This afternoon and evening I went to the surprise 70th birthday party for a friend from the choir. He lives up in the hills, in a huge beautiful house overlooking a canyon. He had an accident a couple of years ago skiing, and was paralyzed. No one was sure he would ever walk again. But he fought his way back, and now walks with crutches. He travels and does everything, just about, that he used to do. His wife is a totally amazing person, with a high powered job, who nonetheless dropped everything to be with him everyday in the hospital and help him regain his health and his strength. She arranged this absolutely amazing big party of family and friends, with wonderful food and even entertainment. There was a magician who did a long and amazing show, a combination of all the usual tricks--the cup and bowl, making a woman disappear, etc., but also some tricks with a twist--such as pulling a dollar bill out of a banana (and making it come together again after being cut in pieces). It was also interesting to speak to some people I knew from synagogue, but had never really sat down and talked to. One woman grew up in Germany before WWII, and was 17 when her parents sent her away to California after the Nazis began sending Jews away. She didn't see her parents or siblings for 23 years after that. The family had escaped to Argentina, but she had three children by the time she saw them again. She told us stories about her village in Germany before the war, and the beautiful life she and her family lived.
Another friend from choir told me she had won a series of yoga lessons at Yoga Works, where I go to yoga. She wanted to know which classes I attended, and when they were, so we could go together. Unfortunately, she works during most of the times I go to class, but she said that when she went to pick up the gift certificate, it was just after my mother's funeral, and she told the person at Yoga Works that she couldn't pick it up that day as she was supposed to because of this funeral, and the person at the desk asked whether it was my mother's funeral. She was so shocked to hear my name! So she feels I should guide her through this yoga experience. I hope she will be able to come to class next Sunday when Denise comes back from India. I think she will like Denise a lot.