stuart friedman
richard verity
stuart friedman stuart friedman stuart friedman
stuart friedman
stuart friedman
stuart friedman
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Today (7/9/2019) marks 17 years since my mother, from Bellerose, passed. I was 10. I last left her ashes in Long Beach in March, and every time I visit the boardwalk in the off season I think of what she would think of me now. I saw a bench on the boardwalk in her namesake that says, "LIFE IS A MIRACLE."

Last year I went to New Montefiore Cemetery to scatter some ashes of hers there with my uncle, but something was incomplete. I always wanted to see an ocean on my bucket list, for I had never seen it before. So I searched where that was convenient and I was eventually split between going to Rockaway and Long Beach. Had I not run for the train in Penn Station I would have never ended up in Long Beach much less make this city a part of my life. And the boardwalk was the greatest surprise of my life!

The boardwalk changed my life forever. It made me more aware of the time we have left on Earth and what really matters when we're gone, what lasts through the discourse of generations as I look out at the timeless ocean. In March I saw the engagement of a young couple on the beach where I last scattered my mother's ashes, and it was the most awesome thing I ever beheld, which is the inspiration of many of my pencil drawings. It was near my mother's namesake bench where it happened. It was like death turned to the mist and conception that a new baby brings in the form of reincarnation and new life. My mother could very well now be a little one on the beach, a baby again! Indeed, life IS a miracle.

Before she died she left a recording where she talked about just that. Why are we even here at all? And why here, I ask, every time I come to Long Beach? Why is this my karmic place? Is this what Heaven will look like for me, I ask.

It is very much in the air for me when I walk down Broadway or Park Avenue and I see everybody that, well, didn't make it to those places in Manhattan! I may not be on the A-list, or own properties like Monopoly, or be a President, or live in Malibu, but in itself, life is a miracle.