November 16, 2018

Reconnecting to Israel

My mother returned to Canada from Israel. She had an amazing time and when we spoke she sounded so happy that when we hung I up cried. I was happy for her and became emotional. I love her very much and that I was able to send her to Israel for her birthday is something I will treasure forever. It is special to do nice things for you parents after they spent their lives doing special things for you.

My mother sent me to Israel when I was 18 years old. It was the first time I had been there since leaving when I was very little with my parents. It is a full circle moment for me to have now sent her. It has left me feeling accomplished, proud, inspired, and wanting very much to visit Israel myself. I have not been to the country of my birth since I was 20 years old. Thirty years is simply too long to not go home.

I have a large family in Israel. One cousin in particular, Yossi, has a very special place in my heart. When I was there as a teenager, he was everything to me. We had a connection I cannot properly articulate. He was like my brother, friend, confident, and spiritual advisor rolled into one. He was 15 years old at the time, and we were stuck together like glue. Our bond was stronger than just being family.

Yesterday, after many years, I spoke with Yossi. Life gets in the way is the simplest but saddesr answer for why we haven't stayed in touch. We spoke yesterday and it was like no time had passed. He is now in his 40’s, married, with four kids, and still the funny, charming, and wonderful person I remember. When we talked my heart sang and it was decided, I must go to Israel to see my family and reconnect.

I will go to Israel with my son, to see the country that defines me. My son went to Israel with his school when he was 12. The country has changed in the 8 years since he was there, so I can only imagine what it will look like to me, thirty years later. I am not sure when we will go, but the planning has begun and I am looking forward to it very much. It is something I cannot wait to share with my only child.

It is wonderful to have family and there is no excuse to not stay in touch in this day and age. When last in Israel I didn’t have a cell phone or computer, and phone calls were wildly expensive. It is a different time. Calls to Israel are a quarter a minute, Facetime is free, and I'm connecting to people I never should have lost contact with. It took my mother going home, to remind me Israel was home.

We live in a big world, but are connected like never before. I am excited to go to Israel, and even more excited my son wants to make the trip with me. My mother has called 3 times since she got home to thank me. I have called her 5 times to thank her being such a great mom. Life is grand, Israel is special, motherhood is magical, and we will head home to keep the faith.