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From the Pen of David Horowitz: October 11, 2009

October 11, 2009


Sarah was the most uncomplaining person I have ever known, from the day she was born until the day she left us. When she was no more than four or five, we took the children to the Oakland Zoo and made a stop at the ice cream stand. For some reason I could not possibly explain now, except as instance of the absurdity of fathers, I decided to make the ice cream stop a life lesson. It’s important to try new things, I said to her; broaden your horizons. Instead of vanilla or chocolate, why don’t you try the sour apple flavor? Without hesitating – she was always such a dutiful child — she took my advice and we went on our way. Fifteen minutes later I noticed that the cone she was carrying had received no more than a lick. So I took it and tasted it myself. It was awful. A surge of guilt swept over me, but we were too far away from the stand to go back and get her another. Sarah had not uttered a word of complaint or reproach. I have carried my guilt from that day to this. Of course when I brought it up to her after she had become an adult herself she just laughed.

Remembering Sarah

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  1. shane comeback permalink
    October 11, 2009 8:18 am

    God bless you.

  2. Evergreen78 permalink
    October 11, 2009 9:28 am

    What Shane said.

  3. October 11, 2009 11:19 am

    So David, that showed that you hadn’t tried the “something new” yourself.

    Moral of the story: Don’t tell others to try “something new” if you haven’t tried it yourself. OR, Don’t try “something new” if the person telling you hasn’t tried it themselves.

    I would have MADE YOU eat the whole damn thing!

  4. Judy permalink
    October 11, 2009 11:38 am

    You have missed the whole point of the interaction between a parent and child, a father and a daughter. I feel sorry for you. Defining moments between fathers and daughters, can be life changing and sorrowful at the same time. To ” try something new” is something that all parents say to their children to encourage self-exploration and the development of initiative. My children were pretty well set on the course of study that they wanted for college and that was actually ok with me. I felt that by high school graduation, they had a partial view of their likes and by entering college they could further focus their field of study. While visiting friends for dinner, a guest at the dinner (the dean of students for a private college) suggested to both of my daughters that in their freshman year they take courses that they ordinarily would never consider. He smiled at my daughters and said that trying “something new and unknown” can bring surprises. He was right. Both of my kids took courses that they never thought would appeal to them and then graduated with degrees in areas that they never had an interest, but had developed a ravenous love for. Life is always interesting, especially when you are a parent.

  5. Marylou permalink
    October 11, 2009 1:46 pm

    Yes, Buzzz. You missed it. But maybe you are among the oh so too many who missed it in life, and that is the love of a compassionate parent. It’s really the difference of being punitive vs compassionate.

    The best parents don’t punish but instead bring consequences and help a child grow into a responsible and hopefully happy adult, even hopefully, too, with purpose. The most tender touches that can come in parenting are just those such as making choices, suggestions, choosing obedience vs independent thought and the ensuing events which usually require forgiveness, forbearance, and usually bring insight.

    It’s never too late to find kind “parents” in life. There’s a spirit of adoption among friends where many of us learn to substitute what we lacked and find fulfillment in our friendships of all ages.

    May your search be rewarded. I believe this blogosphere is a great space for reflecting on life, and I appreciate your contribution more than you’ll know because I used to be one who would MAKE SOMEONE deal with an uncomfortable situation in a forceful way somehow because I did not yet know a better way, actually a more loving way…to find those times that Judy so aptly calls defining moments.

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. Terry permalink
    October 11, 2009 2:05 pm

    You are so lucky David to have such memories. I have not been diagnoised with Alhemizer or Dementia yet but I do know my memory has faded so much that I barely remember my daughter and son as children let alone many of the events we shared together.

    The only way I am reminded is when they bring up a certain event or incident and remind me. Even then quite often I admit I can’t remember.

    I wish I had the memories stored away as you have, good or bad.


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