Memories that make me smile with great amazement that it’s a story about me, my adventures not to be forgotten!
I wonder how many of the people who know me can find me in this photograph?
A rare photograph that was recently sent to me by an old friend. Yes I keep telling the tale of the year I ran away and spent 8 weeks on a Kibbutz. . Well here you go..
I was a rather pissed off young lady having the one thing I thought growing up mattered, taken away from me. I am a Jewish gal from Brooklyn and I was going to be the only one in my family tree not recognized by the Temple. I was not happy about that in the least.
I took matters into my own hands, when all else fails you just have to count on yourself to make things happen even some really out their ideas. Such as leaving the country with nobody knowing!
It was mine to have and yet, once more the people who controlled everything in my life decided this too was not going to happen.
So I had a friend who helped me get the needed things ( keep in mind times were different when I was young) Id was important. A signature from an adult was needed. and getting money to fly across the world to who knows where! I was fairly close to one of my cousins who lived in Haifa, a beautiful place in Israel. I had known all my life that one day I would go there I just had not planned on going all alone! Who knew I was so brave? Maybe it was pure defiance. Either way I made my way through the new land, the Promise land , the land of the Jewish people. I wanted to see my family, I wanted freedom and I did not want to be forgotten by the only thing I was able to hang on to if even a little.
I am Jewish and my grandfather who I adored more than life itself had been an Orthodox Jew all my life, well until the day my mother was murdered and he denounced G-d! I had to see for myself if G-d existed, I had to understand that if there was such a thing as G-d. Why in the world he would have forgotten about me? So if traveling to the land where a tree would later be planted in my name was my destiny,then alone I would travel. …and travel I did.
My cousin and I schemed, plotted, lied, and made a plan. Between babysitting and little money i had been given for birthday gifts and my cousin we figured it out.
What a view! It was such a different world. It was my people, my land, the land my grandparents family died for. It was a sight I will never forget. I am not a world traveler, but this was one time it was meant to be.
Jill, my cousin, much like me was a bit of an outcast, and we got along very well. She helped sneak me into her country and got me set up to live for the summer on a Kibbutz. Little did I know what life would be like for me for the next 8 weeks.
I chuckle at the memory of the first time a lady took my by the arm and spewed a bunch of words I didn’t understand and pointed to the kitchen where other girls my age were plucking dead chickens. The feather must be removed before cooking… I guess I figured the chicken I ate was not in fact the animal I don;t really know what I thought, though I remember the smells.. the heat.. but mostly what I remember is the feeling of belonging somewhere . I had a purpose. People seemed happy working side by side, no one was complaining and to sit for a few minutes to laugh over a glass of cold water, was a joyous moment.The simple things in life, no complications, no one knew my story and no one cared where I came from. I was simply a girl who worked like everyone else did. If you planned on eating the meal at the end of the day you’d best pitch in. It was that simple.
The living conditions did not even matter. Simple needs were met, nothing fancy, just a place where people were a community working together for the common good of all. It was exciting and exhilarating! Plucking dead chickens wasn’t much fun and is a LOT of hard work by the way! So appreciate each time you buy a chicken for dinner keep this story in mind there is a someone who plucked all the feathers off!
One could find us after a long day …. soaking up some sun and resting weary virgin bodies, not used to this kind of hard work!
I loved it! I was free for the first time in my young life! I belonged to no one and no one noticed me one way or the other I just moved with the flow and I loved every single minute of it! One of my proudest moments in my life, such a brave and daring thing to do . what if I got caught?
I mean I had family there so how bad could it be?
Before I left, my last night on the Kibbutz the head woman of my Mother figure heads handed me a small gift, a token she told me to take with me forever wherever i traveled to remember for all of time I belonged I was part of a culture I could not ignore. She handed me a small box. Inside was the most beautiful thing I ever saw, while this is not exactly the one I had, mine was stolen this is very close to what mine looked like.
It is called a Chai.
It means life.
They had a tree ceremony and planted a tree a baby tree in my Hebrew name which is Rivka . It still stands tall somewhere in my homeland. I will forever be a tree.
I am more than okay with this by the way!
Custom of Tree Planting
In ancient Israel, a tree was planted when a child was born—a cedar for a boy, a cypress for a girl. As the children grew up, they cared for their own trees. When they were married, the bridegroom and bride stood under a canopy made of branches cut from the trees that had been planted in their honor years before. Thus, the Jewish tradition formed a strong bond between birth and marriage, and helped to develop a love for trees and a sensitivity to the wonders of nature.
I really did not care at the time.
Etz Hayyim (Tree of Life)
Our Torah is a Tree of Life to those that hold tight to it and everyone who upholds it is happy. Its ways are ways of pleasantness, and all its paths are peace (after Proverbs 3:17-18). The above may be sung in Hebrew, using traditional or modern melodies.
Thinking back I am amazed!
I have searched for another one, I miss my Chai very much, it meant a tremendous amount to me. Such a tiny trinket but someone told me I mattered. I was not a nobody. I had a LIFE!
