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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Regret & Relief

My parents left last Monday night.

I am always sad when they go.

I woke up Tuesday morning and the house seemed so quiet.

For weeks, when I woke up, I saw my Mom or Dad, sitting in the kitchen or dining room. Now, the house seemed empty without them.

My dad was really sick almost the entire time he was here.

These days, when my dad comes to Israel, he does not really vacation. He spends most of his time working on his computer. Still, we spend all the "in-between times" together. We eat our meals together, and talk when he has a few minutes of down time (like when he's waiting for a file to download). And, of course, we spend Shabbatot and Chagim together.

One of the things both my sister and I really look forward to is cooking with our father. Working with my dad, on anything, is always fun. Whatever he does, he does with energy and a positive attitude. My dad can turn eating a humus sandwich into an adventure. ("Wow, look at that beautiful tomato! That is going to taste absolutely fantastic on this sandwich!") His enthusiasm is contagious!

My dad did almost no work this visit. Do not be fooled; that is not a good thing.

When I realized my dad was not doing any work, I realized he must be REALLY SICK. I felt so bad for him. And I felt pretty sorry for us. I did not get to work on any of the small projects that I planned to do with my dad.

Ever since I was a little girl, I was "daddy's helper." My dad is colorblind, so when he would build electrical things, I would sit at the table and help him sort through the diodes and resistors, which were all color coordinated. To this day, there is nothing I like more that to build/fix something with my dad. I had all sorts of small jobs for us (attaching a light fixture, hanging up mirrors, etc). Nothing too big, or time consuming. Just some small, but very helpful, tasks that we could do together. Needless to say, we did not get to do any of them.

The second best thing I like to do with my father is play Pente. We did get to play, a bit. But he was so sick (and out of practice), that I beat him almost every game. We are, more or less, evenly matched, but he really is better than me. So, if he were just out of practice, we should each win about half the time. I was winning a lot more than that, and it just was not fair.

One good thing about having my dad here is that he helps make sure I treat my mom right.

Overall, I had a good visit with my mom. I tried really hard to behave well and, for the most part, I think I succeeded. (We'll have to ask her what she thinks!)

Unfortunately, my mom spent a lot of the visit being worried about my dad. And then, towards the end, my mom got sick too! So, she was almost as much fun as my dad! (Not!)

When I was a kid, my dad almost never took vacation. On the rare occasions that he did, he almost always got sick. It was almost like a bad joke. So, when it happens nowadays, we all laugh at it. Despite their being sick, we did have some nice times. And we did share stories and laugh about all sorts of things.

The house is certainly quieter, now that they are gone. And there are less people to worry about (less food to cook, less dirty dishes, less laundry, etc).

In some ways, I am glad they are gone. At the same time, I wish they were still here.

I miss my parents a lot.

When my parents arrived, my kids (read: my daughters) had their beds all set up, including moving in an extra bed frame, a box spring, and a mattress, into my youngest daughter's room.

By the time I got home from the airport, the girls had moved everything back (and changed the sheets).

In that simple action, they erased my parents' presence. My parents disappeared, without a trace.

Life went "back to normal" (at least, as normal as it ever gets around here).

Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,


Batya said...

One of my great enjoyments is that I can just visit my grandkids for a short time, and they can come for just a meal or go to the pool in season. It's not like my parents and in-laws visits to my own kids.

This is so "normal."

G-d willing you should live and be healthy and have the zchut to have a "normal" relationship/visits with your own grandkids.

rutimizrachi said...

Hah! Your girls did all of that moving and tidying up while you were out? Such a bracha are these girls! Do they give classes? ;-)

A Living Nadneyda said...

Whenever we go to visit our parents, I try to make sure we clean up and don't leave much of a trace.... my mom always has a hard time getting used to her "regularly scheduled life" without us around, even though we make quite a balagan when we are around! She always makes sure to schedule a bunch of activities in the days immediately following our visit, so she won't have time to get stuck in the doldrums.

It's hard having such a stark difference between visiting and not visiting... something I didn't think much about when I moved to Israel as a young, single student.