Sunday, September 28, 2008

Rosh Hashannah thoughts

I just got off the phone with my parents. It's hard to think I haven't seen them in over a year. I don't want to lead you all to believe that we have always had the warmest, closest relationship. In the past, I have had a great deal of anger inside of me, toward them, for things to painful to recount here. I think I've said this before, but some time ago I let that go. How could I blame them for doing the best they could, the best they knew how? We are all dealt certain cards in life and we just can't go on living in the past and wishing things were different. As I got older, I also realized that I am not the only one that grew up in a somewhat (maybe that's being kind) dysfunctional home. And, well, yes that makes me feel better (sometimes).

Of course I took my parents for granted back in the USA. If I wanted to see them, I did and if I didn't, well then...Here I have no choice. I just don't see them. Period. Sure I speak to them often on my Great American VOIP Line. But it's just not the same.

I say I speak to "them", but really it's my mom I speak to. She has always been the family communicator. My father is a very quiet man. And more often than not, I tell her to give him my love and he does the same.

Now they are old. My father is not well, and my mother is caring for him. She sounds tired when I speak to her. Tired in that resigned way. I did make sure to speak to my father today, the day before Rosh Hashannah. He has sounded resigned for a long time now. He has been having trouble with his legs and will not be able to walk to shul (synagogue) and so he will daven at home. This makes me feel incredibly sad. My father has a beautiful voice and though he was never formally trained he was a chazzan. He was often not home for Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur as he would travel to another shul, to lead the services there. When he got a bit older, he began to do so in our own shul. It has been several years since he has had the stamina to lead the services, but this will be first time that he will actually not be able to pray with a minyan. He actually sounded completely defeated and depleted. Even though he always says "Baruch Hashem, fine" when I ask him how he is.

I miss them. I wish...what exactly do I wish....? That they were well and happy and could be enjoying this time in their life. How many more times will I get to actually see them? I guess I shouldn't go there. I am blessed to have them here and to be able to hear their voices. So many of my friends can no longer do that.

And so for this New Year, תשס"ט, 5769 I wish you all a healthy year, a sweet year, a year full of joy and family and prosperity. May this year bring us the peace we so yearn for and the ultimate redemption, so we can all really live together in our true home. May we enjoy everyday for the gift it is and have the ability to thank G-d for all His blessings.

Shana Tova...

11 comments:

Leora said...

My father-in-law can no longer walk to shul. The holidays take on a different meaning, when you cannot be with a congregation.

Yes, our parents usually did try their best. And too many of us grew up in families that could have been run a little more smoothly on the emotional side.

Thanks for an introspective post at this time. Take care and Shana Tova to you and yours.

SuperRaizy said...

So sorry to hear about your past difficulties with your parents. It is good of you to try to overlook the past and maintain a positive relationship with them now.
I admire all that you've accomplished in the past year, and I wish you and your family lots of health and happiness in the new year. It's strange for me to feel friendship toward someone I've never met, but I have a feeling that we would get along well in real life, too. If I ever get back to Israel (hopefully!) I will definitely come visit (with or without an invitation!)
Shana Tova!

A Living Nadneyda said...

What a beautiful post. I can relate -- it's hard to mend past fall-outs with parents.... I really don't know where to begin sometimes, but your piece here reminds me to look the difficulties in the eye and hopefully I will come to see a new angle that will encourage me to take the next step.

My best wishes for a wonderful year, to you, your family, and all your readers.

Jack said...

Shana Tova.

Anonymous said...

Baila, we can see you really care despite whatever happened between you and your parents in the past.
I live far from a real community and can understand (at least a little) how your father feels.
Shana tova to you and your family.
Ilana-Davita (from school)

RivkA with a capital A said...

May this year be filled with happy memories and many reasons to celebrate!

Shanah Tovah,
RivkA

mother in israel said...

Shana tova. The decline of our parents is hard to accept, whatever our relationship. But it is harder when we are so far away.

Baila said...

Thank you all for your words of support and wishes for the new year.

And Raizy, I agree with you about feeling friendship toward someone I've never met, or only met once. It's a strange phenomena, but it's part of why I so enjoy blogging.

muse said...

Not easy. My parents are in NY and my sister in AZ.

You can't be every where and everything to everyone.

Gmar Chatimah Tovah

sheldan said...

Baila,

I've just discovered your blog...look forward to reading more.

Nothing more to add...

G'mar Chatima Tova.

Sheldon Dan
Memphis, TN

Baila said...

Batya,

It's hard with close family living so far away....we do the best we can.

Sheldan,

Welcome! It's always nice having new people aboard. I love comments, so feel free anytime!