Maybe one day I will find the one that belongs around my neck, a little reminder of my life, it’s a good life. complicated, exhilarating, never dull, always moving faster than I can keep up with, but I am full of love, because I have such love for so many people!
How fantastic is that?
This is the prayer spoken while a baby tree is planted in the name of the new birth of a child born into Judaism .
Dear G-d, we stand before you in awe as we witness these miracles of your creation—this young tree and our new baby. Both are unique and original, unlike anything that ever was before or will be. Each began with a single seed, concealing a complex potential that miraculously unfolds with each passing day.
We pray that the roots of this tree will gain hold and spread deep, drawing nourishment from the fertile earth. So may our child draw nourishment from her/his own roots—family, heritage and the Jewish tradition.
We pray that the trunk will grow healthy and strong, withstanding the harsh forces of nature and able to support its canopy of branches and leaves. So may our daughter/son possess a healthy body and a strong moral spirit, holding steadfast to his/her own integrity and withstanding the tempests and temptations that could weaken or deter her/him. We watch these branches bud and blossom, giving shade and beauty for all to enjoy. So, too, may we watch our child bud and blossom to be a blessing and support to family, friends and community, and to make his/her unique contribution to the world. Help us nourish and nurture this tree and our child so that they may both mature and prosper, fulfilling to the greatest extent possible the potential for which God placed them on earth.
Final Blessings and Planting
Barukh Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melekh Ha’olam oseh ma’aseh b’reshit.
B’rukha At Yah Eloheinu Ruach Ha’olam osah ma’aseh b’reshit.
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the universe, who continually does the work of creation.
(Blessing recited upon seeing wonders of nature, including sunrises, shooting stars, vast deserts.)
Barukh Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melekh ha’olam, shehecheyanu, v’kimanu, v’higianu laz’man hazeh.
B’rukha At Yah Eoheinu Ruach ha’olam shehecheyanu v’kimanu v’higianu lazman hazeh.
Blessed Are You, Adonai, our God, Ruler of the Universe, who has kept us in life, and preserved us, and enabled us to reach this season.
(Blessing for reaching a new or momentous occasion.)
The tree is planted.
How beautiful is that?
Good morning to my world.
I hope you didn’t think I walked out on everyone. I was having some computer troubles and medical issues I had to figure out how to cope with. First we must begin with the perfect cup of coffee then figure out the rest..
I am back , have no fear I will continue to write till my story ends. On the days I am not please don’t forget about me. I am struggling with many medical problems and some days it is much harder than others for me to get out of bed.
I get up every morning and throw my legs over the edge trying to make my aching body move, to wake a small child who greets me with smiles and hugs. Excited to get our cup of coffee going as we sit and sip to start our day. ( her coffee is mainly cream and a splash of coffee with a spot of sugar. ) she tells me, “Grandma you make the best coffee in the universe”, I have been accused of this before. I don’t know if I make the best coffee or not I think it’s mainly the experience that makes a great cup of java!
Okay I make great coffee as well!
I have thought about the things that have run in my head the past week and I have written scribbling on my paper non stop if I cannot type the thoughts do not stop so pen and paper is where all my rambling thoughts have been this week.
I have struggled recently with great loneliness.
It is an odd thing that one can be in a room full of people and yet be so alone.
Loneliness is a state of mind not a place.
When I close my eyes this is how I imagine I am .
Not my truths however.
I did not want to write a bunch of depressing things just because they run inside my head. I keep telling myself this too shall pass, but it is not passing, it keeps running through my nightmares ,it runs through my mind every hour, each day, every time the scrub brush washes over the next crack ,I feel the tears fall on my hands, lifting my hands up long enough to dry a tear that refuses to stop. Why can’t I make the tears stop falling?
I cry when the bag rips, I cry when I drop another cup, I cry when I can’t get warm inside. I cry when someone calls me and asks me,” how are you?” So I stopped answering the phone. That did not help either.
I walk the same path each day, doing what I can to cheer those that can’t ever seem to find their smiles, I cheer on the children I gave life to. I cheer on the extras I have gathered along the way. I am proud of them so why wont these tears stop falling? I cross my fingers with each new chance for them. I fight the good fight for my grandchild when she struggles in school. I am always the one who finds the good, the joy, the smiles, the laughter, even behind the tears. I try to cheer on the man who slips into my bed each night, barely seeing him anymore, gone before I wake and home after I’ve crawled into bed praying for relief and peaceful sleep.I find myself up late at night pacing from one end of my home to the other back and forth waiting for peace to settle in for a little sleep a little rest. Not wanting to disturb the man who keeps choosing me no matter how hard I fall apart. Feeling badly that it is all I can do to ask how was your day dear?
I wish for my running shoes, to be-able to run till I can no longer breathe.
Oh how I loved that feeling.
My husband stole my running shoes a long time ago, telling me “no more running”
I have a home , I have a place.
I stopped running.
I ran in fear, I ran for my life. I ran till my sides burned. I ran so I could stop hurting. I ran so my brain would shut off. I ran so my body felt the burn and my brain would stop aching .
I ran because I did not know where I belonged or if I belonged anywhere or to anyone.
I just wanted to belong.
