Thursday, 14 July 2011

My Big Fat Toe

Boker Tov:
(Which sounds like "broke your toe")
I am sitting in my dayroom, enjoying a cup of coffee.
Truly enjoying my coffee.
Last night was the first time I actually slept. I didn't once wake up in pain. It's been a week since I'd had a good night sleep.
This morning, I actually woke up with a smile and not throw the pillow over my face.
It's a start.
Mark got a part part-time working at the Veteran Center. he starts next week.
It's a start.
And since I am feeling better, I get some things done.
What my big fat toe will allow.
Though now healing nicely, my big fat toe still doesn't allow me to stand long or put much weigh on it. It doesn't allow me to make the bed or clean the bathroom.
But it allows me to fold fresh washed laundry, go though old papers, some need to be fined, others throw away. It allows me to study for the big hebrew test I have coming up.
It is amazing how focus one's toe, big, tiny otherwise, can make one.
The things I had been meaing to do, little projects I needed to finish, I am now working on.
I am even thinking of ways to decorate the bandage since I am going to be wearing this for another week or so.
Might as well have some fun.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

It's the Little Things

First, thanks to all who left wonderful, encouraging messages. Trust me, they mean a lot.
Right now, as I type this, I am wating for the pain medication to kick in. Mark had to chance my dressing. I have small toes; he has big hands, which leads to lots of pain.
Afterwards, Mark just holds my foot in his lap, stroking it softy.
Its those little things that mean the most.
How often we take the little things, like toes, for granted until their hurt in some form or fashion. Our teeth until they start hurting. A loved one until they die.
We go through this life taking so much for granted.
The little things.
I now giggle as I hop along the house. It takes my right toe to keep my balance. But how often did I take my balance for granted, just kicking my shoes off when I come home or run through the house.
One of the things I am learning during this time is living a life of Thanksgiving. To give thanks for all things; big and small.
Like my big right toe.

Monday, 11 July 2011

A Matter of Faith

It has been an insterting several weeks. Full of ups and downs, yelling and screaming and even a few times, "I quit!"
But G-d and I are still speaking.

It's a matter of faith.
My beloved and I are now celebrating six years of marriage.
The past twelves months have been the hardest.
Between the time Mark was in the Wounded Warrior Program while we care for a very sick friend who almost left us, Mark's depression and now almost a year of job searching, this has been those times that tries the souls and faith of men and women.
Mark is a Civil Affairs officer. When he isn't deployed, he goes back to Army Reserves status. But since we have been marriage, Mark has been deployed twice for twelve to four-teen months, comes home for three to six months and then on his way out to the field again.
This means he never gets to put to use the very skill he has trained for; a science teacher.
This month, will mark 11 months Mark has been home. The longest he has been home since we have been married.
His two months leave was used up taking care of a friend. Then dealing with coming out of the black hole.
All I could do is love him and pray for him.
As a Vet, one would think job offers and employers would open their doors to him. But like everyone, he has been searching for a job, any job to take care of his family.
All I can do is love him and pray for him.
And just as the point when I was ready to play Esther and over a lovely meal suggest I also look for a job to help out, I deveople Cellilitius which is an infection of the tisse, in my case, my big right toe. With a huge bandage on my huge big toe, wearing a walking boot when I am allowed up for the next two to three weeks, my job search is on hold.
All I can do is love my husband and pray.
To be honest, there are many times I find myself yelling at G-d. How can men and women who serve their country, even to the point of putting thier lives on the line, not be able to find a job?  It isn't just my Mark. I have heard so many stories of others in the similiar boat. Vets now having to apply for Food Stamps, and losing their homes.
It isn't fair, it isn't right.
It is life in America: there are no jobs for anyone.
So how do I do this.
It's a matter of faith. It is knowing that G-d is still in control, that He truly sees, hears and cares.
Right now, as I look at my toe with a fresh bandage wrapped around it by my beloved who feels that is this is the only thing he can truly do for me. I pray. I pray for a job for myself and others who are seeking work.
That I don't become bitter. That I remember G-d is working behind the scences even though I don't see it.
It's a matter of faith.

