A Sweet New Year

A sweet new year – 

Something I’ve always prayed for, diligently swaying my body back and forth, fervently whispering my words

Please god

Save us – save him

Save her

Save my family

Not us, don’t let this happen to us, inscribe them in the book of life, just for one year, i’ll wait till the next year, just give us one more. These prayers I whispered in the synagogue as thoughts of my mother drifted into my mind. Can it really even be, can He write now her death, slam the book shut, kill her off in this game of life?

Six months later she was gone.

The next time I opened my book of prayers, I knew now, looking out the window of the hospital, moments before our fates were sealed, my whispers wouldn’t make a difference. I saw the numbers from the labs, i saw the infections tearing through his body and soul, i knew no miracle would occur. And yet still, i begged for time. Time is limitless to You, Universal One, Almighty God, there is no such thing as time in your world, but it is everything in mine, so just give me one more year, please, thats all i ask, just more time and nothing more. Give me time and I’ll do the rest. Ill take care of the hospitals, the appointments, the food, the nurses, ill take care of everything he needs, ill give up whatever i need to, just give us time.

God tore out His ears and shut his book. My father’s name was not be found in His book of life. Less than two months later, He took his devoted servant for Himself.

I’ve always been curious about the process that happens as our fates are written nd then sealed. Do angels intervene on our behalf? Do our dead loved ones get a say? Did my mother, barely settled into her new grave, beg God on our behalf not to take away the only living parent her children had left? And did He respond? Did He explain? Give an answer that justified such destruction and chaos? And did my father, sitting on that hospital bed, blessing me as G-d sealed his fate, know it would be the last time? And did he wish for something different? Did he, wish for something sweet?

Where could I find the answers to these questions as i prepare for the holiday – the first ones without any of o my parents, the first ones where i know my prayers don’t mean what i’ve been taught they mean – where i know there is only so much you have control over – where praying isn’t enough. Praying doesn’t bring back the dead, and it doesn’t bring back memories of holidays you’ve loved so much spent at home, and praying doesnt bring back home. Praying – that’s a meditation of its own, for you and god, for you and yourself, for whatever you choose it to be, but action – action is what wil bring back memories of home, memories of the holidays you’ve loved so much when spent at home, memories of family sitting around at the table, memories of the food you waited all year to taste, all the only thing that will bring back these memories and help you keep the in your home is not prayer, but action. 

The biggest lesson I am learning at this time. To take action and focus on the important things, bring them into your home and into your life. The sweet things. 

Here are some sweet and important lessons I have learned from my parents for the holidays.

Always spend money on the more expensive plastic table clothes, the cheap ones will rip easily and just cause you trouble. 

Buy sweets or bake them so the house will smell like yom tov 

You can never go wrong with a chicken soup 

There’s nothing like staying home, even if it’s more expensive and tiring to host meals

Some foods will stay the same throughout the years but that’s what makes them so sweet

Keep tradition alive, so that when you lose the ones who you taught you them, you’ll find a piece of them in each tradition you uphold and in every memory you try your best to recreate 

Spend the holidays with family

Just do your best, the rest isn’t important

Have a warm and loving home that guests will always feels welcome to and feel it is like their own. 

These are the things I strive to create in my home now and every day. These are things my father always spoke about before his death. How his home was always filled with guests. How strangers felt at home. How they loved my mom food, even if it wasn’t too fancy, it was simple and great. These are the things he lamented on, and thought about as he closed his eyes. A good life he lived, he’d say. A good life. A good home. Filled with light and warmth and love. 

These are the sweet things I take. 

From my mom. From my dad. For a sweet new year. 

Shana tova to all. 💗

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