So this should have posted in September, better late then never.
Again, its been a while since I have written a post and quite a lot has happened. As the title suggests I am was in the shloshim, or 30 days, of mourning. My stepfather passed away suddenly on August 21. It’s definitely been an emotional roller coaster, from “doing shiva” differently than prescribed and being somewhat estranged from my immediate family. I didn’t sit shiva per se, I did cut a piece of clothing after hearing of his death, and it actually happened on a Friday afternoon, so technically I was not able to mourn for a full 25 hours and it was somewhat weird sitting in shul participating but not fully present. I have said the Mourners Kaddish every morning but not in a synagogue or with a minyan. Yeah I know I’m not doing it as prescribed and I don’t have the whole community and other mourners to lean on but when I travel every week and normally stay near an airport where there isn’t a shul close by, you gotta do what you gotta do and saying it alone is better than not saying it all. Right? His death got me thinking about what it means to be religious and observant in a secular fast paced world. I have decided to start laying t’fillin. I ordered a set and they are on the way from Israel hopefully they will be here soon. I actually am really looking forward to doing this mitzvah.
Every shabbat is usually the same, I try to clean the house and get ready for a Saturday of resting, well I had plans this weekend to go away for the long holiday weekend, so I didn’t prepare anything for shabbat. When those plans changed I was planning on just going to service and then coming home and relaxing for the weekend with out a single thing planned. Well that all went down the “crapper” when I hurt my back. I couldn’t sit, so going to shul was out of the question, I couldn’t stand, so all I was left to do was lay down. Well things got worse Saturday morning when I couldn’t do anything, literally NOTHING. I couldn’t even get out of bed, I tried and fell right to my knees, in tears. I have had a back injury for the past year and I have dealt with pain for that long but this was different pain. Like my body just locked up. I finally made it back into bed and fell back to sleep for a few hours, when I woke up again and could barely crawl I knew something was really wrong so I had to call 911. My bedroom is upstairs so I had to figure out how I could get down without being in excruciating pain and not have to have the EMT’s or Firemen have to carry me down. Granted some of them were cute and they were really friendly but I had already made it down halfway when they got there and the stairway isn’t big enough for 2 let alone 3 or 4. As I crawled down my two cats were at the top looking down and one of the firemen said “your cats look like they’re judging you”. I said yeah they’re judging but they’re judging you guys. My cats were distraught because I was crying and screaming out in pain. Now all they do is lay next to me and try to comfort me.
My baby comforting me
I was taken to the ER and given some (actually a lot of) pain killers and muscle relaxers. I was there for about 7 hours and not even an X-Ray was taken, the Dr. just forgot about me. My friends have been so great this weekend with picking me up from the hospital to getting my prescriptions filled, especially, Kourtney, the girl in my conversion class, we’ve only known each other for 5 months and she came to the hospital and drove me home, we have become close during our time in class and outside of class. And Sandra, a woman I work with. They both drove from the other side of town to help me. I am forever grateful to them.
Since I’ve been bed ridden for 3 days now I’ve had time to read my siddur and pray, a lot. Now before anyone gets uptight about not having a minyan, or not facing, Jerusalem, I know that Hashem won’t mind, and exceptions are made for hose that aren’t physically able to. I’m finding that some of the prayers resonate with my inner being, my “neshama.” I am so glad that Hashem has put me on this path.