Thursday, April 5, 2012


Being back home with the family has been great. The children are happy to see me around again. We'll see how long *that* lasts. :-)

I have been having a really hard time going to sleep at a normal hour and waking up at a normal hour. Jet lag coming back to Israel is always harder than the other direction for me. It's 2am now.

My mother is still very sick. There are some positive developments, though, and they are encouraging. She opens her eyes more, mouths more words, and has more time breathing on her own. All great progress, Baruch Hashem. It's the infection(s) which are the kicker though. According to the doctors, they may be insurmountable.

I have been crying, at some point every day (sometimes at 3 or 4am after getting off the phone with my father). I feel so torn about having left my mother there.

"Cleave to our spouses and leave our parent's home" was paraphrased in a letter a dear friend sent me last week. She was remembering words a wise woman once told her. "We must focus on our children and our life with them and our husbands more than on the parents we left behind". 

The concept of leaving them behind is so hard for me. I want rather to see the whole thing as a continuum. Everyone's life continues in their own forward direction, and the parallel lines of each life sometimes go wider apart, and sometimes closer. Sometimes they meet. I think that at this point in my life with my parents, their line is close with mine... I could *almost* touch it. 

I want to give back to my parents. They are my parents. They sat at my bedside every day when I had nf. I was in hospital for a month or so, and they sat on hard chairs *all day* with me by my bed. We sat quietly a lot (I slept a lot), we watched DVD's that friends gave us, etc. The point is that every day from morning until evening both of them were there. It remains with me as one of the most intimate times we have shared. 

I felt the importance of doing that when I was with my mother last week; of sitting with her day in and day out (which my father still does every day, of course) and putting my life aside.

So, jet lag isn't the only problem I have trying to adjust since I came back. I am having one heck of a time reconciling not being there with them. In many ways, I am still there. I *want* to still be there. At the same time I have some medical issues to take care of here, and Pesach (Passover) is coming. Pesach is the holiday which has always been for me very powerfully centered around family. For whatever reason, it's when I feel most lonely for extended family.
 I am here with my family in Israel, baruch Hashem.

My father isn't going to a seder (despite invitations). He can't be at seder without mom. He's going to take some grape juice and matza into the hospital. I told him to put a drop or two on mom's tongue-- she hasn't had any tastes in her mouth for a month.

She understands simple things people tell her. My father will be happy just to be with her and tell her it is passover and they are together.

My mother and I have had a complicated relationship most of our lives together.
It happens that just this past summer when we went to the US with the kids and all, we were able to reconcile with each other and enjoy each other, which never could happen before. I had no idea that our time was going to be so limited. We had the time together this past summer with them, and then they came here for Dovie's BarMitzvah in November. They were glowing. Everyone saw it and commented. Especially my mother was glowing. My father needs a new hip desperately, so he looked possibly more burdened at the BarMitzvah, but was still tremendously happy and proud.

I need more time with my mother.
It's just not. enough. time. (is it ever?)
We started enjoying being together so late in life... 
My whole life I simply craved that we would be together, 
(and I know she did, too)
and be able to love and respect each other.
We finally got there,
...and now?

I spent my first full day off crutches today. Isn't that great? Two months past surgery. The hip still needs rehab, of course, but there is progress.
Damn, I can't write about my own stuff.

Life can be thrown off so easily. 
Infections can change everything forever.

One day I am on the phone with my mother just talking about whatever; kids and stuff, then next day she has sepsis. Now she's struggling so hard to come back.
You know, I also talked to my mother the day before I had sepsis.

Mom: honey, I think you need to rest more after your hernia surgery. Do you need help? I can come if you need help.
Me: Well, it's hurting me more than I had expected. Things are getting really hard. I am back in the hospital because of the pain. They don't know what is wrong, but my blood pressure is very low. I think I do need your help. Can you come?

Two days later, Mom and Dad enter the ICU in Be'er Sheva 
and see me on a ventilator.
Three weeks ago, I entered the ICU in my hometown to a similar scene.

Pesach is about remembering that the Jewish people were brought from slavery to freedom.
I just don't know how to make sense if it all.


  1. Wow!
    Just hang in there! Hag sameach.

  2. It seems there's nothing I can say right now, but send virtual hugs. I wanted to let you know I'm still reading and praying with you for healing for your mom.