20/20 vision and the last candle burning

December 31, 2019, on flight to TLV:  “Ladies and gentlemen, the time is now 12:00 am. We would like to wish you all a happy New Year! Welcome 2020!”

December 31, 2020: This year, I’ll try to utter my New Year’s welcome with as much excitement, hopeful that I never have to wear a mask again. Amen!

Every night of Chanukkah, I sit down to watch each candle burn while holding a book of Tehillim in my hands, trying to watch the greatness of what Chanukkah is all about through my own 20/20 lens. This year, as I tried to do the same, the candles meant something different. In a year of what seemed to be perhaps the most confusing, challenging, and exhausting year we have ever imagined we would be experiencing, our 20/20 vision seemed to be nothing other than 20/200 (read: legally blind). Yet, if Chanukkah during a COVID 2020 taught us one thing, it was to remember to strive to be like the last candle burning- standing strong and resilient until the last breath, viewing life with our 20/20 vision clearer as never before.

It’s not every day that we get the chance to know our strengths. It’s not every day we get the understanding that we are blessed until we feel stuck and lost from opportunity. It’s not every day we pause to appreciate our loved ones and reimagine our purpose in life. Sometimes the flames are too bright in our eyes, but if we watch carefully, our 20/20 vision will let us look beyond the flames. Next year, our message for Chanukkah will not be the same.

About the Author
Hailing from the Lone Star State, Madalyn is graduate student studying for a Master's in Occupational Therapy at CUNY York College.