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It’s is written: Teach us, O Lord, to number our days

Number our days? To remind us that our days are not without end?  To hurry our steps so we may cover more ground? To warn us that days not fully lived are days wasted?

No. To number our days is to make us aware of the uniqueness of a day. Aware that each day comes but once and never again. That none be thrown away, and each be given its dues.

There is a day for work, and a day for play. A day for activity, a day for rest. A day for giving, a day for taking. A day for sorrow, a day for merrymaking. A day for meditation, for thinking, planning, exploring our inner depths, a day for idly lolling under a tree, lost in fanciful dreams. And no day is wasted that has brought a bit of cheer into the life of another.

So let us learn to value our days, to use them wisely and well. For each day forms a link in our chain of days, and as we fashion each one, from strength, or weakness, or indifference, so shall we fashion the quality of our life and its living.

May 3, 2019

As I sort through my Grandma Rose Ridnor’s stacks of writing, I’m finding other invocations she wrote to read at her synagogue.

Yesterday morning, with half an hour before I needed to start working, I decided to type the next one on the pile, “Number our days.” I’d nearly finished typing when I noticed I’d neglected to turn the page on my beloved Mary Engelbreit daily calendar. I tore off the page… the message of the day was “Don’t count the days… Make the days count!”

What a coincidence!

Born on October 11, 1907, my grandmother lived 90 years and a few days, passing away on November 1, 1997. She spent most of her life in Burbank, CA, having immigrated from Russia when she was young, and lived in New York until she married my grandfather, Morris Ridnor. After Morris retired from Lockheed, they traveled to Israel, Japan, and Europe. In addition, they purchased a small truck and camper, and traveled around the United States.

The trip across the country wasn’t foreign to my grandfather who had been a chauffeur for a man named Captain Batavell (or something like that), who had my grandfather regularly drive him across the country, along with make shorter trips.

Even though my grandmother spent most of her days in Burbank, she had an enjoyable life, gardening and growing vegetables, writing, reading, visiting with family, attending lectures and discussion groups, and passing the afternoons watching Merv Griffin and Dick Cavett.

If she’d been born thirty or forty years later, no doubt, she would have become a college professor, journalist or other professional. Unfortunately, these opportunities weren’t available to her, and to that extent, she made the best use of her days, creating a legacy of writings, and instilling her love of words in me.