Words & Banter

In The Blink Of An Eye

Actual photo of Red's daughter from 2008 when she graduated Pre-K

Color photo taken by Red in 2008, underlying image by 221A on iStock

When I was pregnant with each of my daughters, although four years apart, friends as well as total strangers, would tell me to enjoy every moment because it would all go by in the blink of an eye. Then, once they were born and it seemed like every waking (and even sleeping) moment was about them, every time I heard the phrase "the days are long, but the years are short," I'd roll my eyes, thinking, "Yeah, that's clever, but I doubt it." Well, as I sit here realizing that my youngest daughter has now walked the stage for her high school graduation, I'm feeling that although I didn't totally disbelieve those words of wisdom so many years ago, there's still no getting around the fact they were true.


Graduation was touch-and-go as they were forecasting heavy rain and potential flooding, but it seemed destined to be that she graduated yesterday, June 6, which was also D-Day. Maybe I was projecting my love of history, but I thought it most appropriate as while she's holding on to being a high schooler for as long as possible, yesterday's ceremony marked the beginning of her being "liberated" from high school and starting the next journey of her life when she enters college in a few months.

But I digress, as I often do, or maybe I'm just trying to avoid reality, something I've also been known to do, especially as I'm finding this a very bittersweet time. Of course, I'm immensely proud of her and what she's accomplished, and I can only imagine the possibilities and opportunities that await her. But I am overcome with emotion and awe when I look at the person she has become.

I look at her and see my baby. I look at photos of her growing up, and they all seem like yesterday. I wonder how someone can be five years old and proudly going off to their first day at kindergarten or bravely going to sleepover camp for the first time to – seemingly overnight – becoming a high school freshman standing on the high school volleyball court for the first time as a junior varsity player or heading off to that same sleepover camp as a junior counselor. Or a million other images that come into my mind these days …

Because the memories seem endless, as do the photos. And each one makes me smile, makes me proud, but also makes me a little sad because they remind me of days long gone. But yet while the word "bittersweet" is so apt right now, I know that as I look at her, not only as my daughter, the high school graduate, but as a beautiful young lady who's ready, maybe more than she realizes, for the next stage of her life, that perhaps it's time for me to get past the bittersweetness of the moment … and celebrate this incredibly significanttime in her life with all the joy and excitement that it deserves.

Photo by John Gomez on iStock

The more time passes, the fewer the number of people who remember D-Day happening in real-time (we’re old, but not that old), but the importance and significance of the day are more important than ever …




red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

I still can’t believe you didn’t know what D-Day was.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

All I knew was it had to do with World War II and beaches. And, required lots of strategic planning. Remember, I am not a history buff like you.


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

Or a movie buff. There has been an assortment of D-Day movies, and I wouldn’t expect you to have watched the older movies, like “ The Longest Day” with John Wayne, but I figured you’d have seen “ Saving Private Ryan .”


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

The Tom Hanks movie? It was a great war movie, but from what I remember, it was about the search for a particular soldier during WWII. Although I remember the opening scene showed the horrors of war. Regardless, I do not get my “history” from movies that might take literary license for the sake of storytelling, even if Steven Spielberg’s movies are mostly accurate.


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

That opening scene WAS D-Day.
Keep Reading ...Show less
Photo by Hillwoman2 on iStock
It’s been two years since President Biden signed the anti-Asian hate crimes bill, but making something illegal doesn’t stop it from happening. Hate crimes, including against Chinese Americas, continue at an alarming rate. But imagine if instead of hating someone for being different, we looked at what we had in common and their contributions to American culture and society? After all, that’s what makes America such a unique and special country.

May is Asian American Pacific Island Month (which prompted our conversation below about Jews and Chinese food), but we should treat all our fellow Americans with respect and kindness every day.



red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io


Have you ever wondered why Jews love Chinese food so much?


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io


No, but what prompted that? Did you take in Chinese food this weekend? Or, did President Biden signing the anti-Asian hate crimes bill make you think about how Jews can relate given all the antisemitism in the world?


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


Only you would connect those dots. I was straightening up papers in the kitchen and noticed how Chinese takeout menus look the same as they did when we were kids, and how we've laughed over the decades about how much Jews love Chinese food. But now you've reminded me about how we've recently talked about the recent increase in hate crimes against the Asian community . I simply don't understand how people can hate an entire group of people based on race or religion.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io


You are the history lover. It is not a new phenomenon. And, the reasons have not changed – Ignorance, prejudice, feelings of supremacy; the list has many "reasons". What I find scary is that people form stronger bonds with others based on what they hate than they do on what they love. But, there is no question that the Asian community and Jews have experienced hate for a long time.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


I know, but in America of all places, that just shouldn't happen. Ever. We're a country built on immigrants, and the contributions of Asian Americans and American Jews have been so significant. From scientists to doctors, artists to activists, the list goes on and on.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io


The lists of contributions can be sliced and diced in so many different ways – gender, race, religion, nationalities. There are not enough months in the years to celebrate them all. However, some groups tend to be forgotten or overlooked, which is why President Carter signed the first proclamation celebrating Asian/Pacific Americans , which eventually led to May becoming Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. But now, with hate crimes increasing against them, celebrating by learning about their cultures is even more critical.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


Well, I admit that I personally didn't know any Asians before I lived in Hong Kong, and then Shanghai, several years after getting married. Until then, all I knew was that I loved Chinese food. I know that might sound condescending, but that's not how I mean it.
Keep Reading ...Show less
Photo by Iam Anupong on iStock

I’ve always been a proud redhead, even though I used to wish that I could tan like those glamorous models in fashion magazines. Or maybe I just got tired of Black’s sarcastic comments about my white skin. Except for the one time when we played a rare round of golf together (see below), which ended up becoming one of my favorite memories! Although I do wish I had known back then about how important it is to protect our skin from the sun … So, now I invite everyone (regardless of hair color) to join us in not only observing Skin Cancer Awareness Month but also celebrating National Sunscreen Day.

I'll never forget the day. It was an "almost" ordinary day out on the golf course with my mom and dad during the heat of a Long Island summer. Now, if "Long Island" conjures up images of stately manors on the North Shore (think "Great Gatsby") or beachfront mansions in the Hamptons (think Robin Leach and his popular show "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous"), you can put those out of your head. I'm not talking about some fancy country club golf course, just a regular public course.

Keep Reading ...Show less