November 2017 Newsletter
Livin’ the Dream
I recently met a couple whose love for one another is transcendent in its purity and beauty. It touches the hearts and the souls of all who know them. Xiaobo LaPresta and Jay Liebowitz are that couple.
While studying for her Master’s Degree in Education at the University of Akron in Ohio, she was introduced to Jack LaPresta. Xiaobo said, “Before marriage I never asked Jack how much money he had…Because we had unconditional love from the beginning, we knew our marriage would be strong, even with few material things.” They had a daughter, Mae.
And their marriage needed to be strong. Several of their businesses failed but they persevered. After years of financial struggle, Xiaobo secured work as a translator for a Chinese-American company called Berk Enterprises. Xiaobo soon made herself invaluable and Mr. Berk promoted her to Import Manager. Jack was brought on as a salesman. The business prospered, and Jack and Xiaobo found financial success.
However, after 22 years of marriage, Jack died after exploratory surgery. Xiaobo was devastated; the foundation of her life was shattered. Soon after the funeral, Mae left for college. Xiaobo was alone.
Time passed. A friend suggested she try online dating. Match.com identified Jay. They were to meet at the mall. Two friends, her sister and Xiaobo checked out Jay as he held roses and chocolates for her. He passed the “test.”
Jay is a remarkable man: kind, patient, naturally attentive. He is quiet, a perfect match for Xiaobo’s energy and passion for life.
There are 2 books about her stories, “Believe in Love”, published by the China Wenhui publishing house, and “ Ordinary People Extra Ordinary Planet” by Robert Morris professor, Dr. Shellie Hipsky.
Xiaobo has created a lovely DVD, “14 Recipes for Love.” Viewing it, you will experience the power of love in all its facets. For your copy, contact Xiaobo firstname.lastname@example.org .
To promote healthy living, Xiaobo has been teaching and lecturing Tai Chi exercise and Chinese folk dancing in the Pittsburgh area. For her classes schedule at Orchard Hill Church, Cranberry Township and CCAC North Hills, please visit her website: www.taichiwithxiaobo.com .
Our Common Quest – Holiday Edition
Three of the worlds’ major religions observe important events in December. Christians celebrate the birth of Christ. For the Jewish community, Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple during the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid empire. Muslims mark the birth of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Buddhists commemorate the historical Buddha’s enlightenment.
Our African brothers and sisters celebrate Kwanzaa, held in the United States and in other nations of the West African diaspora in the Americas.
Today our world and its people are beset by wars, famine, genocide, poverty and displacement from their homes. Man-caused climate change threatens our very existence on Planet Earth.
My fervent wish is for Americans to recognize we are all in this human soup together, to open our hearts to our differences, and to embrace the commonalities.
Wouldn’t that be an extraordinary New Year’s Resolution?
What’s Up with Neal?
Reading: “Shake it Up – great American writing on Rock & Pop from Elvis to Jay Z” Brilliant essays on most of the key players in the music biz 1956 – present.
Music: “The Real Album” by The Real Group Incomparable acapella jazz from one of the finest vocal bands in this universe.
Video: “The Only Living Boy in New York” (2017) Stars Callum Turner, Kate Beckinsale, Pierce Brosnan & Jeff Bridges. A silly play on a young man’s first sexual encounter, but interesting for the interplay of the characters.
Ok, that’s it.
Documentary movie-Interviewed Shanghai women writers about Xiaobo's story- made in Shanghai, China, 2011:
To help and support the people who suddenly lost a loved one