Shabbat Shalom T,
I think that maybe, just maybe, my jet lag is over for this leg of the trip. There’s of course more of it to come, when I’m back home and re-adjusting to life without the day-to-day life of a family, your/our family around me.
On Shabbat in Israel with everything closed, what’s better than a family brunch in gorgeous January sunshine in the middle of Neve Tzedek? And so, to cut down on the number of visits I’d have to make,David and Varda, Ruty, her daughters, one-son-in-law and that sweet granddaughter who came to visit us on your last trip to Israel, during that very hot August when Scudd missiles were dropping regularly,-it’s good have them here to enjoy Adi’s amazing spread of foods that both meat lovers and vegans can enjoy. So for our hours together we were engaged and eating, more Hebrew than English but, hey I’m used to it, right?
Now, as Adi cleans up, Mihael plays with his “birds”, Ami sleeps with the puppy and I wait to help when and where I can, I feel like I”m living in the present and hopefully a future that you would want for me as we all work to transition into to this life without you here in the place you loved so deeply. What runs through me now are moments when you were right here in the flesh with me, walking miles to get somewhere, up hills without a struggle and how that never could have happened now.
As I take a moment to scroll through our visual history together I can see such a change in you in the last months as your head seemed to shrink from the pain you suffered- sometimes sharing,sometimes keeping it to yourself. But I see it all now in the pictures I grabbed.
This must all be part of the universal process of acceptance and the beginning of returning to my life with a bit of a smile, even if it’s not yet the old grin. Soon I won’t be able to refuse the dynamic force of life we both loved. Soon I will jump back in with both feet, with your inspiration of course, even if it will be passive.
I didn’t know what to expect when I planned this trip, but now that I’m here I’m remembering how much we loved this neighborhood that Ami and Adi found and brought us into. Now I can be here without you and still feel comfortable with narrow streets filled with the sounds of Hebrew and English all around me. I can return to the cafe on Pinus and enjoy a long, leisurely Israeli breakfast with Adi as we have time before before Mia needs to to be met at her school , to catch up and reflect about what we both carry that comes from you.
With Ami we spend mornings at the shook tasting veggies and fruits from competing vendors, sampling a new favorite pita and humus spot, planning for the Vegan brunch. Of course this would not be your kind of adventure but you would cheer us on, supporting my efforts to blaze a new trail.
Yesterday, as Ami and I selected a good wine and an interesting jar of apple and pear jam to bring with me to my brother’s home for Shabbat dinner, I was back with you. I was in a taxi headed for Rick’s, on almost desert roads with soft Israeli music filling the cab and I teared without you next to me to engage the driver, but this time I was dropped off right at his entrance now that GPS has taken away the earlier guess work that frustrated you so much. Upstairs my brother and Earis welcomed me proudly sharing their grandchildren as we waited for the parents, Maya and Mulick to join us for the evening.
It was good T. It was good week in Tel Aviv, even if it was the first week here without you.
Miss you on this lovely Shabbat Tuv,