A few years ago, I sent a copy of this little book to a dear friend’s daughter when she became a mother. I liked it so much I ordered a second one possibly to keep, possibly to give again. I tucked it away for safe keeping and as so often happens, I just came across it.
The drawings are a bit more twee than I remember, but the quotes still ring true and beautiful. Editors Natasha Tabori Fried and Lena Tabori include blessings from every land and culture — Ireland, Egypt, China and Native American traditions. There is advice from Dr. Seuss and Antoine de St. Exupery and wisdom from Ecclesiastes, Euripides, and e. e. cummings. Among the blessings from various religions I was pleased to see some of my favorite Jewish blessings, including one known as the Traveler’s Prayer. Covid kind of put that one on ice, but soon… How fun it must have been for the mother-daughter editors to create the book together, organizing their finds into blessings for mealtime, nature, weddings and of course motherhood, to mention a few.
Mother’s Day has come and gone. A Mother’s Book of Blessings is a sweet one to enjoy year-round and to gift to a new mother. Or an old one if you are still so blessed!
T’filat HaDerech, the Traveler’s Prayer (complete text)
May it be Your will, Lord, our God and the God of our ancestors, that You lead us toward peace, guide our footsteps toward peace, and make us reach our desired destination for life, gladness, and peace. May You rescue us from the hand of every foe, ambush along the way, and from all manner of punishments that assemble to come to earth. May You send blessing in our handiwork, and grant us grace, kindness, and mercy in Your eyes and in the eyes of all who see us. May You hear the sound of our humble request because You are God Who hears prayer requests. Blessed are You, Lord, Who hears prayer.
This from a very old mother: I’m not going anyplace, much to my daughters’ chagrin. They have all kinds of plans and presumed that I would follow them. “Read my lips” I said, or some version thereof. “I’m not going anyplace – I’m 86, going on 87 (an old habit I’ve had since PS 46 made me realize the significance of one’s exact age) and it’s taken me a year to feel fully at home in my new digs (still haven’t finished unpacking all the bins of memorabilia they kindly packed up for me when my last home was sold and they reassembled my stuff in apartment #323, my new home. Despite the Corona epidemic when we were confined to our own apartments for months at a time and meals were delivered to us to avoid contact with potential carriers, I managed to make some delightful friends and establish myself as the lady who plays CDs on Tuesdays after supper in the atrium (ie the lobby) from my collection and an occasional loan from other residents. The residents’ taste runs more to Perry Como than the jazz that was originally promised as “Jazz by Judy” but it’s only for an hour and I was happy to have more to offer than Chair Exercises and Making Holiday Decorations, the offerings by the professionals.. I have also taken over our very casual singing group when its originator was hospitalized (she is still not ready to resume the group). I don’t have song sheets to distribute so I’ve been leading (as much as my asthma permits) songs which everybody knows. Tonight I’ll start with Chiquita Banana I looked up the original lyrics online and I’m sure it will be a hit, and finish with “Now is the Hour”, a WWII Maori song of farewell. Made sure I had the lyric right by checking with “Alexa” who provided Bing Crosby’s original recording. Aloha, I think.
Dear Readers, this is my wonderful Aunt Judy, my mom’s older sister.
Judy is whip smart, loving, and wise.
I love you, Aunt Judy.