Monday, November 27, 2006

Post Thanksgiving Thanks ...

In these days following Thanksgiving, a time when our better angels have begun to make an appearance ... and just before the schtuss of the "holiday season" overtakes us, everybody else and everything, may there always be a moment or two when a thoughtfully crafted reading opens us up just enough to actualize thoughts which need expression lest their great potential for inspiring good deeds, chesed and gemilus chasadim loses itself in the saddest category of them all ... That Which Might Have Been!

Thank You for the cemetary administrator who let us through the gates though it was past dusk and the cemetary closed!

Thank You for a younger son, Zachary, whose goodness and sweetness, become more manifest each day-and for finding those two stones: one for you, one for me but both for Ben!

Thank You for the gift of speech, especially the capacity to "verbalize" through the keyboard, when the spoken word becomes less intelligible.

Thank You to all those concerned and patient enough to look at my mouth speaking when their ears can't quite make out what I am saying.

Thank You for the insight that lost speech is found prose.

Thank You for a daughter who is never too old to tell me: " I love you!"

Thank You for the insight that those certain people who make cameo appearances in our lives are like God's tzitsis ... they remind us to do good, walk humbly and share acts of kindness.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Every Day is Thanksgiving

Dear Readers ...

I have revisited this earlier post from a year ago and have made a few changes ...

The day before Thanksgiving, the Wednesday just prior .... is the day on which my son Benjamin Mathew passed into the Olam Haba ...

Please take a moment to read about him ... these words however inadequate from a grieving father for whom Thanksgiving is now bittersweet at best ...

As Americans we celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November. As a Jew, upon my awakening each morning, I remember to observe the Jewish “Thanksgiving” by saying:

“Modei ani lefanecha …” [1]

What makes Jewish Thanksgiving different from the fourth Thursday of November?

We give thanks …

“yom yom”

by praising His name in good times as well as bad even when and if tragedy befalls us.

However, our intent does not lie in welcoming bad tidings, but in acknowledging that the “bad” so often turns out for the “best” although the result may not be immediately apparent.

“Hodu la Adoshem ki tov, ki le’olam chasdo”[3]

I received an email from a dear friend who wrote:

Dear are in my thoughts and prayers today. I know what you are thinking about, and that you are missing Ben. I remembered that it was five years eternity, but as if only yesterday, for you. He was a beautiful boy, who wanted so much to be his own man...and he was. How else could he have endured so much, and yet still, was willing to give so much of himself? The true measure of a man is to be able to love unconditionally...and he did...and you did, even though you may feel, in retrospect, that it took awhile for you to finally reach that stage. I said "may feel", and "finally", Alan, because I know that you ALWAYS loved Ben unconditionally. The times that you were embarrassed by some of the ways that Ben chose to express himself, were only embarrassment...not a failure on Ben's part, or yours. You only wanted what as best for Ben...what you thought was best. That kind of love is the greatest gift that anyone can ever give or receive...and you and Ben gave that gift to each other.


Now … I admit to having been befuddled by the timing of the note, but as I was busy at work I let it go for later. Well, “later” arrived. While having coffee tonight my fiance asked me:

“So, how was your day?”

And then it hit me, the timing of the email. Today marked in fact the fifth year secular anniversary of my son’s passing on November 22, 2000 which fell out that year on the day before Thanksgiving.

That is how I remember that day … not by its date as much as by the tragic irony of a Thanksgiving marked by Ben’s death.

In keeping with my theme that there is balance in our lives and order in our world although they may quite often seem to be hidden and at the mercy of random collisions of chance, you may wonder about my proof.

Unlike a scientist’s proof whose reliability is dependent upon laboratory duplication, I can only offer up as “proof” what news I learned from my daughter Kimmy who called me today, the 22nd day of November, with an excitement and glee in her voice that struck a much sought after chord to complete this day, to round it out as it were, to make the circle whole.

“Daddy, I got a job as a lawyer in a downtown firm! I’ll have an office with a view from the 39th floor overlooking downtown. It’s just what I wanted!”

That I feel pretty much sums up what happened today-a day when divine balance and even-handedness manifested themselves very dramatically-when a bad day five years ago became a better day today.

[1] I give thanks to you …
[2] every day
[3] Give thanks to God because His kindness is eternal.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

On the somber occasion of the sixth Hebrew Yahrzeit of Ben Z'L, the 24th day of Heshvan, 5767 ...

"From Your Room"

From your room ...


I write these words ...

on this sixth year’s eve lonely without you ...

yes, from your room never to let go

where we wrestled in wee morning’s darkness

the implacable diabetic foe.

Where by your bedside

I sat many the night

afraid to leave you ...

lest it return.

Perhaps you wonder...

how ... how Dad is it so …

since eight years you moved out ... ago?

I bought the house back from mom

for my beloved kallah and me ...

Be sure Ben, please remember…

neither in doubt nor need,

our love for you was always agreed.

So accept these sparse words

your blue eyes to see ...

o’er these six years so tearful ... without thee.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Free Jonathon Pollard!

Free Jonathon Pollard!

Free Jonathon Pollard!

Free Jonathon Pollard!

Free Jonathon Pollard!


1.) a broad, deep swell or rolling of the sea, due to a distant storm or gale.

2.) any surge of support, approval, or enthusiasm, esp. among the general public

Dear Readers,

I think we are long overdue in our country for a GROUNDSWELL!

I think we can create such a groundswell that Mr. Bush
would sign a
Presidential Pardon before the end of his term!

Starting here and now please respond to this appeal by writing back to this blog.

Let me know that together we can effect this change!

The Groundswell begins here and now!

I am ...

Very Sincerely yours,

Alan D. Busch

Friday, November 03, 2006

Dear Readers ...

I am pleased to announce that I have finished my book

In Memory of Ben

and all the editing that I am going to do!

Now it's time for the real editor!

Ben's sixth yahrzeit is approaching:

secular: November 22

Hebrew: 23 Heshvan

May my son's neshuma have an aliyah!_

I am ...

Very Sincerely yours,

Alan D. Busch

p.s. I will burn a CD free of charge if you post a comment on the blog The Book of Ben. If after reading you are so inclined, please include a request and I'll be pleased to comply.