Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Rethinking 'The Day We Wish Never Happened'

Over the last little while, I keep sitting down to write about life in the Krayot. Each time it ends up being incoherent and I end up giving up until the next time. So much has changed living in the Krayot and there is so much to potentially write about.

Some topics I have tried or thought about writing about include: living in suburbia while at the same time living in a big city; adapting to a new community; how happy we are with Channah's school, choosing a Gan for Shlomo, being treated as a complete and united family,  the decoy local Anglo Facebook group that is used mainly by outsiders to Spam the community, most community communication is done in the women's Whatsapp group with some taking place in the men's Whatsapp group; benefits of living close to the frequently running train station,  living close to an abundance of malls, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and movie theatres; living close to the zoo and a theatre; lack of sinat chinam community fights, living near the beach, streets closed on Shabbat, enjoying Channah and Shlomo getting along from having fun to fighting; Shlomo's love of watching the garbage truck; playing hockey with a different group at a different time with a longer commute; having a mirpeset where Shlomo can play outside and enjoy the weather with the dogs, living with full blown PTSD as the depression symptoms have been weening, changing friendship dynamics, occasionally being left out or forgotten.

On Simchat Torah someone suggested that I wasn't doing enough to remember Gabi. Last night, I spent time rereading all kinds of stuff I wrote over the years to remember her. The fact is these days I don't talk about Gabi very much. In fact, I don't like to talk about the hardships of the past very much. This move has given me the freedom to live my life as me, instead of living my life as what happened to me.

Not too long ago there was an anglo oneg. Someone presented an idea that has really put a lot of my feelings into context. Why did Bnei Yisrael not go directly from Egypt to Eretz Yisrael. Why did they have to spend 40 years to make the transition?  There are all kinds of reasons but they all have one common denominator. Sometimes the destination is not as important as how you get there.

It has now been 6 years since losing Gabi. I still miss her and there are still occasions where I wonder what it would be like to have her around. Most importantly she has changed who I am. I never had the opportunity to raise her. I do have the ability to be a better person because of her. Somehow that is able to remove the sting just a little bit from a very painful part of my life.

Living in Kiryat Shmuel has lifted the burden of the past for both Channah and myself. For Channah it is clear to see as she blossoms in her new school and our new community. For me it is a little more subtle and can't always be seen from the outside. When I smile and am genuinely happy, my Gabi is there too. She taught me things can go drastically wrong, but that means that it is all that more important to recognize when things go right.


Laurie Glicklin said...

Jason, you have written beautifully, as always, and I am so happy that you and Channah have been able to move on and be genuinely happy. Please give Channah and Peri my love. I think of all of you often. All of the hardships you went through will, one day, help you to help someone else going through the same thing, if you haven't already done so. You are strong and brave, and together with Peri you have forged a beautiful life for yourselves and your family. Be well, and stay happy.


Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod said...

This is a beautiful tribute. I am so angry that anyone would say you're not doing enough to remember. How crass - how irresponsible. I hate knowing there are people like that in the world, but I have met them and I know they are out there.

We are each curled up around our own tragedies and how and when we uncurl is different for every one of us. There's no timetable - no schedule like, "first anniversary - paper; second anniversary - clocks; third anniversary - tearing kriya."

The idea of "meshane makom, meshane mazal" doesn't mean that in moving to a new place you're running away from problems. If the problem is inside of you, you can't run away, of course. But sometimes, a new setting really does offer a new beginning.

You deserve all the happiness in the world; may her sweet pure neshamah continue to delight in Gan Eden.