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          Looking through some of my poems and essays tonight and thinking of my son Stevie
         who passed away on January 2, 2005, shortly before I wrote this essay:           

                                           WHAT MY GOD MEANS TO ME             

                   I found my God in a synagogue when I was a little girl and He never

              left me. God was with me when each of my four sons was born, when

              each of my nine grandchildren were born, and when each of my three great-

              grandchildren were born.

                    God was with me when my beloved Daddy passed away. I was only nineteen

              years old, married to Sol, and expecting Steven, my firstborn son. When

              we gave Steven my Daddy's Hebrew name, God looked down at us and smiled.

              I know this happened, because I felt His warmth in my heart.

                    Ronnie was born a few years later, and then came Bruce. My sons were

              so beautiful! When Bruce was less than two years old, I lost a baby

              during my sixth month of pregnancy. I was very sick and almost died,

              but God watched over us. The day after this loss, I had a dream that

              seemed so real; I dreamed that Daddy was carrying this little baby

              in his arms and handing her to God. This dream helped me to bear the loss,

              because God was with me, comforting me. One year later, my precious son

              Alan was born -- and how I love this wondrous gift from God.

                    The years passed. Mama died, and I cried, with God at my side. My sons

              grew up and they all married Catholic girls. I wish everyone could

              experience the love I receive from Maureen, Karen, Joanne and Marie; my  

              four amazing daughters-in-law! These gifts were granted to me by God.    

                   My grandchildren, except for Jake and Margot ((Alan and Marie's children)

              were raised as Catholics, but we celebrated all 
holidays, Jewish and Christian.

              God looked down at us and smiled.

                            The years passed. I returned to school, graduated from college,

              and worked very hard as a newspaper and magazine reporter. Writing was

              difficult but the thousands of stories I wrote were published, because

              God helped me.

                    When Stevie died eleven years ago, I thought my broken heart would never

              heal -- and it hasn't. I lost my son, and couldn't find him anywhere! But

              Bruce's daughter, my darling granddaughter Emily, who was eight years old

              at the time, put her arms around me and said, "He's alive Nana, he's alive

              in your heart." My beautiful Emily was right, because Stevie lives in my

              heart; God put him there. Stevie didn't leave this earth without granting

              me three gifts; his wife Maureen and sons Matthew and Evan.

                    A few years ago, Alan's son Jake decided he wanted to be Jewish, and our

              family celebrated his Bar Mitzvah on the beach in Malibu, California where

              they live. My story about this Bar Mitzvah was published in a Jewish

              newspaper and is posted on this website. Now Jake's eleven-year-old sister

              Margot attends Hebrew school. God again looks down at us and smiles.

                    I share this with you because I truly believe that the manner in which we

              worship God is immaterial. What is important is that we always believe in

              HIS LOVE for us and share this love with ALL human beings. 

                   My family has grown since then and I now have seven great-grandchildren,
             including  Andrew Marc Wexler, the latest gift that Stevie left to me.
            Happy Birthday today to Stevie and Maureen's son Matt Wexler, who is also
           Andrew's Daddy and my precious grandson.  heart
                                                                                                                        December 2. 2014

                                                            GIFTS THAT STEVIE LEFT TO ME.heart


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