Hostage to Fortune

I’ve been feeling sorry for myself lately,  still immobilized and wheelchair-bound by my second ankle surgery a few weeks ago.  And then this week our cousin’s son Ariel,  a young guy in his 30s,  fell on the ice and broke his hip.  He had surgery but is still in a lot of pain and anticipates a long rehab.  Thankfully Ariel and I will recover,  but not so others in our family who suffer incurable ills.

Of course tragedy plays no favorites, and this week we learned of two deaths.   Our friend Abe died at 65 leaving Harriet a sudden widow,  and my book club friend Jane’s 27 year old son Daniel was the lone fatality in the electrical fire in that W 40s high rise.

Tragedy can’t be quantified,  and we’re all of us hostage to fortune.  But to good fortune as well –  this week our new baby cousin was born to Anya and Dave –  welcome and love to you,  little Zoe Eva!

Dana Susan Lehrman


  • I come from a very large family. One of six children, eleven aunts and uncles and 23 first cousins. But there were favorites. My Uncle Frank who gave all six of us a quarter every Sunday when we visited our grandparents. And my uncle Rocky who slipped a nickel in our hands whenever he saw us. My aunt Rosie who was so beautiful and always dressed elegantly. My sister and I used to want "boobies" like hers when we grew up. My uncle the barber who gave us all haircuts (even though I howled when he cut my long hair into a "bob".) Aunt Terry who was a great cook – all this made for an enchanted childhood, surrounded by people who loved each other without reservation. I remember Sunday dinners in our elegant dining room when some one or another relative would drop in and my mom would say, "Scooch over, made some room." Every holiday our house was crowed with aunts and uncles and their kids. Yes, we had a kid's table. Dinner took all afternoon. Now those days are gone. Parents, all aunts and uncles gone. Family scattered all over the country. As we all grow older it gets harder and harder to see all the cousins. I had 23 cousins; my grandkids have one or two.

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