Thursday, July 10, 2014

My Inner New Yorker

For several years now, I have struggled with the weight of my rigid routine and the loss of my identity as a woman and as an individual, my needs and passions that might reflect me without any connection or obligation as a mother.

I am happy to report that after spending four days in New York City, I have rediscovered the essential Me, the passionate Me, the human being I was with much credit to my college years and as a single person.  I am also happy to report that Raphaela seems to have the natural qualities of an Inner New Yorker, she far surpassed my expectations in every way during this visit.

The Museum of Natural History, the MET, Central Park, the Upper East and West Side; Raphaela and I must have walked at least five miles each day and she not once complained of aches or pains or discomfort from the muggy heat.  My daughter stopped to talk to every police man we saw on the street, and found playmates in the sandbox at the children's playground or at a coffee shop.

For one entire week neither of us have sat in front of a television, we haven't had time in our schedule.

This morning we left the City to head out to Long Island, to meet an old friend at the beach.  A homeless woman boarded the subway and in a brief and polite statement explained that she was not begging for money, but rather anything that might make life on the street in the hot New York Summer a little easier, "even a sip of water."

Every other passenger in the car ignored this woman, made her invisible, as one would expect.  Raphaela and I looked solemnly at each other, and Raphaela gave this person her water bottle. The  homeless woman immediately smiled at us, a sweet honest and happy expression, and inhaled the water as if it were her last breath.  Then she said to Raphaela, " Thank you! I never finished school and  did the work to have a successful life. Stay in school and be good to your mother."

I was so proud of Raphaela, for her kindness and her essential humanity.

1 comment:

Denise Wilbur said...


You may or may not remember me, but I remember you fondly and found your blog several months ago. I'd love to share my thoughts, but I don't want to simultaneously share them with the world.

If this works for you, please send your email address to me at I don't think I have endless wisdom to dispense, but long ago I believed in you, and I continue to believe in you.

Denise Flaxman Wilbur