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Jean's Blog (Check out links to Guest Blogs in lefthand Column)

Looking Back 57 Years




How is it possible that an entire lifetime has gone by since we stepped out of the beautiful little round synagogue in Geneva Switzerland on July 15th 1962, as man and wife. We had nothing planned except to be together forever and ever.

We had known each other vaguely as children in Cairo, Egypt - but in a child's life, three and a half years between us was an unbridgeable gulf. I had been in the same class as Serge's younger brother at the GPS School, taught by the same teachers, playing in the same school yard, unaware that we would ever meet again once life took us into new and larger worlds..

The deepening tension between Israel and Egypt flung Serge's family to France where he went to the Lycee Janson in Paris, my parents later settled in Geneva Switzerland after leaving Egypt following the Suez crisis of 1956.

I had attended boarding school in Brighton, England and college at Westfield College of London University. I loved London. I loved living in Europe. I loved my large boisterous very connected family, now all scattered throughout Europe. The possibility of the Americas never crossed my mind, although a fortune teller had foretold it.

We each had other plans when we met again as adults in Switzerland in March of 1962. We were in our twenties, Serge on a business trip from New York for IBM World Trade. I, certain I would never marry a man from the Middle East. But in three weeks of periodic walking and talking, a little eating, a little dancing, a picnic, a visit to the Chateau de Gruyere, we joyfully committed to spending the rest of our lives together far from our families. All that mattered was to be together. We knew we would work it all out if we were together. We knew that was all that mattered.

We were right. No amount of planning could have prepared us for these past 57 years. We explored our youth together, had so much fun together, had good times and difficult times, and had our children when we were little more than children ourselves. No-one was around to dispense advice or to inflate disputes. There was no social media, no smartphones, no email, no easy phone connection to those we loved. Each crisis overcome brought us closer together. Life was not always kind.

So forgive me if I take a look back and dispense some advice strange to the ears of the meticulous young planners of today: The heart speaks truth. Don't plan. Don't waste time waiting for the timing to be perfect. To be exactly right.

Plunge. You'll find the way to get it right.

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