Monday, September 23, 2013

The Chag Goes On

it is 7:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.  it looks like rain.  it is cold. too.  i haven't been sleeping well.  one of my dogs is very sick.  i can't get a hold of a vet to visit.  i've been giving her some antibiotics but i don't know if she will pull through.  i keep glancing over to her to see if she is still alive.

i've been babysitting a lot this holiday.  the kindergartens closed a few days before the holiday even began.. this is really not fair on the parents and extended families.  i have been lifting the toddler a lot lately and my back is kaput.  she now climbs up the stairs all the time to visit.  i locked my door yesterday and she just stood on the landing knocking for me to open the door.

she is pretty bright and hasn't yet turned two.  i can deal with one of them at a time but together they make up one heck of a wrestling 'tag' team.  i actually fell asleep with the toddler for a while yesterday, and i woke up to a wet bed and soaked skirt.  i don't believe any of us pished on the bed.  someone dowsed me with water.

dealing with a ''terrible' two and 'horrible' four is a very hard job for anyone.  they both tend to have temper tantrums and someone is always crying.  they both can be obnoxious and strike out physically at any given moment.  i go right to sleep when the mommy comes home.  i live in fear of getting sick from them.  all of their school mates are being given the live polio vaccine.  they claim that vaccinated children cannot catch polio from the oral vaccine.  let's hope that they can't be carriers, also.  i flinch every time one coughs.

we haven't used our sukkah much this season.  we did have one shabbat meal together but got rained out on saturday.  i had a cook out on sunday with a few friends.  one gal 'manned' the grill while we sat inside blabbing.  i arranged salads and dressings and even made a noodle kugel.  we had steaks, hamburgers and hot dogs.  the weather was just right.  my friends even brought chassidic music for the atsmosphere.

the kids are working all through the week and even the children are busy indoors watching television and playing with their toys.  no one really wants to hang out together in the sukkah with me.  i guess i had the fantasy that we would all meet downstairs at breakfast time to eat in the sukkah and talk.  the only time i see the kids is when they need something from me.  my son comes up for milk, juice, toilet paper and  to ask me to babysit.  that's about the gist of it.  no one wants to talk to me.  even the grandson tells me to be quiet when he's engrossed in a show.

i had someone who did engage with me but he expected marriage in return.  i  simply couldn't take on the commitment at this point in my life.  it was nice though, to have someone who enjoyed my company and energy.  i am once again a bit down.  i think the kids will be here for Simchas Torah.  at this point, it doesn't matter if they go somewhere else.  i am tired of serving them.  i am tired of running around to please them and take care of their kids.  i am tired of being ignored and being made to feel extinct.  i am tired of  the financial burden.

i was watching an old movie from the 50's called 'marty' with ernest borgnine.  it was about a 35 year old bachelor living with his 'old' italian widowed mother.  she and her sister were both in their mid fifties left to live with their grown up sons.  one sister was being forced out of her home because her young daughter-in-law couldn't get along with her.  sometimes i feel like this.  i feel like i'm in the way.  i feel like an old shoe.  i feel like nobody here gives a hoot.

maybe it was a mistake to give up on the shidduch.  i did have company.  so what if the guy drove me crazy? at least i wouldn't be alone right now.  or maybe i'd be right here blogging about how he was driving me crazy.  i think i don't do well psychologically, with fall and winter weather. the sun just came out and i feel better already.  i guess i'm just very tired and it gets me down.  i'm plagued with memories of the past.  i remember holidays filled with guests and sukkahs filled with people.  i can't be happy with what is now.  it's hard to just be in the moment.  it's hard to accept being alone.  it's hard to accept being home all the time.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Chag Samayach

it is 7:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.  i got up about half an hour ago.  i'm really too tired to start the day but i am under a certain amount of pressure to decorate the sukkah before i have to watch both children today. my son assembled our sukkah late last night.  i sat on a chair watching, sitting outside in the cold.  we had psychodrama for most of the time.

it's the same old thing.  i ask for money and i get told that i haven't been there for him as a mother all his life. the fact that i'm broke, recovering from cancer and facing brain surgery, doesn't seem to matter to him.  you can't get blood out of a stone.  he absolutely feels under no obligation to help me out.  i am in no condition to kick him and his family out once again.  i know that he has enormous debts due to a bad business venture but he has to find a way to chip in on the house expenses, too.

i get so pressured and frustrated that i sometimes think it would be easier if i die.  i can't believe that this is good for my survival at all.  i decided to break up a wasp nest yesterday under my front window, next to my front door.  i had been watching wasps entering for days and finally saw the nest.  i banged down with a broom handle and was immediately swarmed by many very large and very angry bees.  i quickly ran into my house and one followed me inside and stung me on my thumb.  it held on to my thumb for dear life.  i actually saw its enormous stinger going into my thumb.  it was quite a shock.  my finger became inflamed and swollen right away.

