No Card From Mom

It’s a warm day when I think of her
Just a moment’s leap in time.
To the day when I could call her up
And know my Mom was fine.

It’s my first birthday without my mom
She left me far too soon.
She went up to God and left me here
Now my Spring just ain’t as good.

So there’ll be no card from Mom this year
No gift, no call, no kiss.
My day will pass without her words.
All I’ll have is just a wish
For one quick moment to be with her
To hold her hand in mine.
To tell her I love her just one more time
And to let her know I’m fine.

Seems the sun’s just not as bright this year
The sky just ain’t as blue.
She gave me everything I have
My love for her is honest and true.

Like to think that she’s with me now
As I walk through this good life.
Her hand gently placed in mine
Her bright smile with me for all time.

So there’ll be no card from Mom this year
No gift, no call, no kiss.
My day will pass without her words
All I’ll have is just a wish
For one quick moment to be with her
To hold her hand in mine
To tell her I love her just one more time.
And to let her know I’m fine.






International Adoption – A Journey to Grandparenthood

I’ve become a grandpa. Yes, my husband and I are proud grandpas of a little girl named Piper Marie, and gee, is she ever perfection! She came into this world on December 5th, Saint Nicholas Day in The Netherlands. She is our Hanukkah and Christmas gift, oh, and did I mention, our little angel too?

The creation of a family is truly a miracle. Tom and I adopted our son from Russia in 2004 from a region of Russia near where my Jewish grandparents fled in the early 1900’s. Before adopting Viktor, I had received a gift from a Russian visitor, a tapestry in fact, that came from Smolensk, a medium-size western Russian city near the village in which our son was born. Then on June 19, 1996, the day Viktor was born, I enrolled in Russian language classes. A coincidence perhaps, but one that sends a happy chill down my spine every time I think of it, as if it was all meant to be.

To add even further to the mysterious path of how families come together, I have in my possession a wooden Russian figurine that was brought to the U.S. by my Russian grandparents. She represents a stout and hardened rural woman, a 1226171635_resized“babushka” who keeps her place in our china cabinet except when she and her equally hearty husband stand guard next to the menorah during Hanukkah. Funny thing, and I kid you not, she looks eerily similar to Viktor’s real Russian grandma (see photo) who served as one of the few sources of love for him before he came to join our family. So she had been standing guard not only in our china cabinet, but also, in real life, in a rural village near Smolensk, to guard our little son against the neglect he was unfortunately experiencing before and during his orphanage years. A far-fetched coincidence perhaps, though it sure feels real enough to me.

Now, 13 years later, our son is a papa. We are proud of him, since he definitely made it through the rain of childhood and the teen years, leaving us breathless, sad, and angry along the way. I’d like to think that the journey we were on with him helped him to gain sobriety and stability, and a degree of happiness that can be tough for adopted children to achieve under even the best of circumstances. He now kisses his daughter’s head knowing that she is his blood on this side of the ocean. She who looks so much like him rests gently on his chest, quieted by his loving energy in a way I’m sure he longed for – though he may not have recognized that he needed – when he was her age. He’s not setting out to re-create his own sad pre-adoption youth. No, Piper Marie only gets the best from him.

1215171547_resizedSo Tom and I set out 27 years ago to love and respect each other. Fourteen years into our relationship, we added our son to our family, and we have loved and cared for him, and have taught him what we felt he needed to know to become a good person, man, and father. Our tips still continue of course, and he actually seeks out our advice more frequently now (who would’ve thought that would ever happen!), but he now has his own little family and home.

So yes, the creation of a family is a miracle however it’s put together. Our little granddaughter carries my last name, a name of Russian origin that bears the pride of a family who made it out of Europe before the winds of World War II descended. She carries the blood of Viktor’s birth parents, one of whom is deceased, and one (his birth mother) whose whereabouts are unknown. Yes, Piper carries a lot on her petite shoulders, but she does so with the love of her mother and father – our son – who’s been raised with unconditional love from his dads. Here’s to grandpahood. We couldn’t be happier!



A dear friend of mine sent this to me this morning. I wanted to share it:

In our tears and agony, we hold our children close and confront the truth: The future is dark.

But my faith dares me to ask:

What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb?

What if our America is not dead but a country still waiting to be born? What if the story of America is one long labor?

What if all the mothers who came before us, who survived genocide and occupation, slavery and Jim Crow, racism and xenophobia and Islamophobia, political oppression and sexual assault, are standing behind us now, whispering in our ear: You are brave? What if this is our Great Contraction before we birth a new future?

Remember the wisdom of the midwife: “Breathe,” she says. Then: “Push.”

Now it is time to breathe. But soon it will be time to push; soon it will be time to fight — for those we love — Muslim father, Sikh son, trans daughter, indigenous brother, immigrant sister, white worker, the poor and forgotten, and the ones who cast their vote out of resentment and fear.

