So happy 2013 has arrived

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Our newest addition, Hudson, with mom Tracey, is adored by his cousin Addison.

It was a tough year, and yet with many sweet times. I’m so happy 2013 has arrived.

It was challenging with my husband Stu in and out of St. Francis Hospital to the point I called it my “home away from home!” I knew I was there too often when the security guard in the parking lot, as he was taking my ticket, began asking how my husband was. They were all so kind.

And yet what sustained me were my wonderful children, friends and work.

It was a beautiful holiday week, but my heart was heavy holding back the tears as I waved goodbye to my darling Jonah and Addison and their parents, my daughter Elizabeth and her husband Sam.

They were returning to Dallas after a week in New York, during which they stayed at my house, and what a treat it was to hear their little voices and see their boundless energy. Yes, they turned my house upside down, making it look like a cyclone came through, but it was all worth it.

I adored seeing how their personalities are developing and how they are growing. I may be more in tune with these steps because Lara, my first child, never developed mentally beyond a three month old.

These past weeks of senseless killings have made me want to hug all my children and grandchildren closer to my heart. I am so grateful for them.

We have lived through a shocking time. In only a few months so many lives have been senselessly taken from us. Ironically, gun control is getting the attention it needs. But I hope that advocates for the mentally ill will “seize the moment” and challenge why their family members are often so limited in getting help.

It was only through a class action lawsuit brought in the 1970s by parents of the developmentally disabled residents at Willowbrook State School on Staten Island that services in the community and group homes were created and funded. Without the court-mandated orders, none of the changes would have happened for people with disabilities.

But we “seized the moment.” When shock waves of disbelief were revealed by Geraldo Rivera’s brilliant investigative reporting, things changed.

Now may be the time for those in need of services for their loved ones suffering from a mental illness to take action. It takes just one person to raise his voice and consider a class action law suit . . .

On a happier note, my little family rejoiced in each other during the holiday break. Cousins Blake, 6, his sister Morgan, 3, and Jonah, also 3, and sister Addison, 15 months, bonded. And our little world is so enriched by the addition of five-month-old Hudson.

On Christmas Eve, we went to Roseann and Perry Frankel’s “annual feast.” Their house sparkled with lighted iciles hanging from every edge of the roof.

Ten-foot toy soldiers greeted us as we walked up the candy-cane lit path to the front door. My Jonah, on seeing the house, said it all: “WOW!”

Roseann had created a wonderland inside too, with 10 trees. Over the top was the pink Barbie doll one. Of course the food matched the quality and quantity of the decorations.

We held our belated Chanukah party on Christmas day and delighted in each child opening his or her gifts.

One of the highlights of the week was a visit to the New York Hall of Science. Each one, except Hudson who had a cough, found such fun there that they all want to go back. The hands-on exhibits are so well geared to each age that they had to be torn away to leave. But they will return. The true testament of a great museum is that it keeps you wanting to go back.

Well, I can’t wait until my little Dallas family comes back again, hopefully soon. I told Jonah I will miss him and he put his little hands out and said, “grandma, I will be back.” Out of the mouths of babes!

May the coming days and nights fill your life with good health, laughter, love and enough prosperity to share with others. Happy New Year!

Roseann and Perry Frankel hosted their “annual feast,” much to our delight.

Blake, who is into sports, got a jersey of his favorite player.

Morgan loved her presents of DVDs.

Jonah, in from Dallas with his mom, dad and sister, was super excited about his gifts!

Addison didn’t want to play with toys, but rather, her mom’s wallet.