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.
The Stuff That Lasts, Part Deux
5 weeks ago