i couldn't use my hand at all after that.  i had spent the day with my grandson when an old acquaintance came by to retrieve her belongings which i have been storing for 8 years.  it was a hard and dirty job.  she had many cartons to schlep from one side of the roof threw the mounds of pigeon poo.  the poor thing had to bend down the entire time because the beams of the roof were so low.  i helped take down the trash for her for a couple of hours while the grandson played with all the utensils in the upstairs apartment.  he was happy. i felt sorry for this lady.  most of the stuff she had left was not worth holding onto.  she is pretty situated now in her new life.

i think though, she had a certain amount of closure on her life in israel.  she doesn't have to think about what she left behind anymore.  she did manage to take some clothes, household items and books to give away.  i felt totally depleted after she left.  i needed to rest but once again, i was called upon to watch the kids for a while.

i had gone to the super with my grandson earlier in the day.  he had created a scene when i refused to buy him gum.  some nice lady tried to console him while i was paying and bagging my groceries.  i simply ignored him and his 4 year old tantrum.  i guess the other shoppers were greatful to this caring lady.  she actually thought that i was the mother.  what does that say about her.  she had come over to him earlier when he was verbally abusing me in classic 4 year old jargon.  i was simply not listening to him because i was vowing in my head never to take him anywhere again.

after yom kippur, i sent an email to my ex gentleman caller.  i was trying to convey to him how hard it was for me to end the 'courtship'.  i wanted him to know that i did like him and even held fond memories of him.  i just didn't think it would work out for us at this time.  maybe the long fast had effected my ability to reason properly.  i guess i didn't know what i was doing.  i got an immediate reply from him that he would consider meeting to talk again about important issues and that he would write further.  he applauded my sense of honesty and let me know that i had made the right decision not to give up on this yet.  he even called me at midnight to ask if i wanted to talk even though he admitted that he was too tired to talk.  i thought i heard a change in his voice for the better.  he sounded sober and serious.

i thought that maybe i could give it another go after my brain surgery.  who knows?  the next day i got an email from him about an 'amazing' video of a man who had selflessly given his entire life and was then rewarded in the end.  he was urging me to watch it.  it nearly crashed my computer but it totally crashed any serious thoughts of reconciliation.  i let him know that i didn't really appreciate people sending me all kinds of  amazing and 'inspirational' emails.  i  guess i expected a serious communique about the possibility of our getting together to mediate some real issues.  instead i got another email letting me know that he was too busy to 'write' including a detailed list of all the tasks that he had to get done before the holiday.

i lost it once again.  i screamed in cyberspace at him. i let him know that in no way, shape, or form was i interested in trying to deal with someone who could not connect in a real way.  i accused him of being manipulative to boot. i do not regret for a moment what i said.  i have to watch the kids now. speaking of master manipulation.  i still need to hang the sukkah decorations and we still need to buy a sukkah covering.  i forgot that i threw out last years' bamboo roof.  part of me feels that i should just forget about the decorations this year.

my gransdon came up bright and early to be with me.  his little sister followed up the stairs shortly afterwards.  i feel like i'm living in a zoo.  ants, rats, dogs, pigeons, wasps, grown up kids and grandchildren all taking over my space.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Getting Ready For Sukkot

it is 7:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  today is sunday.  we survived the yom kippur fast and lived to tell the tale.  i was living in dread before shabbat.  i spent most of rosh hashanah 'seeing' dead people.  i even dreamt of my mother.  it wasn't a pleasant dream.  it was full of psychodrama and other family members.  it was the first time i dreamed of here since she died five years ago.

i had the awful feeling that i was going to die on yom kippur.  i really thought that i was going to drop dead either in my home, or in the bomb shelter.  i don't know why i was feeling that way, in all honesty.  i cried when i said goodbye to the kids.  i felt that it was going to be the last time that i saw them.  i dreaded being alone.  i have been alone on yom kippur for the past five years and i have always looked forward to it.  not so, this year.

i made it to the bomb shelter for the evening service.  i was dressed all in white and feeling a bit uncomfortable in too many layers of clothes.  the space was comfortable for a change.  the service was divine.  i was totally in the moment.  i saw my girlfriend and ended up walking her and her husband back home.  i was feeling no pain.  i was actually feeling energetic.  i ran into another acquaintance and walked her home. too.  i ran up a few flights of stairs and made it home.  it was warm but i was feeling well.

i got undressed and retreated to my t.v. sofa.  i started to read the book of Yonah until i passed out.  i woke up at about 6:30 a.m. and didn't feel so great.  my stomach was churning.  i was hungry.  i let the dogs out and davened on the couch.  i didn't think i could make it up and out to services.  i rested for a while and when i felt stronger i got dressed and made it out by 9:00 a.m.  the bomb shelter wasn't too crowded.  i  sat opposite the fan.  the service was wonderful.  i was in my element.  i was feeling no pain.  i was actually happy even though i was all alone.

i came back at 1:30 p.m. and got undressed.  i lay on the couch and finished the book of Yonah.  i passed out for about 20 minutes.  i  got up and out for the 5:30 p.m. service.  because we didn't turn the clocks back yet, the fast was an hour longer this year.  we ended the service about 7:30 p.m. and had refreshments to break the fast.  i got home at 8:00 p.m.  the kids came back early and my son was hungry.  i made him some salad and eggs.  i wasn't ready to eat.  later on, i had some lox and cream cheese on a whole wheat pita.  and then i  started eating and couldn't stop.  it didn't matter what i ate, i wasn't satiated.