Let us make an oath to fight for the soul of America — “The land that never has been yet— And yet must be” (Langston Hughes) — with Revolutionary Love and relentless optimism. And so I pray this Sikh prayer:

Nanak Naam Chardi Kala,
Tere Bane Sarbat Da Bhalla

“In the name of the Divine within us and around us, we find everlasting optimism.
Within your will, may there be grace for all of humanity.”

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Shades of You

honest I don’t
do three shades of you
with nothing to do
except pine after your
lying flat ass
on withered brown grass
dark odors pass
from the he said/she said they’ll screw
you cheap bastard
much rounder you are
than when we met in the bar
before deeding it in the back seat of the car
we didn’t get far
away, much ahead
didn’t get much for the care
we once shared
when we knew we could dare
to love, caress with abandon
me, you did.

I cared, you jerk.
The fourth shade of you
I could not have known.
So needlessly blown
By the other shades
You dared  not to show.

#WorldAIDSDay and My Brother Jeff

My dear older brother Jeffrey George Mazon died of AIDS-related complications in January 1990. He was an art dealer, with special expertise in mid-century modern furniture and Art Deco. He loved hard, played hard, and died hard. These were the early years of the crisis when the HIV protocols were just being put into place. He was able to take advantage of a few of them, even anti-retroviral drugs, but it was too late. He did not have the time to benefit from the drugs that were being administered to him.

Someone so very aware, and proud of, his looks was struck by molluscum all over his face to which he would take a torch (powered by a gas canister prescribed to him by his doctor) to try and rid himself of these pink lesions. I was there, and I saw him doing this one time. But now as I reflect back on this almost 29 years later, I shudder in sadness that my handsome and proud brother was actually burning his face so that he could look at himself in the mirror. Indeed, so that he could retain a degree of dignity in the face of this scourge.

Jeff and I were allies of sorts, though often at odds with each other. I, the studious and focused younger brother, and he, the hard charging party guy, did not always see eye to eye. I didn’t want to cause trouble for my single mom, while Jeff threw caution to the wind, focusing primarily on the things that made him happy. I judged him then, but I don’t now, what with all of the years behind us. Judging what brought him to his untimely death does not do his life justice, nor does it bring him back. His life doesn’t need a Facebook “Like” from me.

So today, as the world recognizes #WorldAIDSDay, I’d like to send a shout out to Jeff who would have been such a great uncle to our son whose own struggles as a teen have brought back many of the feelings and hurt that I had when Jeff would lock me out of a room, or pick up the phone so that I couldn’t call my mom at work on our 70’s rotary phone to tell her that Jeff was being mean to me, or when, in 1989, he’d call his partner from across the country to plead for him to join him even when death was knocking at his door.

So I’m sending out a shout to Jeff to let him know that yes, I did turn out to be gay like him (heavenly eye roll from Jeff since he probably knew that anyway!), that our sister is as lovely as ever, that our dear dad passed peacefully a year ago, and that our amazing mother remains in my heart and mind each and every day. I couldn’t save you back then dear brother, though I tried as hard as I could as we all did. But I can, almost 30 years later, extend a heartstring to you so that we can move forward together, spiritually, in a spirit of fraternal love and friendship. I love you and miss you, dear one.


I’m Going There

I never thought I would find my way
To be all that I can be.
To do what I know I can.
To live what’s right for me.

I’m going there, I’m reaching high
I’m going to stay on track.
I’ll jump high, I’ll live large
With the wind against my back.

I never thought I would make it far
Thought I’d lost it, I’d shut down.
I never thought the road would lead
To where I am right now.

I’m going there, I’m reaching high
I’m going to stay on track.
I’ll jump high, I’ll live large
With the wind against my back.

And now the sky’s the limit
The only place I’ll be.
The one space meant for me.
I know it’s time for me.

I’m going there, I’m reaching high
I’m going to stay on track.
I’ll jump high, I’ll live large
With the wind against my back.


The SOB Gets What He Deserves

In July of 1995, a friend of mine, Nedzad Avdic, was shot and left to die in a field near Srebrenica. He survived, and is now the proud father of three beautiful children. He remains in Srebrenica as a testament to the fact that Mladic and the ethnonationalist Serbs did not win.

It continues to be difficult in the region, since so many genocide deniers reside in the area, and are given support by bastards like Milorad Dodik, Republika Srpska President.

Today’s verdict on Mladic corrects a wrong, and provides a degree of moral clarity that the world needs right now. It is one that Bosnian Muslims in particular deserve. The butcher of Bosnia will be locked up and left to rot. May his soul, if he has one, suffer in hell. May his victims gain some degree of solace in the Tribunal’s verdict. And may my friend Nedzad raise his hand in triumph today as the sun sets in Srebrenica. Court Jails Mladić for Life