Outside the wind is whipping and I have been using my fireplace nonstop today, accepting that this is the first real day of winter after finishing up the warmest December on record.
But I leave for Israel on Friday and according to Ricki, it’s warm enough there to warm just a light jacket during the day.
When I first made my decision to make Israel my first one without you, it seemed so logical and right. Ami and Adi were thrilled. My brother Rick, was thrilled. Our friends in Israel were all thrilled and responded immediately to my email when I shared my dates: Ricky and Asher, Violet, Edna, Susan, Sachi, Bella, Earis, Ruty, David and Varda, Jonathan… Can I get to everyone in the two weeks I’ll be there and still save enough time to be with the family? I know, what you’re thinking, two weeks? I never got you to stay for that long, but honestly, I considered staying for three weeks but I opted not to the first time I’m there without you.
That said, I continue to marvel at how rich we are in friends and family.
But I have a big challenge ahead. There will be land mines everywhere I walk in Tel Aviv and I’m not talking about the literal ones. Funny, I spent more than a year living in Israel before I met you, way before I met you. I left after that year in 1980 and didn’t plan to be back. It was a good year but I being away from my life, I realized just how much I needed the life I left behind.
I wasn’t planning to be return until I met you and realized in a matter of minutes, during our very first conversation at Rena’s that Israel was a part of your DNA and your initial attraction to me was heightened because we could talk about our lives there.
It was exciting to begin our travels together in Israel- seeing the country from your eyes and for the next 20 years we were there once, twice, (one year- three times the year I toured with my family on the Bar Mitzvah Trip.)
And now, I’m trying out a trip there without you. Landmines ahead, T.
It will be hard and it will be wonderful.
My study is cleaned and the empty suitcases wait to be filled. Slowly I create piles of possible clothes. I’m taking care of bills, buying a few gifts for the kids, creating a list of things that need to be done.
But I can’t help remembering our travel process: the anticipation, the packing, the dreaming, the chatting…the early shower in the darkness, the suitcases waiting at the bottom of the staircase, the taxi arriving, my last nap before we arrive at the airport, the lines moving efficiently for us. I breathe deeply as we wait to ge ton the plane.
I actually remember having you next to me on our very first trip. How I could nuzzle up to you, sleep on your arm even if it wasn’t so comfortable for you, but we were so close, so intertwined.
Well, at least I have a good seat- bulk head, aisle seat close to the bathroom and Ami will be there to pick me up, maybe the kids too. I’ll be happy to inhale Israel as we walk outside the airport.
Ah, Tuv, I am making this trip for you, for us.
Makes sense, right?
I couldn’t miss you more,