Wishing Elizabeth Donato, a lovely day of joy and beauty as she cheerfully celebrated her birthday, September 15, surrounded in the love of her family, husband, Stephen, and children, Steve, Gina, Peter, and Rosemarie.
Whether you were nurturing your four babies as a stay at home mom, and then easily became a “mom” for all their friends, you lovingly continued to welcome everyone into your home. After all, how many moms would bake chocolate chip cookies and make homemade pizza on demand. You weren’t a Brownie or Scout leader, yet you were creative and artistic and taught crafts, and a love of nature right in your own flowery backyard. Rightly so, you were affectionately called “Mama Lizzie.”
Years later, you decided it was time to follow your dreams of becoming a nurse, a decision that was strongly supported by your husband, Steve, and children, and you discovered the strong woman you are. You graduated with honors, and were proudly wearing your nurse’s RN pin after years of difficult studies, at Orange County Community College. With your gentleness and comforting presence, you inspired courage and hope to your patients in need of tender loving care. It was your nature to learn more, and you were happiest doing things for other people, and that aspiration brought you into the schools and with your tenderness and welcoming smile, more young students simply needed an excuse for a quick visit to the beautiful School Nurse.
At this time in your life, especially during these uncertain times, you are faithful to your vocation as an Essential Health Care professional to heed the call to service, even during your retirement years. With your loyal supporter, Steve, together you have vowed to love the most helpless of God’s children: the aged, the lonely, the frightened, and the forgotten, with visits to nursing homes and hospitals, whenever the call comes, bringing prayers and God’s love and hope. Dear Lizzie, on your birthday, may the Lord in his goodness bless you with health and happiness, and the good humor to count all those sparkling candles as the dearest blessings in your life. We love you and are so very proud of you.
Rosh Hashana is the Jewish New Year and is a sacred time for our Jewish friends. At sundown on September 18, Jews all over the world will begin the observance of Rosh Hashana, a two-day holiday that marks the beginning of the Ten Days of Repentance. The ten days end with the observance of Yom Kippur, at sundown on September 27, the Day of Atonement.
The holiday begins with the sounding of the shofar or ram’s horn which serves to call the faithful to penitence, and it is a duty to listen to it. Many rituals associated with these High Holy Days help Jews to stay connected with their families, culture, and history as well as their faith. It is a period of family gatherings, celebration, and also of personal reflection. At this time, Jews are asked to review their life this year, to acknowledge moments of both joy and shame. They must admit where they have failed and make amends for any wrongs they have committed and to forgive their enemies. Repentance, Atonement, starting anew—these needs are something all people of faith can identify with.
The festive meal consists of blessings over sweet wine and a round challah—a rich, braided egg bread, to reflect the continuing cycles of the years and seasons. Many Jews dip slices of apple into honey, which is an expression of a desire for a year that is “good and sweet.”
At the end of the ten-day period of repentance is Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement. This is the most solemn day of the year for devout Jews. It is treated as a Sabbath, and is observed by complete rest and self-denial. The shofar is sounded again at the end of the final service to mark the end of the holiday period.
Best wishes to our Jewish friends to enjoy family health and love and peace in your lives, and may you be blessed with a happy and sweet new year.
May you always have an angel at your side.