We are here today, O Lord, to celebrate the Festival of Chanukah. The time of a miracle. When one day’s flame of light was kept going for eight.

We too have witnessed a miracle. Our own. We have kept our Lamp of Life burning to a length of years not granted to everyone.

At times it was hard. At times easy. At times the light burnt so brightly it shed a glow upon all who came near.

At times an ill-wind blew and made the flame to flicker, but always a protective hand came up to shield it.

If once we took our Lamp too lightly, we now know how precious a gift it is. Not be abused or neglected.

So we ask, O Lord, that for the rest of our days, you grant us the power and the will to tend our Lamp; to keep on doing and not being done for. To keep the flame bright and unclouded so we may share its light with others.

After reading this invocation, I immediately sent the following spiritual message to my grandmother Rose, holder of the Red-Pen-of-Perpetual-Corrections, “You wrote fragment sentences. Lots and lots of fragment sentences!”

I had many heated discussions with her about my tendency to insert an occasional fragment sentence when a short phrase was more appropriate than a grammatically-correct sentence. And now I see, she was a flagrant fragmenter!

Onto the invocation…

My grandmother passed away a month after her 90th birthday. Her husband, Morris, followed a year later. She lived a healthy life, eating small meals, keeping active with gardening, and housework, and remaining mental astute through reading and writing.

She was 83 years old when she wrote the invocation above where she gave thanks for her “lamp of life burning to a length of years not granted to everyone.” It’s a beautiful turn-of-words, but more lyrical is her desire to “keep the flame bright and unclouded so [she] could share its light with others.”

It’s a selfless statement to want life not just for you, but to help others. The ability and willingness to continuing “doing,” whether one’s life work, hobbies, tending to others, or day-to-day activities is what keeps ones lamp burning bright.

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