The Cycle of Life Continues

So my third son will be become a bar mitzvah in a couple of days. I find myself very excited and very sad at the same time. My mother has been dead for five months. It’s the first occasion that I have planned without her.

I’ve had months to anticipate this event with my mother’s absence. She taught me a lot and infused me with a lot of confidence so planning menus and parties doesn’t stress me out. My husband is very helpful and capable. My son is well prepared and excited to shine on his big day.

My mother had impeccable taste and dressed beautifully. I loved to take her shopping with me for these events. This was the first time I had to go on my own. I went to a store she and I loved. I found the perfect outfit for my son’s bar mitzvah.

I told my sister, “I found an outfit and mom loves it.”

“How do you know?” she asked.

“I could hear her voice in my head,” I confidently told her.

I guess that’s how it goes, going forward. That’s what others tell me. Her presence will be with me, though her absence will always be felt. I feel incredibly weepy as the day approaches.

And then the snow came. About a foot.

Really? Sometimes it feels like I get a little too much of the bad stuff when God passes things out. I don’t want to sound ungrateful – there’s mostly good things in my life. And I know winter events are iffy. But why me?

Fortunately my son is oblivious to the stress. So I just quietly take one for the team. And hope for the best.

My sister lives in the Midwest. Without too much drama, I told her she has to get here, even if she has to drive the nine hours. My Mom won’t be here but I need my sister by my side.

Keep your fingers crossed…

8 thoughts on “The Cycle of Life Continues

  1. My dear friend,

    You are a model for how to take things in stride and an inspiration for me. Judith will get here to be by your side……Your friends will be there too. While not present the way your heart longs….Your Mom will be there too. She is with you every step of the way in your head, your heart, and your spirit. I am sure your outfit is fabulous. No need to ask what the “other tie” looks like!! XoXo. Dee Dee

  2. Once again you hit the nail on the head. What emotion are you NOT experiencing! We (the greater we) will be there to support and celebrate with you. No one can make up for a mom, but you have a big cheering squad who shares your joy and knows the difficulty and sorrow. Hang in there…

  3. Maybe she instructed the big guy above to dump the snow bc she is pissed too. I can see Judith driving Thelma and Alon style with three boys in tow all with sun glasses and scarves driving wildly through bad weather to be here for you, for gabe, for each other. It’s absurd, this life we lead and we rely on the backbone of the people we cherish the most- mothers at the top of the list- to help us navigate. I just find it impossible to digest that we are at that stage of life- where we have become the mothers that others rely on. Somehow I don’t always feel equipped for that part; sometimes I cling to just wanting to be the child, sometimes the teenager and always the young adult. It’s beautiful that Rita is in your head and I am sad that she didn’t get to see you in that new outfit. what a gift that you lived near her and got to spend all that time together; but it’s never enough time. I know you miss her every single day and ever more so as you kvell this time without her. And I know that Rita lives on in you and gabe and the rest of your misphacha and while be there somehow in the space around you and deep in your hearts, although I know you just want to wrap your arms around her physically. Your calm and steadfastness is what makes you Susan. And your raw-ness is what makes you human, just an inevitable part of this shitty part of the journey. Your sister binds you to your mom and I am so glad Judith can do that for you. And god knows you collect people like honey collects bees. So, my bracha – i know “I’m super-frummy na na na na” – for you this shabbat is to cherish that sweetness that will inevitably come from watching your sweet boy, as I affectionately call “the blanket,” in all that he has accomplished to get here and at the same time grieve quietly for that big whole in your heart and how badly you miss your mom’s arms around you. love you friend

  4. Susan,
    My dad passed away 4 months before my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah. I understand your sadness. Mazel Tov on your son’s Bar Mitzvah.

  5. Hi Susan, Mazel tov on a beautiful simcha. I finally had a chance to read your piece and it was so beautiful. I smiled throughout it and became weepy as well. You write beautifully and as a friend who lives far away, please know I am so proud of your strength and wonderful outlook on life. Thank you for sharing. Xo Rachael


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