i couldn't fall asleep.  i didn't have any caffeine and yet there was no sleep.  i finally passed out after 5:00 a.m.  i got up at around 9:00 a.m.  i started eating again.  nothing seems to fill me up.  it's very hot.  i felt faint a few times today.  the gardener was here and i couldn't go downstairs to say hello.  i stayed in bed for most of the day.  i felt pretty weak.  i had to babysit for a few hours in the evening.  the kids came back at midnight.  my grandson is still up.  the toddler didn't fall asleep until after 10:00 p.m.

my son took in a pug puppy.  that's all we need, another dog.  my grandson is nuts about it and is making the puppy nuts.  i am not going to bail my son out of this situation.  the dog already pished on the bed a little while ago.  the daughter-in-law will throw it out once it makes on the floor.  here we go again!  the kids are going to the sephardi clan for the first leg of the holidays on wednesday night.  i guess i'll have them for shabbat and simchas torah.

i can invite myself out for the holiday or invite some people to my sukkot table.  the entrees are in the freezer.  i did invite my friends for a barbecue.  we can either do one on thursday afternoon after services, or during the week.  we will figure it out later.  hopefully, my son will assemble our sukkah tomorrow.  i have tons of  plastic fruit to hang up.  i kind of wish that i had a bunch of money to buy new material and a new covering but i don't.  we will just have to make do with what we have this year.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Happy New Year

it is 7:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  i just got relieved from my babysitting post.  i had to pick up my grandson from his gan today.  it was the first time in nearly a year.  i had to cab it.  i went to town in the morning to catch a couple of torah classes at the chabad house.  it was hard to hear the women speak.  i was not comfortable.  i felt nauseous and tired.  my eyes were burning.  it was very hot.  i had trouble concentrating.  as i looked around at the crowd i felt like i was hallucinating.  it was reminiscent of how i felt after radiation treatments.

i needed to pay a couple of bills and order new checks at the bank.  as it was already unbearably hot, i skipped the errands and went straight to the classes.  they are predicting a record high heat wave for yom kippur this shabbat.  as if it isn't bad enough having to fast for a whole shabbat, we will also fry.  i am already dreading the fast.  i am in a state of near panic.

i am not in a good frame of mind.  the new year has just started and i am already feeling depleted.  the food preparations for the holidays was gruelling this year.  i still have three entrees in the freezer to use for the next holiday or shabbat.  i ate way too much on rosh hashana and felt awful after shabbat.  i don't think eating honey with bread agrees with me anymore.  i fasted an entire day on sunday and i haven't felt well since.  it is hard for me to stay hydraded.  i can't seem to drink fluids.

it was hard for me to daven at the bomb shelter this year.  it was hard to stand during the entire service.  i felt nauseous for most of the day.  there was no air circulating in the bomb shelter chabad shul.  i sat  too close to the wall fan and i was afraid of getting bels palsy again.  my eye was anyway, burning and red and very dry from the heat.  they use a very unattractive, shmutzy, piece of beige material to separate the men and women's sections.  it added to my feeling of claustrobia.

it is impossible to see what is going on in the men's section now.  how is one supposed to know when one is obligated to stand when one cannot see when the aron is open.  the rav who read the torah portion didn't speak above a whisper.  when it came time to blow the shofar, he couldn't get a note out.  i was feeling enraged.  i was feeling desperate.  i was feeling depressed.  i was feeling trapped.   i left the bomb shelter before the musaf prayer.  it was the first time that i left early in 11 years.

i decided to come home and serve the holiday meal that i had prepared for the kids and a friend.  i couldn't stand one more minute in the bomb shelter.  the kids had prayed at the sephardi shul.  it started a full hour before the chabad minyon, so everyone was already home.  i have never missed the musaf prayer and i had mixed feelings about it.

it looks like i'll be alone for yom kippur.  i do not know if i'll make it all day at the bomb shelter.  my good friend is going to the sephardi shul.  she absolutely cannot deal with the chabad bomb shelter anymore.  i kind of think it is ruined for me too.  i won't understand a word of prayer at the sephardi shul but it would be very comfortable there.  i am at a loss for my spirituality.

i called off my shidduch at last.  i offered to maintain a friendship but i knew it wasn't meant to be.  i will be dealing pretty soon with the neurosurgeon.  i have to do another brain mri in november.  i am feeling lonely.  i miss the male attention and energy.  i miss the familiarity.  but when all is said and done, i do not think that i could have married this man.  i simply could not take the stress anymore.

my home insurance salesman just called to let me know that i dated all of my checks for 2012 and 2013.  i am amazed at how poorly i am thinking.  luckily he's my cousin and will change the dates on the checks for me.  i always fear early onset altzheimers as my dad succumbed to this.  you would think i have enough on my plate.  instead of being greatful for how well i am, i seem to complain alot and focus alot on the negative.  i  guess i'll have to work on this a lot this year.