedule can give way to opportunities to think about things in a new way.

Recently I was speaking with a gentleman, in his mid-80’s about his wife’s declining health.  As of late, she has been waking during the night because of hallucinations; seeing people, seeing things, and she wakes her husband out of fear.  After assuring her that they are safe, and no one else is in the room, or the house, they can go back to sleep.  This can repeat itself two to three times a night.  In the morning, she doesn’t remember and always asks him if she slept through the night, and if he had a good night’s sleep, and he always answers that yes, she slept through the night and so did he.  He went on to explain that she would be upset to know that she disturbed his sleep and would be embarrassed about these episodes. “You never tell her? Never??”

He replied, “Never”.

I was astounded. Impressed, and inspired.


I thought about this a lot, and tried to keep it in my consciousness; full disclosure, as I went through the next few days I became (painfully) aware of how many times I had something on the tip of my tongue; a retort, a comeback; or just pointing out a mistake.

Oh my!  Was it hard to keep quiet, to just let it pass, to keep my mouth closed!

But each time that I did it successfully, I felt good about doing it, a sense of accomplishment. And I realized that by saying something, I would have not gained anything.

I might have felt vindicated, validated or a justified sense of being “right”, but that feeling doesn’t feel good for too long.
What a concept!

Good old fashioned keeping quiet.

Definitely not my strong point…. (yet)

I was so inspired by that elderly gentleman, night after night… not saying a word.

So, I decided right then and there to try it!

To let more things go, to withhold my (brilliant) comment, or my (judgmental) observation.

And you know what? It isn’t easy, and it’s a little humbling to see how often this challenges me, which is a great insight into how much I need to work on it.

But I’m getting better at it, and it feels good.

Because most of the comments, or corrections that I would make, don’t really matter in the big picture, and would often at best be superfluous, and at worst be hurtful.

It might be a great summer challenge for you too!




Mrs. Debbie Selengut