Friday, 1 July 2011

A Head of Straw, A Head of Torah

Boker Tov:
Yes, I know it has been a very long time. Over a month in fact.
The reason is simple: I was thinking of just letting the blog go. I began thinking, I really don't have anything to say, anything important. Mark is still home. In fact, this has been the longest he has been home.
But then I have spend the past week reading e-mail, letters from people who tell me how much they like reading the blog, are encouraged in their marriage, in learning Torah, in seeking out the roots of their faith and even rethinking a few things.
So, I decided to keep it going.
Besides, now that life is less crazy, I have time.

Two nights ago was a landmark moment for me. We even invited to a birthday party for my hebrew teacher Emily. Several of her students showed up to pay honour to her. There is a memory book being made for her, filled with our stories and pictures.
Mark shared how Emily was the teacher that was able to get through to me in teaching how to read hebrew, and the growth he saw not only in my learning  hebrew, but as a person, developing more self-esteem. After Mark shared, I read the very first verse of Gensis in hebrew.
Last night, I read the first two verses of Gensis in hebrew to my mother.
As the rabbi's wife (Emily, mum) said to me that night, a whole new world is now open to me as I now can begin to read G-d's Word in the Holy Tongue as it was indeed meant to be.
My jounry in hebrew has reminded of a story from the Talmud of a man who through his tears, learned Torah....


Eliezer was the son of Hurkanas, a leading rabbi of his generation and a very wealthy man.
Eliezer was plowing on the mountain, and he began to cry. His father said: "Why are you crying? If it's hot up on the mountain, I'll move you down to the plain." So Eliezer began to plow in the plain, and cried there too.
"Why are you crying?" Hurkanas asked.
"I want to learn Torah," said Eliezer. He cried until Elijah the Prophet came and told him to go to Jerusalem and seek out Rebbe Yochanan Ben Zakkai, the greatest sage of his generation.
Eliezer went to Jerusalem -- and you guessed it -- started crying: "I want to learn Torah."
Rebbe Yochanan Ben Zakkai asked: "Didn't they even teach you to say the Shema?"
And so the great sage, Rebbe Yochanan Ben Zakkai, taught Eliezer the ABCs of Judaism. Then he said, "Very good, Eliezer. We were successful. Now it's time for you to go."
Eliezer started crying: "I want to learn more Torah."
So Rebbe Yochanan Ben Zakkai taught Eliezer the Five Books of Moses and the Oral Law. After this, Rebbe Yochanan said, "Eliezer, it is time for you to go."
Eliezer cried: "I want to learn more Torah!"
And so it went. Then one day, Eliezer was sitting and learning Torah in the back of the study hall. Unexpectedly, his father Hurkanas walked in. At which point, Rebbe Yochanan Ben Zakkai told Eliezer to move to the front and recite his Torah aloud.
After Eliezer had finished, Hurkanas stood up, and beaming with pride, said: "Eliezer, at first I wanted to give my property to all of my sons but you. But now I am going to give everything I have to you and you alone!"
Eliezer replied, "My father, if I wanted gold and silver, I would have stayed working on the farm. All I want is Torah." And Rabbi Eliezer Ben Hurkanas went on to become the leader of his generation, and the teacher of the great Rebbe Akiva....."

It is said that Eliezer was a slow learner, one with a head filled with straw. That it would be a wasted efforted to even to try to teach him the Shema, let alone Torah. It took the great sage Rebbe Yochamam Ben Zakkai to be able to reach Eliezer. But the biggest breakthrough was Eliezer's tears. He wanted to learn so badly it drove him to tears until he recieved that which he sought. The Jewel known as Torah.
Like Eliezer, I cried many tears, begging to learn hebrew, for I wish to learn Torah in hebrew, the holy langugae. For six years, teacher after teacher tried until I was ready to give up.
And then came Emily. Emily who is handicapped and knows the struggles I have in learning, going through special schooling, not only learned hebrew, but has taught hebrew for the past several years.
Through Emily I have learned how patient G-d is with each of, walking beside us and rejoicing in that "I got It!" moment. How He beams when we realize "I can do this!"
My new friend Jodie told me as I learn hebrew, I will learn a lot about others, about myself.
That is true.
And one of the first lesson is to turn A head of straw into a head of Torah.