Go Home and Love Your Family
I have never done this before, but there is just so much to say today, so I am putting out a double blog.
Some of you have been following my heart this week as I poured out me feelings over Facebook. (Check out my timeline, or follow some of the posts that I shared on my Beit Roga page: facebook.com/beitroga)
And I spoke in the previous blog (Bleeding Hearts) about lessons learned, as I believe there is always a lesson to be learned from all trials in life.
And so, here goes; the lessons I have learned this week - as a woman, as a mother, as a bleeding heart.
Lesson 1: Living in the present moment. During those thirty hours of worry and prayer this past week, while everything seemed to be in a warp zone, we were only able to live in the moment. That was all our systems could handle. Even that was too much. The past, awful – as memories and pictures and imagination of what it must have been like for the passengers of that car on that terrible night lurked in the shadows. The future, unfathomable - as we would have to move forward with this altered reality of once again having immediate acts of terror on our roads. The present, well, there was so much in the present moment. Thoughts and prayers and fears and moving one foot in front of the other. Breathing. Eating. The present moment was pregnant with enough reality that it was almost bursting from overburden.
And then, in the days that followed, the same was true. Just now. Deal with right this moment, and then maybe you can get through the next one. Be present. Live now. Show up.
Lesson 2: Show up. As a mother, you do not have the luxury of going into a fog. You do not have the luxury of going into your room and dealing on your own. As a mother you can not just get into your bed and cover your head.
And, as I found out this week, that is a blessing.
My son was sick with a high fever. I had to act. I had to show up. And it was such a blessing. To have just had to resume “normal” life would have been more difficult. I would have been living in two worlds: One of grief and heartache, and one of motherhood and love. This way, I was all-consumed with love, giving, nursing my feverish son back to a “safe” fever. I was so consumed with this, in fact, that for a few hours I even “forgot” about all the grief. By being present, by showing up, I avoided going into a hole. Be being present, by showing up, I exhibited strength, and that strength helped me remain upright and whole.
Lesson 3: Keep open the heart. As I have seen over and over this week, keeping the heart open in times of grief and great trial is extremely painful and heart-rending, and yet so necessary. I poured out my open bleeding heart onto Facebook posts, and the responses and comments that came back were so heartwarming and overwhelming that they forced my heart to stay open. I would read a comment from a stranger on the other side of the earth, and cry fresh tears. I would see response after response from Facebook friends and strangers alike and bleed anew. But I knew, the whole time, that this was a good thing.
This was how I was going to stay open to learning the lessons that were inside this package, waiting to be absorbed by a nation in mourning. Sensitive people, let your hearts bleed! Mothers who do not want to read this because of the pain and heart ache and worry and fear – take courage and take heart and read! These messages are filled with love. These lessons are waiting to be learned. If we shut down our hearts we shut out the message. And I know how hard this can be. I myself do not like to know about all the atrocities that befall our brethren at the hands of the murderous terrorists who wear a mask of peace to the world. I know what it is like to hug your child every time he goes out on the road with the unthinkable fears we live with. I know what it is like to console your child when they express their fears of going on a school trip for fear of being taken by Arabs. I know what it is like to believe in the goodness of every Arab you meet in a store, on a construction site, and yet to hate and want to murder the ones who threaten the happy childhood of my children.
But there was no escaping this one for me. It did not happen somewhere else, it was not something my husband could bring me only pieces of to hide the full atrocity from my consciousness. This was whole and real and in my face. In my life.
And so, lesson 4: Go home and love your family. I have stated this one before, as it is my byline. It is how I explain to people that I do not listen to the news. When terrible things happen and people don’t know what to do to take action, I say this. Then, I found out it is a famous Mother Theresa quote.
And this week, while eulogizing his second son, Eliezer Rosenfeld stated: if you go home from here with one lesson, let it be to go home and be with your family. Family is safety. Family is love. That is what Malachi lived for, he said, that is what he exemplified. Being with family. Quality family time.
While talking with a neighbor about what we are going through, cleaning and laundry and such stuff came up as seeming so menial. She said to me, we can look at it two ways, as menial, a drag, or as a zechut – something we merit to do. Something we should feel honored and happy to do.
And that is life. A matter of perspective. Am I going to see everything as difficult? Or am I going to take joy and extreme satisfaction out of the gift that is my life? Am I going to focus on the perceived drudgery or revel in the privilege of living my life? Am I going to show up, or shut down. Am I going to be present, or live in the funk of the past and the worry of the future. Am I going to keep my heart open and live in love and all of its emotions, or am I going to build defenses and live from my wounds and scars.
These are the lessons we are learning this week. These are the lessons of life.
Thank you, Malachi (my angel, in English), for teaching us these beautiful lessons. Thank you for imparting so much love and comfort in all you embodied to your family, friends, community, and the Israeli nation. Thank you for being our Angel. Your light is shining on us, making us better people, better mothers/fathers/brothers/sisters/daughters/sons.
There is a nation that is not willing to let your death go unnoted. There is a people who is learning the lessons it needs to learn so that you, in life, as well as in death, can bring joy and love to those who knew you or knew of you.
With love and serenity and a wish for the peace and love Malachi exemplified to be shown on a national level,
With hope for a more honest future, one that sees the truth of our lives, of our existence,