Thursday, September 11, 2014

Turning Back the Clock

Last Monday marked the end of summer as Channah returned to school. Wednesday was another marker that we have moved out of the summer season as I returned to the hockey rink. A hand injury is limiting me to that one game until after the chagim. It is a good time to reflect on what had been a very busy summer.

The war in Gaza did dominate our lives to some degree.  A dozen scrambles to the Mamad (sealed room) and the sound of jet planes, helicopters and occasionally being able to hear artillery fire in the distance made the war much more real then just following the news. With some adjustments day to day life continued mostly as normal. It was disappointing that the war did cancel our trip to the beach in Ashdod that I had been looking forward to at the beginning of summer.

For the first time Channah was in camp for the whole summer.  The first 3 weeks she went to camp in the Rama. She walked there every morning and we picked her up in the afternoon. She really came out of her shell in interacting with other kids. She also fell in love with gymnastics which is going to be her chug for the year. When the 3 weeks were up she went to another camp a little bit farther away. Channah discovered she had natural talent in archery, learned to play baseball and was exposed to Tae Kwon Doe. There were regular reports from the staff about what a great camper she was. We also continued our regular home work routine through the summer. The combination has really paid off as Channah has been absolutely thriving in her first week and a half of school.

The summer was not quite as happy a time for our car Snowflake. The air conditioner finally kicked out and wasn't worth fixing.  Despite the relatively cool summer (most of the summer was in the mid 30s instead of low 40s), we decided that Snowflake could no longer take the heat. We purchased Zoom Zoom which was a slightly newer car that could handle the heat. It was a real upgrade for us. Aside from a working air conditioner it also came with a bigger trunk, working stereo, remote key entry and sensors when you are backing up. I went from trying to avoid driving whenever possible to enjoying driving.

Zoom Zoom

Our original plan for the summer was to find a new place to live. After a lot of searching we finally accepted that it was not economically feasible with skyrocketing rent in the neighbourhood. Instead we met with the owner of the apartment to negotiate a long term lease and some improvements to the apartment. Fixing up the apartment became the project of the summer.  Plumbing and electrical was fixed and our bedroom no longer has carpet. We painted the entire apartment. Changes have been made with rearranging or replacing some of the existing furniture.  It was a huge step for Peri and I to set up our new home together. We celebrated by having a Chanukat HaBayit at the end of the summer. Our apartment was filled with people who are extremely important in my life. Even my Rosh Yeshiva attended.

Earlier this year I started to have a tough time battling PTSD and depression. Having the safety and security of a stable home environment left me face to face with deep painful memories and fears. Through therapy and medication, I have come leaps and bounds in this battle. For the first time in a very long time I have been able to allow my self to have wants, hopes and dreams. More and more I am uncovering who I am and who I want to be. It is tremendously refreshing to once again see life as full of potential instead of just struggling with whatever is sent my way. 

Rachel and I were once on our way to wedding. One of the people in the car was talking about the recent birth of a child. They had thought they had been done having children and that their timeline for when certain life events that happen as children grow up had been set. Instead they had turned back the clock by a number of years, as they will not hit those milestones until their youngest child grew up.  We didn't know it at the time but Rachel was already pregnant with Gabi during the conversation.

This summer has been all about turning back the clock. I have an opportunity to start again and build a life for myself that I thought had been lost forever.  This summer was a glimpse at what potential my life has. It is refreshing to have so much to look forward to.    

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