Sunday, September 29, 2013

1 Year Later

This past Simchat Torah my family and I marked the first anniversary of our new life together. It sounds kind of strange to say that, but it's true.

We are living a completely different life then we did last year.

My hubs has a new job.
My immediate families dynamic has changed since my step fathers passing.
My children are growing bigger and more independent every day.
I launched jCreate this past May and I am no longer teaching, but focusing on Not 2 Shabbey full time.

I remember crying and lying in the bed at the hotel room.
I knew, deep down that this was all a good thing and that everything would be fine in the end.
But I was mourning the loss of what had happened.
Of losing my old life in a blink of a moment.
I wasn't given any warning.
I came home to find my home destroyed
And a new life waiting for me.

We spent the holidays in a house we moved into less then 2 months ago.
Base boards still need to be finished.
Tiling still need to be put down and grouted.
Painting and sheet rocking are still not complete.
But we are home and that's all that matters for now.

My house is beautiful and my husband and I stand in the kitchen on most nights thanking God for this blessing in disguise wondering outloud...."Is this really our home?" We are just so thankful to be home at last.

This Sukkot, all I wanted was to be home and to feel at home.
Because there was no time to plan
Between shipping orders and painting them
Between kids home and having no school
We decorated our Sukkah in all it's "kitschy" glory.
With Christmas lights and colored foil decorations.

The only thing that I wanted this Sukkot was a green top.
I grew up in LA where we always had palm and for the past 8 years since moving to the East Coast I had been looking for green Schach. I saw on Facebook someone advertising that they were selling evergreen schach and I quickly called and reserved my bundles. The night before I was set to go to Brooklyn to get them, I mentioned to my husband before heading to bed that I was going to get them the next morning and I hoped that I had room in the car. He then pointedly said back to me, "Are you trying to relive your father's glory days picking up the schach in his big red truck?"

The famous tale that is told over and over again in my family goes like this.......
My father had a big red truck.
He used to go around before Sukkot getting palm leaves
And delivering them throughout the neighborhood.
One year there weren't any palm leaves to be found.
I'm not sure why, but he went searching and searching all over the city.
He ended up finding a bunch
But only after he had to jump a fence to retrieve the leaves headed for the dump.

I know this doesn't seem like a big deal.
But the story made a lasting impression on my sisters and I.
Bamboo mats were not so prevalent in those days.
I only saw them once I moved to the East Coast.
There would be no sukkah without those palm leaves.
My father had a truck
People needed the leaves
And so he went searching.
Little acts of Chesed - That's what's important in life.
That's what he taught me.

I just wanted to feel safe this Sukkot.
Perhaps I was seeking old memories.
But when I saw that green schach in my Sukkah this year
I was truly very happy.
Though my husband wasn't too happy with me.......
He kept telling me the Sukkah would cave in.
That the ceiling was too heavy.
He had to buy wooden supports....
The lists go on and on.
But you know what?
He did it for me.
Because he knew it would make me happy.
And I love him for that.

I ended the last days of Sukkot with my immediate family.
My brother from Israel came in.
My brother - in - law was here too.
My brother and his newly minted Kallah came as well.
And to top it off my mom spent 3 glorious days with my children.
Not only was it special for my family,
But it was wonderful having them around.

I guess you can say that there are a lot of lessons that can be learned from my experience this past year ........
- Appreciate what you have because you never know when it will be gone.
- The most important things in life are the items that can't be bought -

But the one lesson that I learned long ago - the one that I live by everyday is....
You don't get 2 lives,
You don't get 3 lives.
You only get one life to live.
So you better make it good.
Don't live in sadness.
Don't look back.
Stop crying and do something with your life.
Because all of your experiences.
Everything that happens to you is for a reason
And makes you stronger.

Till next time,

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