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Monday, September 7, 2009

Only Good Things -- Race to the Finish!

Despite having gone to bed at an ungodly hour, I woke up (with some gentle prodding) in time for a cup of vanilla ice coffee and a freshly baked cranberry-almond muffin. These days, I do not usually eat anything so early, but the smell of those muffins.... oh, my!

We ate in her garden: fresh coffee, fresh muffins, fresh country air.... Heaven!

It would have been so easy just to hang out all morning! When I noticed the time, I expressed concern that we would not make it to the brit by 8:00. My friend told me "we have plenty of time; the brit starts at 8:15." I asked her if she was sure and she told me, matter-of-factly, "That's the time I told people when I made all the calls..." OK, then!

If I had any doubts about whether or not it was worth all the effort to get to the brit, they disappeared as soon as I saw Jameela, who told me that she davened (prayed) for me during the birth. I felt so cared about and blessed. I know that both Jameel and Jameela appreciated that we came.

I looked forward to sleeping on the drive back to Jerusalem!

As we were about to leave the yishuv (town), we decided to stop at the "trempiada" and see if anyone needed a lift to where we were going. Though I sort of wanted that time alone with Moshe, I know how grateful people can be for a ride. Often trempistim (hitchhikers) are not really interested in talking, and will just sit quietly in the back. So, we figured we would still be able to talk. And, besides, I was planning to go to sleep anyway....

We ended up picking up a lovely woman who was very talkative! She had a fascinating story, so the ride home was quite entertaining.

However, I was a little worried how I would make it through the day, since I knew that I would not have another chance to sleep until much later that evening.

My good friend (and soul sister), BS, is doing this amazing month long program for Elul. Most of the participants are straight out of the army. My friends is a few years older than I am, not to mention that she has five kids (OK, so are almost all "out of the house," but still...), one of whom has CP. My friend has been the primary caretaker of her CP son, for most of his life (and a good chunk of hers). A few years ago, this son (I think he's around 25) moved into a supervised living environment that he loves. That move, essentially, freed my friend to pursue other interests. For a while now, she has wanted to study Torah and stretch her mind intellectually. When she found this program (I think it is in Kfar Adumim), she decided to take vacation and just do it! She is so AWESOME!!!

So, after a week and a half of learning, the program included a free day, and my friend chose to spend hers with me!! I was so happy!!! (This is the same friend who came to me for Shabbat a few weeks ago, right after my diagnosis with brain mets (see here)). Recently, she has been helping me sort through some of my kids clothes (coming all the way from Sde Eliyahu, in Emek Beit She'an!!). She even gets my son to participate willingly!! She is magic!!

Anyway, now that my kids are in school, we planned to hang out for the day and, along the way, for her to help me sort some of my clothes. We would take it easy, since we had the whole day to spend together (and my kids were not coming home until late...).

She was totally cool with me cancelling our morning, to go to the brit. She has other friends in Jerusalem (gotta' share the love!).

The new, revised plan was that I would call her when we got into Jerusalem and she would meet me at home. Except we got in a little later than I thought and I forgot to call until we were almost home.

I admit that I might have whimpered a bit when my friend threw out the possibility that maybe it was too late and she would come by on her next free day...

God bless her, she came anyway! (I would have understood, but I still would have been disappointed.) I just prayed that I would not crash in the middle of her visit! (I was seriously sleep deprived, remember?)

Well, what can I say? Just her presence gives me energy! One hug and I was ready to go!

I straightened up most of my kitchen, a chore I have not had the energy to do on my own in ages! (Never mind that it is already a complete mess again...)

More importantly, though we did not get around to sorting clothes, she did help me tackle my top closet drawer -- the one I haven't been able to close in over a year, because I keep piling more stuff into it....

Though it was a bit traumatic, the drawer is no devoid of all unnecessary items and is completely organized and functional. Every time I open the drawer, I bless my friend!

You might think that when my friend left to return to her program that I would go straight to bed! You would be wrong.

Good friends of our family (the one with whom I grew up) were visiting in Israel (I think they are gone now). We had arranged to meet that Wednesday night, for dinner -- it was the only night that worked out for all of us: them, my sister and me. The couple were actually friends of our parents, but we grew up together. They know me, my brother, and my sister, since we were babies! We all have "matching" friends in their family (kids our age and sex), which means that we did a lot of things together.*

In fact, my friend's mom is the woman who introduced my mother to baby swim at the YMCA, which at that time was an innovative program. This woman indelibly influenced the course of my life!

Once again, I was energized by the company! We had such a lovely evening catching up! We all stayed out later than we should have because we did not want the evening to end.

When I finally did go home, I fell into bed!

It was a great day, but the marathon wore me out!!

* Interesting trivia, for those of you who know my "secret" identity (i.e. the name I used "many centuries ago," before going by RivkA) -- both my mom and my friend's mom chose the same name for their first born daughters; they each chose to spell it in a unique way, to be different. In an ironic twist of fate, they met each other shortly after we were born and we grew up five blocks from each other and went to the same school and... spelled our names exactly the same way. So the "unique" spelling was "normal" for the two of us!

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

With love and optimism,


Anonymous said...

well good for you you lost weight,geuss what you left it at my house on my hips,i love guests that leave a little or lot of themselfs behind

Anonymous said...

It may be a unique spelling -- and BTW it's not THAT unique -- but it's such a common name that it's the reason that all of MY kids have such wacky, out-there names. There were always 3 or 4 girls with my name in my class growing up. I was so determined that my kids not have that experience that I gave them names that no one else has. I'm posting anonymously so as not to give away your "secret identity", but you know who I am. :)

RivkA with a capital A said...

Anon # 1 -- we usually leave more interesting things behind (hair clips, kippot, jewelry....)

Anon # 2 -- now I am trying to remember your kids' names! Please email them to me (and include the years they were born). Btw, it was great to see your mom and dad -- they haven't changed a bit!!