Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Rosh HaShanah 2012

We don't say "thank you" often enough, we forget to be grateful for the things we have.  Toward that end, I want to start by wishing all those who have taken the time to read my blog a wonderful year, full of health and joy and success, surrounded by the love of family and friends.  May you always be able to enjoy and appreciate the small amazing moments in your life.

Please also forgive me if I have insulted or offended.

As a gift to myself this year, I forgive myself and accept that I am an imperfect human being and mother, a person who sometimes feels overwhelmed but mostly manages to do right by myself and my daughter.  Near-perfection is over-rated and quite frankly, exhausting.

I have a friend whom I have avoided visiting since she returned to Jerusalem.  Allow me to explain:  my friend (and former acupuncturist), a woman five years older than me, flew to Australia to settle her recently deceased father's estate.  While abroad, she suffered a major and unexpected stroke, so much so that she received several months of rehab in Australia before she could even board a plane to return to Israel, to continue intensive therapy.

I saw her soon after, sitting in a wheel chair and able to speak, though that spark of personality, that essential element of who she was as my friend and spiritual mentor was gone.  She almost remembered me, and we had a conversation on a superficial and juvenile level.  The encounter so depressed me, that I wouldn't even walk by her house for the next two years.

This week, in honor of Rosh HaShanah, I visited her with my daughter, whom she had never met.  My friend is no longer confined to a wheel chair, but she requires full-time live-in assistance, and her intellectual and mental capacity will never rebound.

And so I return to my original point:  I thank G-d for our health, for the roof over our heads and the satisfaction I get from helping patients every day, and for our ever growing and deepening relationship as mother and daughter, and as friends.  I am truly blessed, and proud of myself for taking the risk of becoming a single mother by choice, because otherwise I would have never met the evolving human who is Raphaela.

To round out the ebbing Jewish year, I am happy to report that Raphaela's Gan classmate - who last Chanukah lost his baby sister to crib death - will soon welcome a new brother or sister into the house.

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