If asked, they would probably not self identify as Buddhist, but Mom knows better....in my eyes, they are both Bodhisattvas, leaning into their lives with care, compassion and wisdom gained through the experiences of their lives.
The younger teaches first graders in the wilds of the Bronx, the older volunteers for Dress For Success and mentors a young Chinese immigrant.
The stories they tell are heart breaking, triumphant, funny, startling and sometimes ordinary, illuminating the ways of compassion and wisdom, illuminating the continuous flow of interbeing. I love them both so much for their energy, and for never giving up, sometimes even in the face of insurmountable difficulty. Somehow, they never loose their senses of humor, and as the photo illustrates they are one another's best friend.
Over and over again, my children are my role models!
This is what B sent me recently:
"By emulating the examples of great personalities of the past, by pondering upon scriptural quotations and anecdotes taught by teachers, by employing all sorts of means, you should be able to develop a deep conviction that this present human body has great potential and that you shall never waster even a singe minute of its use. On the other hand, not taking any essence of this precious human existence, but just wasting it, is almost like taking poison while being fully aware of the consequences of doing so.
It is very wrong for people to feel deeply sad when they lose some money, while when they waste the precious moments of their lives they do not have the slightest feeling of regret. Such an indifference comes as a result of not realizing the value and rarity of the precious human existence. Therefore, you should determine that on the basis of this precious human existence you have the capability and capacity to undertake the practice of dharma."
--from The Path to Bliss by H.H. the Dalai Lama