I can no longer run ,even if I wanted to and that is part of my problem. I am stuck inside a body that wont allow me to move the way I once could.I have not been able to adjust to this fact. It seems that the grace I once had no longer exists.
I am clumsy. I am broken .I am damaged goods.
I am trying to prepare for yet another surgery, another hip replaced .This time they will release the main tendon in my leg which will leave me weaker still.It seems so unfair. I can barely wrap my brain around how much of my life feels as though a thief in the night came and stole my life little by little and did not even have the courtesy to ask if they could just borrow a little of me. I would happily have given it.I cannot help but ponder about why I must keep on falling apart and head for another Operating Room for another long journey back to the living.
If this is a fact, then I suppose my life has lots of meaning.
I am always pondering what now?
Play the music louder?
Dance inside my head when the hips refuse to sway with the music I hear?
Please make the pain go away.
I wish I could feel the music, I wish my brain would shut off long enough for me to hear it.
DIG DEEPER STILL.
This is not what I wanted, it is not what I wished for when I was younger.
I will take the high road, maybe because I have always considered everything is a lesson to be learned.I will take the good with the bad, the ugly and then even disfigured. Sometimes in life we are forced to do things we don’t always want to do. Often we do things we must because we have to not because we enjoy it or want to . I call this life.This is my life, for better or worse this is my life. Even though things out of my control keep stealing small gems , little shards that are what my being is made of. I am trying to keep up some dignity. I will endure whatever comes my way next and maybe with a little less grace than before but not for a lack of trying.
I have always admired Eleanor Roosevelt, more than most women. I think she was the image of perfection of dignity and grace entwined with such bravery and courage.
I am trying to take her advice.
Do what you think you cannot!
I do not pray for an easy life, I pray for the strength to ENDURE a difficult one.
I have lived in chains of bondage to my body for most of my life, and as painful as the chains have been, or the ropes as they have cut into my flesh, that is not a pain I cannot bare.
Stealing my mind, taking from my heart,leaving me empty with only loneliness to steal whats left of me. Those are the pains I cannot bare.
No one and nothing can ever chain the freedoms of my mind and soul. That my dear friends is the one thing that still belongs to me.
Today I begin my climb back out of the state I am presently in. Loneliness is not a good place, it is not a good state of mind . You can’t just allow life to leave your grasp… you have to hang on tighter and find a new direction.
A new plan .
Time to move.
Time to get out of this state of mind.
Time to find my joy again.
Hard to do when your body is so riddled with constant pain.
I will endure. I will find my smile. I will celebrate whats good.
This week I will celebrate my daughters new home. She is moving in to her new home this weekend . Her family along with friends will help her with boxes and furniture to give her the grunts as they push her things upstairs and she settles into what proves to be a beautiful new life for herself with a man along her side that I adore. Side by side they will find themselves a beautiful world. A stunning life they have created together. Hard work and lots of sacrifices. I wish I could help her move into her home but as with my son and his bride I am no longer able to physically help and that makes me so sad. I feel a little left out of whats grand and breathtaking. The beginning of a new life. I made chicken soup what else would a Jewish mama do when all else fails? It’s a lovely home, she painted her kitchen my favorite color. I think maybe when she sits in her new kitchen and has a cup of coffee she might feel me in her walls.
I like that thought a lot.
Thanks for coming along with me for another day and for having faith in me. I am sorry to all those who got their feelings hurt along the way this past week. It was never my intention. I am just trying to find my way like everyone else. I am not perfect. I make mistakes .
Don’t give up on me even if it seems I have.
I am not a quitter.
I am not done.
A special thank you to a man I love, more than myself perhaps. I appreciate all that you continue to do, for not letting go of me when I just want to flee..it is not from you I run, it is into your arms I long to be.
Robin ~ a simple bird , struggling a little at the moment.
I will keep this short as today I am frustrated and angry with the body I will refer to as a shell.
I went to my doctor today and will need more tests but mainly I will need surgery for a third time on my hip.
I have a form of ALS and MS it is neither, it is an autoimmune disease, the end results are the same.
LIFE IS NOT FAIR!
It really is not. It just is what it is.
I try very hard to think positive and be all that everyone needs me to be. I have just about run dry. When you have a well and it runs dry…. Its gone empty nothing left to drink!
SO, I am sorry that today I have no great words of wisdom other than to say, It is what it is. Tomorrow Ill figure out what to do next. Today I plan to watch TV and find my center before I cant find it at all. Coffee and a decent head on my shoulders still I will find a way to make sense of this I pray!
To the rest of the world, please understand be grateful for the time you have and spend it wisely. Do not waste a single moment .
I live for my children, I live for my granddaughter, and I am so sorry to my husband, my best friend, he deserves so much better. I thank him every day and wish I could do more be better.
That’s all for today I hope that tomorrow will bring better clarity.
Appreciate the gifts you have and hug those you love a lot.
Thanks for coming along again today though I am sorry this is not an uplifting visit.
Some days are like that even in Australia!
I don’t think Austrailia is any better, it is my body that is terrible.
Robin ~ a simple bird with a broken wing.