Way back in the 1970’s, my dad bought a place on the east coast of Florida, on the ocean. It was to be their escape place, a kind of haven as they got older. I remember the first time I visited, we want to a new restaurant that he loved. Fast forward many years and my family found us also creating an escape place in the same town. And, for many reasons, continued to go to this same restaurant, sometimes even sitting at the same table as that 1st visit. It was always there whenever we came back. Always consistent. And now gone. My wife and I were driving by there the other day and noticed a construction sign. SO we drove to see and found, much to our surprise, the notice that this stalwart was no longer. Gone forever, to be replaced by offices and, most likely, some yuppied “up scale” tapas, cocktail millennial “hot spot”.
As we both sat in what was once the parking lot, I got me thinking again of the relativity of much of what we hold to be constant. We live long enough to see much of what was true, gone. We take so much for granted and then, in blink of an eye, it is gone: places, people, who knows? I know for many, this little incident may seem trivial, but for some reason seeing the end of this place–and all it meant–seemed to reinforce the fact that so much of what we hold dear is also so transient. And that led to thinking that,, in the end, we are all transient in a way, and thus, what are the truths that really matter.
Perhaps this is may be mid-summer rambling. But, it also is a reflection on the fact that, as we get a little older, to value those people and things that come to mean so much. I am a believer in the importance and power of relationships. In the end, these relationships are the glue of our life. I will miss this place. It always reminded me of my dad. Memory remains a relationship that is eternal.
Rabbi Richard F Address
Rabbi Richard F. Address, D.Min, is the Founder and Director of www.jewishsacredaging.com. Rabbi Address served for over three decades on staff of the Union for Reform Judaism; first as a Regional Director and then, beginning in 1997, as Founder and Director of the URJ’s Department of Jewish Family Concerns and served as a specialist and consultant for the North American Reform Movement in the areas of family related programming. Rabbi Address was ordained from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1972 and began his rabbinic career in Los Angeles congregations. He also served as a part time rabbi for Beth Hillel in Carmel, NJ while regional director and, after his URJ tenure, served as senior rabbi of Congregation M’kor Shalom in Cherry Hill, NJ from 2011-2014.