Me: I’m 52, and I’m a new widow. I’ve spent the past 2 years caring for my husband as he battled lymphoma and lost. The rest of the accolades — Jeopardy! champion; Ivy-League educated; non-practicing lawyer licensed in 2 states and 4 Federal courts; sometime singer — seem insignificant compared to my primary job as the mother of three boys.
Wine Guy: my husband, the light of my life, died in May 2015 after a two-year battle with cancer. He was the very best father; an intelligent and loving partner; and a brilliant physician. He was the true embodiment of a mensch, a man of noble character.
Wizard: My oldest son, age 19, attending university, totally by the grace of G-d; still doesn’t drive; a very, very smart boy who reads 2 newspapers and multiple magazines daily; manipulative and condescending; used to love reading, now listens to endless podcasts in his quest to be the ultimate autodidact; is totally car-crazy; stands 6’4″ and wears a man’s size 14 shoe. Wizard is about as ADHD as they come but refuses to admit it. He is still my greatest challenge, but he definitely loves his mama.
Wild Thing: My middle son, age 16, in 10th grade; the classic middle child; absolutely adorable and funny; a natural runner; shares my love of music; has a big stubborn streak; wonderful zest for life; as much street- smarts as book-smarts; a dawdler, a dreamer, but a real fighter. Getting his driver’s license was the last thing that made his father smile. This kid is a gitte neshama, as my grandmother would say, “a good soul”.
Moose: my youngest son, age 13; my sugar and my heart; full of wonder and attitude; as physically able as his older brothers; a force to be reckoned (not reasoned) with; in 7th Grade, in public middle school and much happier than in private school; the smartest of the bunch and likely to be the biggest. He’s a serious video gamer, but it’s making him fat. He became a Bar Mitzvah in March 2015, and his father lived long enough to see the boy’s tremendous accomplishment.
My Parents: Dad passed away in October 2007 at the age of 79. Mom, still going strong in her mid 80s, comes from a line of long-lived Jewish mothers. She’ll be around for a long time.
- The eldest is The Egg; he is brilliant but completely deficient in common-sense or money-management skills. Emigrated to Israel more than 20 years ago; has a wife, eight kids (five of whom are married), and twelve grandchildren.
- Doc Bro is the second of my three older brothers. His an orthopaedic surgeon in New Jersey. We look and act similarly. He’s married to my SIL, VJ, who is the most competent woman you’ll ever meet.
- Tax Man is the third brother and the most musically talented of the three. He’s actually a business- and estate-planning lawyer in the DC area. He is the most artistically talented of us all. He’s married to SILL and has 4 kids.
August96 Moms: My circle of Internet friends whom I’ve known since 1995. They are The Oracle, The Source of Wisdom. They keep me sane. I tend to identify them geographically — e.g. CT Mom, Malibu Mom — except for Radio Mom, who lives near The Zone.
- MB Walker: My very best friend (a/k/a BFFL), whom I met in law school. She raises me up every day.
- Belle: A fiercely loyal friend. She’s got a great sense of humor and is a very hard worker. She is more than a realtor; she is the real estate oracle. She is a charter member of The Breakfast Club. She’s kind of bossy, but I love her still the same.
- Lina: is my alter-ego: a lawyer; from a large family; speaks her mind; loves to cook; takes care of everyone; has the most gorgeous smile. She moved from Chicago to The Zone, found a great job and a great apartment. She regularly saves my sanity and runs my life.
- Calvin: One of my first friends in SW Florida. She works full-time as an attorney in her own practice, has 2 boys about the same age as my younger two, and a big teddy-bear of a husband; known for her dry, Midwestern wit.
- Red: One bright and savvy woman, with a Master’s in Education. She’s quick to laugh and help in any way and has been a G-dsend this past year. Filled with great common sense and an equally snarky and good sense of humor. She was my right-hand for the last year of WineGuy’s life.
- Sprite: A positively brilliant woman; an English teacher with the most impressive degrees, including a Master’s in Literature. We could discuss books endlessly, and we should. I don’t see her very much anymore, and it makes me sad.