by Gabe Berman – the author of Live Like a Fruit Fly

Archive for the tag “hope”

So many caring people. It’s the reason for suffering. To give others the opportunity to care.

“So many caring people. It’s the reason for suffering. To give others the opportunity to care.”

Normally, I would have ended a post with a line like that, but this one is just too damn significant and too damn beautiful for anything less than top billing.

And now, with that, I don’t even feel like explaining it’s origin anymore.

So, I won’t.

I’ll just say it again, and pray that it marinates in the minds of those who may see this.

Truth or not, it’s a lovely perspective on this often unfortunate life of ours.

“So many caring people. It’s the reason for suffering. To give others the opportunity to care.”


explanation – please, please click and give if/what you can:


How I Wish You Were Here

Just giving you a heads up, this isn’t going to be worth reading.

And yes, I know that sounds like a ploy to actually get you to read, but I swear it’s not.

It’s just something I know I need to write, so I’m going to. But it’s not going to be good. I really have nothing of value to say to anyone right now.

I’m just sitting here. On the couch. In the dark. Watching Good Will Hunting. With tears in my eyes.

A perfect movie. Which I won’t do a disservice to by talking about.

It’s just perfect, that’s all.

Especially tonight.

At the end of this day.

Three years exactly since I stood over my dad and watched him take his last breath.

I miss him so much.

Also, coincidentally, today is the day that I found out that I’m not sick.

I had a bit of a health scare but like I said, I’m good.

Before I was wheeled in for the endoscopy, a few days after the esophagram I had to have, I thought about the time in college I had surgery on my right arm after breaking it rollerblading.
I dreamt of Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were during the operation. At least, I thought I was dreaming about it. In reality, I was waking up from the anesthesia and the doctors were listening to it in the operating room.

And check this out, a moment before they induced me into to la la land today, I noticed a framed photo of the moon on the wall. The caption read: The dark side of the mood?

More evidence pointing to how the universe is intricately connected and more proof that every “coincidence” is a reminder of that connection. Winks from an ineffable intelligence.

And, just maybe, a wink from my dad. Letting me know it’s all going to be okay.

Which, I’m so grateful to say, it was. Is.


“Just do what’s in your heart son, you’ll be fine.” – Sean Maguire to Will Hunting. And just maybe, another wink from my dad to me. I’ll choose to believe it was.


Before I Blow Out The Candles

True love can be vicious.

And true love can be violent.

And just a few years ago, I had no choice but to become the most uninhibited, unconditional expression of viciously violent love.

My dad decided to stop eating.

He wanted to die.

Because, he was dying.

But since we’ve all heard of cancer patients who’ve experienced spontaneous remissions, I sure as hell wasn’t going to let him squander a chance for a miracle.

Even if it was only a one in a million shot.

Or billion.

Of course I understood why he was giving up, and the truth is, I may have done the same.

Then why did I disallow it?

Because he would have done the same for me.

We had each other’s back. Until death do us part. And no one, not even him, was going to talk me out of leaving my wingman.

He was an extremely strong willed man and was used to being in control and getting his way.

No friend or family member could convince him to take even a bite of anything. From a hospital bed, with very limited ability to move, he was certainly still in control.

I asked him kindly to please eat.

He refused.

I asked him again, but this time, to just do it for me.

He still refused.

Vicious, violent love was our only option.

I lunged at his chest and grabbed the lapels of his bathrobe like I was about to destroy a guy in a bar fight.

With one explosive hoist, I lifted his upper body off of the bed so we were eye to eye with me barely hinging at the hips.

With a controlled raised voice I said, “You’re going to eat. And you’re going to do it. Now. And I swear to God if you don’t, I’ll fucking throw you to the floor and if anyone tries to help you, regardless who they are, they’ll end up in this rehab center.”

He tried to say something but I talked right over him.

“This isn’t a debate. You’re eating.”

We just looked at each other and breathed for a moment in silence.

He knew this wasn’t a toothless threat and he nodded in agreeance.

I let go of his robe and his head smacked against the pillow.

I should have been more gentle about, but like Elvis, my gentleness had left the building and my heart was pumping with the toughest of love.

However, within a second, he was feeding himself applesauce.

And before I went home for my daily two hours of sleep, I rested my head on his chest and have him a good hug.

I told him I loved him, and that I was sorry.

He kissed the top of my head.

I cried all the way to the car.

And now I’m going to tell you something that I’m really not supposed to: the birthday wish I’ve been making every year since.

