Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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I love how this year Good Friday and the first night of Passover fall on the same day, meaning Easter Sunday also overlaps with Passover! It’s like the rare times when Christmas and Chanukah are celebrated at the same time.


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What makes this year even more unusual is Easter and Passover fall during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.


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What are the odds of that? And that’s a rhetorical question. Please don’t start sending me statistics.


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The numbers are not important. But, it is a much-needed reminder that, although different religions celebrate different holidays, we are similar because we all place importance on faith and tradition.


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Says the woman who’s not a fan of holidays and wants to get them over with as soon as possible, sometimes even ignoring them.


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It is not holidays that I dislike … it is how their significance has gotten lost by all the insincere celebrations. And, the commercialism.

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Well, short of selling matzo, gefilte fish, and Passover honey cake, I’m not sure how you commercialize Passover.

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But, do you understand the meaning behind the foods and the traditions? That is what is getting lost. And although Jewish, I have always tried to understand and reconcile many Christian holidays with my own beliefs.

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To use one of your favorite words … why?

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Why try to better understand other people’s beliefs to further my own knowledge? Why try to find connections to remind me that we may have more in common than differences? Or, why take the time to respect and appreciate other holidays and traditions?

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I’m sorry I even asked.

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So, why did you take that Comparative Religions class at Wake Forest? Which, I might add, you have told me countless times was one of your favorite classes.

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Because it was required. And while I thought it would be interesting, I never expected it to be fascinating. It really opened my eyes as it made me realize that although the major religions of the world have many differences, they also have so much in common.

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Exactly. So, what do you remember about Easter?

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How when Natasha and Sawyer were young, they loved Easter, with its bunnies and candy. Between making and decorating colored eggs, buying those overly sweet marshmallow Peeps in seemingly every color under the sun, and you taking us all out for the Omni Hotel’s amazing Easter Sunday buffet brunch, it was always a favorite holiday.

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I was talking about your religion class. I know Lent starts on Ash Wednesday and lasts 40 days in preparation for celebrating the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday.


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You’re Jewish; what else is there for you to know?


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I am trying to find common ground since Jews do not believe in many of the “facts” of Christianity that are a fundamental part of Easter. But I do think, to some extent, that I have the meaning of Easter figured out.


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Don’t take this the wrong way, but for the millions of people that celebrate Easter, I think they figured it out a long time ago.


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I meant for me personally. Easter makes me truly appreciate my friends, as it reminds me that people are not all alike, and that some things have no common ground to be found. But, it does not mean that there cannot be love and respect.


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I’m confused. Aren’t you the one that’s always saying how, if people realized that we have more in common, the world would be a better place? That when we focus on our differences, we tend to divide things, and people, into “right” and “wrong” and end up with “us” and “them”. Which nowadays seems to be getting worse, not better.


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Finding similarities is very different from being identical. And, that is the significance of Easter for me. Because religion is about reflection and faith, it is a reminder that different is different – not good or bad – just different.


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So, I’m almost afraid to ask. When you were growing up, before you looked for “meaning” in holidays, did you ever see any “connection” between Easter and Passover?


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Do you remember Mom making egg salad from all those leftover Easter eggs?


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I hate when you answer a question with a question.


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Just answer the question.


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Yes, of course. She was never going to waste all those hard-boiled eggs.


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Well, I remember her putting that Easter egg salad on leftover matzo. Does that count as a “connection”?

Want to read other columns? Here's a list.

Photo by chatiyanon on iStock

It seems the pandemic has resulted in people “recycling” relationships from their past, and I have already admitted to doing that and then being “ghosted” (the relationship was doomed the first go-round and trying to resurrect it reminded me of why). Although on the surface it may seem rude, there are a few “legitimate” reasons for ghosting, some less obvious than others.

Looking back to decades of dating, a handful of engagements, and two failed marriages, I realized none of them started as friendships. I will also admit that very few started with sparks of passion (I know those fizzle out), but all were analyzed in terms of compatibility. Too bad I was not aware of research indicating the majority of romantic relationships begin as long-term friendships.

This story began as an impromptu business meeting when I asked to speak to the manager of a food franchise I frequented, thinking there might be an opportunity to create a joint marketing opportunity with Red & Black. There was no way to know the attractive man sitting toward the back of the store, who I noticed when I first walked in, would be the district manager.

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Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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I can’t believe it’s already May, which means hot and humid weather is just around the corner. All I can say is … ugh.


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Not a scientific term, but descriptive nonetheless. And, I hate to break the news to you, but the science of climate change and global warming means summers will keep getting hotter.


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I can remember growing up in New York and summers being hot, but not like now. Of course, it didn’t help that Mommy didn’t run the air conditioning until it got into the 90s.
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Photo by Epiximages on iStock


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I appreciate that bullet points may not be the typical approach to Mother’s Day, but it seems appropriate to me …
  • Be sensitive to those people whose mothers may no longer be with us, especially given how many have been lost to COVID
  • If you have lost a mother, remember they are always with you – in your heart and in your memories
  • Remember Mother’s Day also includes all those “unofficial moms” and “mother figures” who are like second (or replacement) moms
  • And, last but not least, If you’re a mom, try to enjoy the day by doing something for yourself, as today may be the one day you can get away with it


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This year I write about Mother’s Day with a heavy heart and still much raw emotion, as our mom passed in December. My pragmatic side (yes, that’s usually Black’s area although she did sound somewhat warm and fuzzy above) knows that she had been 94 and led a full life, but that really doesn’t make it any less sad or fill the emptiness. But I find myself, when I least expect it and triggered by the most unexpected things, finding comfort in wonderful memories. And although Black’s first bullet point hits too close to home for me, I’ll try my best to focus on the other bullets.

Wishing all moms a very Happy Mother’s Day!