A Mother’s Love Knows No Boundaries
Like many families with adult children, no one living in the same city, located all over the USA and one family in Israel, my husband and I go through the rhythm of enjoying our children and their families through air travel during long holiday weekends and the Chagim. We continue to alternate our visits trying to fairly divide our time between each family, enjoying children and grandchildren. I have never taken this gift of being able to connect often for granted, recognizing and always thanking G-d that we are able and healthy enough to travel. This was never how I imagined I would “ grandparent” but it has worked beautifully.
How spectacular that we live in the age where our visits are only a three hour flight away, except of course for Israel! We are blessed to live in this time period with all the technology that eases distance. There were always dreams of a life where our children would live close to us and our lives would be intermingled on a regular basis. Yet, still, I have always felt blessed. When our son and his family moved to Israel, a very wise woman in my community shared with me , “ it is better to have nachas from afar then aggravation up close”. That mantra is always deeply set in my heart especially when I feel a sense of melancholy and longing for the everyday interaction of a family that lives close by. But this is our life, a beautiful life. I am Bubbie FaceTime and then I am there in person. It has always worked, until now….
Since last week the reality of the distance between us and all our children feels universes apart. Instead of comfortable distance I felt frightened and sadness when Israel and the United States instituted travel restrictions. All of a sudden the distances seem so huge and the ocean that separated me from my Israeli children seemed vast and endlessly far. I cried when the President made his announcement, frightened about how I could get there if they needed me in Israel. As each day goes by and domestic aviation is now so questionable,, I feel further away from our American children as well.
Pesach is fast approaching and all our plans have changed. Each family has had to make big changes to their original plans, Looking at each family, our four children and their spouses.have taught me so much. Learning from their resilience I have learned a tremendous lesson. Not once have they complained about virtual schooling, social isolation, quarantine, or fear of the unknown. They have each thoughtfully and smartly approached these insane changes in each of our lives. Each of them have readjusted their everyday life as well as first vision of the holiday, instead to what the reality is indeed. There has been no complaining or whining as they have, each as a unit with their spouse, determining what is best for each of their families. They have each initiated what that entails to get through this global crisis. As a parent, we want to hold our children dear and be with them. We want to protect them from uncertainty and distress. I now feel at so much more at peace knowing that they are each strong and that they are able to adjust to unplanned and frightening situations. They have moved ahead, not looking back for one minute but rather planning how to deal with the here and now and how to best protect the families they have created. I feel enormous comfort knowing that our children are now the protectors of their children and even if we are far, our hearts are always so close. I am praying for all mankind and the return of good health and life as we know it. I am praying that this nightmare will go away quickly and all mankind will be safe. I am also at peace knowing that we have given our children wings and they each have exhibited tremendous strength and wisdom. This year, for the first time in almost 42 years, I will sit down at the Seder with only my husband, grateful for what we have and praying that G-d willing, what lays ahead will be good.