An Emotional Day

I’ve been at home this week, visiting my family. I’ll be back with my summer hosts tomorrow, spending Shabbos with them and then heading to Israel on Monday.  So I’ve had a really emotional day, saying goodbye to people who there’s a very real possibility I may never see again.

I’m really not trying to be melodramatic, nor am I hinting that I’ve made up my mind never to come back from Israel, because that couldn’t be further from the truth.  It’s just that my grandparents (Dad’s parents, who are some of the most amazing people I’ve ever known) are 90, give or take, and she’s got Parkinson’s and he’s on dialysis and it’s just not realistic for me to expect much of anything.

So I said goodbye to them today.

The last thing Ga-Ga (grandmother nickname leftover from our baby days) said to me was, “I’ll miss you, but you’ll always be in my heart.”  I immediately got choked up.  And the last thing Pop-Pop said to me was, “You need Israel, and Israel needs you.  G-d bless you.”  He was totally dry-eyed (and anyone who knows my grandfather realizes just how rare that is when it comes to emotional moments!), but I was basically bawling by the time I made it to the car.

Oy vey, and I’m crying again while writing this….

So, my sister and I headed home, with her saying random silly things to try to snap me out of it (which eventually worked!).  We then got to work cooking and baking, drinking Manischewitz wine, listening to music, and basically having what she called our “last sister night in America.”  On to packing, and that’s finally done.  It’s almost 1 am, and I need to be up in about 2.5 hours to make the train (yes, really), but I decided I needed to write this first.  I feel like the whole “Israel chronicle” thing that this blog was originally meant to be has finally started, even though I’m not actually in Israel yet.

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6 Responses to An Emotional Day

  1. BKop says:

    what you didn’t see as you were giving Dad a final hug was him
    fighting back tears. I don’t think he wanted you to see him cry
    when you were holding each other.
    his sadness mimics mine, as expressed in the poem I gave you.
    of course, you have rightfully weighted the difference between my sad goodbye and his.
    your most sensitive and beautifully written post is indicative of the wonderful combination of talent and sensitivity and caring that is so evident in everything that you and Mary Brett write.
    I look forward to reading your comments while in Israel. indeed, your words come to me directly. they are that clear, that emotionally intelligent and absolutely candid, a joy to read.
    being your Dad is a joy, almost beyond words.
    I’m closing with the poem for you to take with you along with all of my love,



    So sudden, that shift of a father’s feelings,
    their transport, from a few states from here, easy
    to deliver on that last train my heart might ride,
    the hugs I’ll miss when she is oceans away.

    I’ve memorized the distance from Virginia to Jersey,
    the states I cross to reach her,
    east of Trenton, where she’s worked and waited
    for a while. But soon she will be gone.

    I will not see her plane take off when she
    flies to Tel Aviv. There is no train
    to get me to her airport when she leaves.
    I’ve never had

    to say goodbye this way
    or for so long. That part of me that she has been
    I cannot hold to have her stay.
    That space my daughter made in me,

    since I held her first heartbeats in mine,
    fills with tears and new goodbyes, a kind
    I’ve never known. Her leaving shakes me,
    as she travels all alone to make her life

    in Jerusalem. I wish I knew what country
    I’ll call home when her part of me is gone.

    B. Kop 7/29/10

  2. Ahuva says:

    Sister nights are fun.

  3. Julia says:

    We love you Chana Batya.

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