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Sunday, 25 March 2001

Orange Juice and Honeysuckle

Written by  Toby Klein Greenwald

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As I sat by your bedside, I thought about
Two books you bought me.
One of them, A Little Princess, was inscribed,
"To my little princess."
I was ten.
The other, True Gift, was inscribed,
"To my daughter, who has grit in abundance."
I was seventeen.

The lesson I learned from the first book was
that a true princess knows how to give.
The lesson I learned from the second book was
to fight for life.

Now, as I watch you struggling with your own
and I remember the first lesson
I wonder if you remember the second.
One night, fighting to tear off a life-giving mask,
you reached your arm up, heavenward,
as if pleading
for God to take you

and I wouldn't let you go

A few weeks later
you sat up and asked for orange juice
and drank it
like a miracle

I brought you honeysuckle
and eucalyptus oil
Newsweek and poetry
caring hands

and love

But one day, you'll reach up
and all the gifts in the world
will not bring you back down.

I guess part of havingtrue grit
is knowing when
to give something back

Last modified on Friday, 21 September 2012 00:16
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Toby Klein Greenwald

Toby Klein Greenwald

Toby Klein Greenwald, Executive V.P. Creative Development, is a founding partner and the editor-in-chief of WholeFamily. Toby is an educator, journalist, photographer, scriptwriter, poet, playwright, lyricist, and theater director, including for populations that have experienced trauma or are at risk. She is a Playback Theater conductor and is the recipient of Israel's Ministry of Education's Egerest Award for Culture, for her work in educational and community theater. She has more than 30 years of teaching experience and has served on numerous educational think tanks. Her specialties include the creation of innovative educational programs, and teaching Creative Writing and Film to AD(H)D and LD high school students, and to senior citizens. Toby is married to Yaakov and they have six children, most of whom have made her a proud mother-in-law and grandmother.

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