Right before I blow out the candles, I close my eyes and wish that I never, ever have to be that way again. And I wish no one will ever have to be that way for me. And I wish the same for you. Yes you, the reader of these words. I wish you never have to experience this. I swear I do.


P.S. This isn’t a debate were his words. I heard them often as a kid when I unsuccessfully tried to talk my way out of situations. I can thankfully smile about

 it now.


WARNING: F-bomb Dropped Below

If you want to cover me in an avalanche of an anxiety, tell me the summer is ending before it actually is.

And like clockwork, my goddamn grandma has been spewing this rhetoric since mid June.

“Why isn’t my air conditioning working well? Did you touch the buttons?” she accusatorially asks.

“Maybe because all your windows are wide open and the entire sweltering universe is now in your apartment,” I say as innocently as I can.

“It’s probably broken. It doesn’t matter, the summer is almost over,” she relents.

My grandma is proof that those new-agey people are full of shit when they say that your life is a product of your thoughts. Because she’s the most negative person in the tri-state area and if that crap were true, she’d be toast a long time ago.

But she’s ninety-three and still going strong. With her cigarettes, garlic breath and guilt.

On the way to see her today, where I invariably had to explain why I’m a vegetarian for the billionth time, I saw kids on the side of the street selling lemonade.

I pulled over for a quickie down the hatch.

They weren’t charging anything but instead were accepting donations to help fight a horrible childhood disease that took two young kids in their family.

I gave them a couple of bucks and then to make them laugh I said, “Do you guys have any pizza to wash this lemonade down with?”

I really just don’t get how people choose to be negative. About anything. Ever.

And I’m not talking about being happy, because happy is hard when you have deep empathy for those who suffer. What I’m talking about is the incessant judgement, complaining and criticism which has become as commonplace in our culture as, I don’t know, cancer.

Perhaps that’s the link – bad vibes and cancer. But not individual bad vibes per se, but collective ones. And these bad vibes collect into invisible, condensed clouds and pass over each home like the biblical angel of death. And obviously, perhaps, some people are more vulnerable than others.

Which would explain why my grandma, who says stuff like, “It’s a sin to grow old,” has enough energy to fight in the UFC while those little redheads at the lemonade stand had to go to their cousin’s funerals.

Who knows if there’s a link or not, right?

All I know, for sure, is that the constant barrage of bad vibes isn’t helping anyone.

And there are plenty who need help.

So, if you’re lucky enough not to be one of those poor souls who need help, please, for the common good, shut the fuck up already with your negativity.

“Am I bugging you? I don’t mean to bug you, but I’m bugged.” – Bono

In Live Like a Fruit Fly, Gabe Berman shares his recipe for living a more joyful, worthwhile, and abundant life in every way. A witty, entertaining, and insightful read.” — Deepak Chopra, Author, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success

Something Strange, Unexpected, Out Of Control

When a man of my age shaves his face in the morning,
Who is it that stares back and greets him?
The ghost of his father long dead all these years?
Or the boy that he was, still wet in the ears?
Or the terrible sum of all of his fears,
In the eyes of this stranger who meets him?

So his glance rarely strays from his chin or his jawline,
To face up to the truth of his soul,
It’s the eyes he avoids so afraid to acknowledge,
Something strange, unexpected, out of control.

There are times when a man needs to brave his reflection,
And face what he sees without fear,
It takes a man to accept his mortality,
Or be surprised by the presence of a tear.
lyrics from Sting’s new album The Last Ship

“Without music, life would be a mistake.” – Friedrich Nietzsche


Until Death Do Us Part

My grandma left her body in her sleep last night.

I hope she immediately rejoined with her son, my dad.

I miss him so much.

And I’d be comforted to know that he’s back with his dad. Because I know he missed him so much.

Maybe the three of them are looking down on me right now. Maybe they’re with my dog Chuckles. And my other dog Monet.

I hope they’re not disappointed in me. Because I’m trying. I’m really trying.


12/11/12 3:15am

The universe swallowed him a year ago.
It swallowed me too.
But I still have my breath.
And my hope.


Life Continues In Different Forms

I’m sitting on a bench in front of my parent’s house.

Leaves have fallen to the lawn. It’s getting colder. Darker.

When my dad was sick, we’d sit out here together. Me on this bench, him in his wheelchair.

And now here I sit.


Looking at the flowers he planted long ago.

My new book – Where Is God When Our Loved Ones Get Sick? – available here:


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