October 8, 2009


I've been AWOL from my blog for a few weeks now because I was traveling and didn't have the time to sleep let alone write and also because I've been extremely lazy. I was in Israel. I love Israel as a country, but more importantly I love the people there. My mom's entire side of the family is there as are her closest friends. The experience can be summed up in three words: short, emotional, good. It was a big decision for me to go, especially now, but in the end I'm glad I went. There were scheduling issues, there was Yom Kippur, there was my cousin's Bar Mitzvah. There wasn't nearly enough time with anyone that we saw, but had we stayed a month it still wouldn't be enough with people that you love. As I'm typing this I realize that I still don't have the strength to write everything that I want to say, so I won't force it. I'll focus on Chai.

The letters "Chet" and "Yod" add up to the number 18, therefore a spiritual number in Judaism. I gave my cousin multiples of 18 as a gift for his Bar Mitzvah. More simply, "Chai" means life. When Jews drink, they often toast, "L'Chaim", to life. What's the significance of 18 in my life? My mom passed away on the 18 of August. She knew how to live and lived for each day. It is fitting that she was taken away from us on a day that signifies life. As much as I miss her each and every minute of every day, she's everywhere. She lives within me, within the tons of photographs, within the stories that her siblings, friends and relatives keep sharing, within our home, within all of our hearts.

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