I’m attending a conference in Las Vegas with colleagues. It’s been a grueling few days, but we finally were able to enjoy the evening off…first with a nice dinner and then at the Blackjack table. Far too quickly, I lost my winnings and desire to play. And so, I waited until the others were ready to call it a night.
With a Harvey’s Bristol Cream in hand, I found a seat amidst the bells and chimes of the slots. I cleared a few emails off my home and noticed the midnight hour drawing near. Midnight means it’s August 16. August 16 means it’s my grandfather’s one hundredth birthday.
It’s difficult to believe that Zaydie was born in 1918; even harder to imagine all he’s witnessed and lived to tell. My brother uses words like courage, resilience, faith, diligence, luck, acceptance, impatience, pride, resignation, wisdom, and gratitude to explain the qualities that sustained him for ten decades. In my opinion, he simply played his cards well.
After all, what are the odds of him overcoming smallpox? The gamble of a yeshiva boy becoming a successful tool and die maker? The bet that he’d survive the holocaust? The probability of living to see great-great grandchildren? The chances of still being with my grandmother after more that seventy-nine years together?
Through his century-long life, taking all into account, I know Zaydie believes he won the lottery with his family. Three children; nine grandchildren; twenty-five great grandchildren; and three great greats all add up. And on Sunday, the family and relatives and friends from near and far will join to celebrate his attainment of this momentous milestone.
I honestly can say this is the first time I’ve written a blog post in a casino. But I’ll double down on this one.
May you live to one hundred and twenty, Zaydie!!!