Thursday, December 10, 2015

Sleepless In Zefat

it is 11:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat.   I am truly tired.  we came home from the family haircutting celebration party at 11:00 p.m..  I had taken the kids out to a show at 10:00 a.m.   I was very pressured to catch the bus.  as we were literally out the door, I ran back inside to catch the phone. I thought that it might be the daughter-in-law calling to coordinate the afternoon's plan.  I don't carry my cellphone and it makes it hard for her to reach me.  it turns out that it was my BFF and I blew her off to catch the bus. 

I had arranged with another girlfriend to meet up on the 10:00 a.m. bus with the little boy that she cares for.  I felt a bit bad about the abrupt way I hung up with my gal pal but I couldn't call her back.   the bus actually came late and we waited for nearly 20 minutes.  it isn't easy waiting at a bus stop with two small kids.  a  taxi came by but he was only going as far as the central bus station.  we all piled in and out of the cab in rapid speed and waited for the bus.

a local yokel city worker was spray painting parking lines in front of the bus stop.   the fumes were unbearable.  we were all coughing and holding our noses.  sometimes it feels like we are living in  the city of 'helm'.  we got to the theatre with plenty of time to spare.  the kids had a ball running around in the lobby.  each grandkid found a friend or two from their gan.  it was really cute.   the production was only an hour long.  we then went into town and to a grocery where I bought cookies for the 7th anniversary of my mother's passing.

when I realized that I had missed her date that night I went into a tail spin.  I usually do something to commemorate her passing.   last year I made a latke night for a few friends and I made a 'thanksgivica' dinner when historically, the two holidays coincided.  the big kids had taken the small kids out of town to buy Chanukah gifts.   I thought about making some latkes and chicken cutlets for after the lighting of the Chanukah menorah but  they had already eaten at 'burger ranch'.  I waited the entire night for their return.  I ended up going to sleep around 11:00 p.m. without lighting my chanukiah.

I woke  up shortly afterwards to let the dogs out.  I saw the car and realized that the kids had returned.  by then I was really in a bad way.  I felt so alone and isolated.  after my son lit the Chanukah lights I called my sister in L.A.   it was midnight our time.  my older sister is my voice of reason and was able to calm me down.  I may have stopped crying but I was still quite agitated.  I  went to light a memorial candle but I was all out.  I poured a lot of olive oil and a bit of water into a  small juice glass and  lit it next to a small picture of my mom. 

I then read s bunch of psalms.  now it was 2:30 a.m.  I went to lie down.  my mind was racing.  I jumped out of bed to make a potato kugel.   there is nothing worse than yesterday's kugel.  I thought about making a  cake.  I was all out of eggs.  I got back into bed around 3:00 p.m.   I came up with a game plan.  I would run to the supermarket at 7:00 a.m. and buy a ton of goodies.  I would get all kinds of nuts and dried fruits and chocolates.  I would then run over to my friend's  house and bring a fresh bag of milk and feed the cats.  I would then return home and shower and  get ready to go to the kids' show.  now it was 5:30 a.m.

I could not get up the next morning.  I felt nauseated.  my head hurt and my eyes burnt.  before I knew it, my son was going off to work.  I needed to shower and the kids were alone downstairs.  they were already dressed but a bit unkempt.  somehow I managed to get dressed and made up and out of the house by 10:00 a.m.  game plan changed.  we did not go over to feed the cat.  after the show we had an hour or more to kill.  I was able to get some cookies and cheap Chanukah  presents for the kids.  I didn't buy a gift for the little 3 year old having his first haircut.  I had asked the daughter-in-law to pick up something from the clothes store where she works.  it didn't happen.

she picked us up and drove us off  to Meron for the haircut.  the family was very delighted with the selection of  cookies I brought.  we made platters to give out to the people there.  I had enough time to stop off at a souvenir shop and buy a small leather drum and cards for the birthday boy.  I had enough time to enter an indoor gravesite and pray for my mom and family.  I even got to light a memorial candle for my mom.  I had some refreshments and was driven home.  I had enough time to go over to feed the cat and bring fresh milk before I got picked up to go to the party.

as soon as I entered the house, I ran to call my friend back.  she was very cold and when I tried to explain what was going on she didn't want any part of it.  finally we made up.  now I'm off to take the kids to a carnival.  and I have to make Shabbat meals.  we will do it up in honor of mom.  I invited 2 friends for lunch.  I still have a sparkling pomegranate wine in the fridge to toast mom.  I will make a cheesecake later this evening, too.

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