A Hug, A Kiss, “Banot Shel Li” – Life’s Blessings

Counting my blessings, sound cliche?

Well not to me. In my opinion, some of life’s seemingly simple blessings are taken for granted and overlooked by us all.

My visit in Israel is winding down, which my daughters had arranged for Mother’s Day so that I could be with them in Tel Aviv. My initial two week trip not surprisingly was extended to three weeks. From the beginning, the three of us couldn’t get enough.

For me, each and every day the anticipation and appreciation for the hugs, smiles and kisses that began and ended my days was priceless. These, for me, are my precious blessings.

To wake up to the special sunshine that Israel possesses is a gift in itself. But along with that brilliance came more sunshine my way. Human sunshine from physically being in the same room and hearing “good morning” from one daughter and within minutes later a knock at the door from another daughter to just say the same; and of course I collected a hug and kiss as well. As they both departed for work they made my day!

For many who have had children, they most likely view them as their pride and joy. No shocker to anyone that knows me, I too am one of those moms. One dear friend recently told me that I have taken motherhood to a different level. I am quite certain that I am not unique. To be a part of your child’s life during their youth is pretty much the norm, but to be a part of their adult life as typical as it is for many, seems to offer different levels that we ultimately choose.

Of course while in Tel Aviv I soaked up the pristine and serene environment of the beach, particularly in the morning but in truth at sunset just as much. Another blessing was having that YAM just down the street, and it is a view that I could not get enough of.

Our trip to Jerusalem over Shabbat was nothing short of emotional. To be with my daughters at sunset and at the Kotel, to say a prayer and take in that view will forever be bone-chilling, as it inevitably brings tears to our eyes every visit. The powerful vibe of that city when approaching the entrance is awesome but then the energy at the Kotel is HUGE. If you don’t believe, maybe a little experience similar to the one we had could be enlightening to you. Baruch ha Shem, another blessed moment in my visit. Truly captivating.

I feel that no matter where you stand in your child’s life just the presence of them through ordinary times in a day should not be taken for granted. Those moments have become treasured times for me and for them just as much. We are in agreement that having our presence in their lives as much as theirs in ours makes us say, “It doesn’t get better than this,” as we thank God for it all. Those are Blessings.

My days allowed me to relish in the lunch hours I was able to pop in to one daughters company at the Namal, where her work is within walking distance for me. Those meals together included me getting to know her co-workers, so much so that my appearance over there became the norm. It was an “only in Israel” kind of experience, in my opinion. To be able to grab a salad and sit outside with my daughter during her lunch break as well as joining in at the end of the week happy hour that her company offers was so so great. Still counting my blessings.

When my other daughter and her friends included me into their events out on the town, after work for a comedy show or a salsa club, I just kept my smile on and went on enjoying it all.

Fortunately the girls were able to snag some time off of work to maximize our time together. Such a gift for us.

And now the time has come for me to prepare Shabbat dinner and really try to milk the last days for this trip here, the ONE more day to see them smile in the morning and exchange hugs and kisses at the end of day before we wish each other a “lila tov.”

You may know of that sick feeling that creeps deep inside (when you need to leave the people you love the most in your life) it is trying to invade my last 48 hours with my precious gems and in a place which has also obviously become home.

Toda Raba BANOT SHEL LI. Toda Raba to your friends and co-workers for their warmth and fun conversation.

And OBVIOUSLY BRB very very soon! Bzrat ha Shem.

About the Author
Allyson Altit is from New York. She has worked in the travel industry for over 20 years as a leisure specialist. Her area of expertise is in European destinations and Israel. She has been involved with charity work for the Hadassah organization as well. In 2009 she graduated from Queens College majoring in Jewish studies.
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