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Explaining my absence, and my hopes

Melanie Sturm | @ThinkAgainUSA Read Comments - 2
Publish Date: 
Tue, 10/10/2017

Dear Readers,


As many have kindly noticed and inquired, I've been absent since January when I announced a temporary leave from my column. Now, I'd like to explain why, and share a bit of good news.


The reason has to do with the legal efforts of my Mother's La Jolla, California synagogue – which is the residual beneficiary of her estate – to completely disinherit me and my brother.


To our dismay, and despite our continuous efforts to resolve matters amicably in order to avert expensive and emotionally exhausting litigation, the synagogue made good on its threats, filing a lawsuit which claimed the gifts my Mom bequeathed to us, and making grotesque assertions about my character in their legal documents, now public.


Consequently, since my Mom’s passing on July 1, 2016, we’ve been locked out of her La Jolla condo (which she gifted to me and my brother), unable to fully process and find closure with her passing.


As this torturous legal matter became progressively adversarial, my lawyer advised me to keep a low profile, which I’ve done – until now. Thankfully, the Probate Judge recently rejected the synagogue’s disinheritance efforts, and I’m hopeful that we’re at the beginning of the end of this emotionally exhausting period.


Despite all, I recognize that I’m among the luckiest people to have ever walked this earth. That’s why I’m determined to use my resources to assure that institutions in which our civil society must have “faith,” are held accountable for their conduct. I look forward to returning to my column, and to telling this story and its lessons, a saga I pray ends happily -- with a “win” for all, and an apology.


Throughout this ordeal, I’ve discovered various coping mechanisms (apart from my amazing husband), including these insights: “this too shall pass,” and “how people treat you is their karma, how you react is yours.“


As I frequently tell my son, life is filled with mountains of goodness and joy, as well as valleys of pain and despair. The secret to happiness, therefore, is learning how to raise your gaze high enough to see the mountains, while averting the valleys.


I’m especially grateful to all those -- including many readers -- who’ve helped me focus on my many "mountains" by being sources of support, wisdom and hopefulness. I also appreciate our American justice system, which is working, albeit slower than I'd like!


May the moral arc of this matter bend toward justice, realizing the prayers for my Mother to Rest In Peace, and for her memory to be a blessing to all she touched. Personally, I long to sit again in her apartment amid the keepsakes she cherished, and to finally be "comforted among the mourners of Zion," as Jews typically pray for the bereaved.


I look forward to writing about the stories and issues that animate this fascinating era, and am always happy to engage with readers through this website.

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It's no wonder Americans are

It's no wonder Americans are losing faith in our most important institutions -- the media, Congress, law enforcement, and even houses of worship. It's no wonder considering that we are no longer a people mindful of the Golden Rule. I'm so sorry you had to go through this horrible ordeal and hope you're on your way to a good resolution.

We look forward to hearing the whole story -- including names -- when you're able, and to read your insightful commentary again soon!

Talk about karma! Just this

Talk about karma! Just this morning I thought to myself it had been so long since you had sent a column. So I looked up on the Internet and I saw your posting of yesterday. So sorry that the last year has been so brutal. Glad to hear that you have come out of it. And I look forward to reading you in the future.

Your friend MT from Phoenix

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