Nothing in life is better than a little humor. At least that’s the way I see it. I enjoy laughing and I like to have fun. Writing has always been fun for me. It saves me from having to pay for therapy. If I write, I don’t need pills or a therapist to lighten my mood. It also helps me at night. If I can’t sleep at night, I just get up and write. I am far from perfect so I sometimes rely on a thesaurus and use a dictionary to help me with spelling. My family, who has always known that I enjoy writing, occasionally takes advantage of it. For years I was asked to help my grandchildren by editing what they had written for a school assignment. They did the actual writing since the ideas and the words were theirs but I had to clean it up before they handed in a paper. It was a mission of mercy on my part because I intensely disliked doing it. As much as I enjoy writing, I dislike editing. However, refusing to help a grandchild has never been an option.

On many occasions I have been asked to write a few words for someone wanting to send a personal birthday wish to a friend or a relative. What’s personal about that I don’t actually know but, when I’m asked, I comply. I tell myself that actually it is a personal wish from the person requesting my help because they tell me what they want to say and I just put it into words for them. So the thoughts, and the sentiments expressed, are not mine. Sometimes I’m asked to write a short speech. This is not always a trouble-free endeavor since, on one occasion I was asked to write a speech for the father of a bride to make at his daughter’s wedding. It was fine until I received another call a week later. Call number two was from the father of the groom who also wanted to speak at that wedding.

The time I ran into even bigger trouble was when my daughter asked me write something memorable for her to say at her high school reunion. At the reunion it wasn’t necessary for her to mention that what she said had been written for her. But the reunion attendees assumed that the speech, which was a big hit, had indeed been written by her. The problem arose several months later when one of those former classmates called my daughter to ask for a favor; would she please write something for him to say to the guest of honor at a party? My daughter had to tell the guy that she had not written her reunion speech but that it had been written by her mother. Her natural assumption was that, once the guy knew that, he would drop the subject. She was wrong! This fellow wasn’t giving up. He wanted what he wanted! So he asked my daughter if her mother would do the same thing for him. I don’t even know this fellow but my daughter begged me so I did it. It was like a game of ‘telephone’. He told my daughter what he wanted to say, my daughter told me, and I did the writing.

I have a son-in-law who also gets into the act. From my daughter (this same daughter) he learned that I write. Whenever he wants to send a letter, he calls on me. It might me a letter of recommendation or it might be a letter of complaint. Whatever it is. I get stuck writing it.


Hannah Berman lives in Woodmere and can be reached at or 516-295-4435. Read more of Hannah Berman’s articles on


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