Monthly Archives: November 2008

Salvation

Three years ago today I was in a very dark place. A place where there was no light, a place where there was no possibility of sunlight ever filtering through the rigid black drapes. Three years ago today I was not me. I was a shadow of myself. I was all pain and hurt and suffering. I was composed of tears and heartbreak and emptiness. My life existed to just make me feel pain.

 

In those dark days I found myself needing more than G-d could give me, more than the kids or a spouse could give me. I needed only what I could give myself – personal salvation. But it was not mine to take. When the darkness threatened to engulf me for the very last time I somehow found the strength to fight through. I somehow kicked toward the surface with all my inner strength and dignity. The first few healing breaths hurt so much I wanted to stop breathing, but I couldn’t allow myself to stop.

 

With time breathing became easier. With time the tears did stop. With time I found happiness and joy. With time, I found contentment. With time I have been blessed to find personal fulfillment and pure happiness not based on anyone other than myself.

 

For the first time in my life I am whole. I am thrilled with who I am. I like myself. I like myself a lot. But I will always remember that person that once lived inside my body. And I will carry her lessons with me daily, to remind me how precious and fleeting life can be.

 

This is a poem that I wrote 3 years ago, at the start of my healing.

 

Pain

 

Though my body be weak

My spirit remains strong

Though my bones feel destroyed

My soul stands firm within me

Pain tries so hard to control me

I cannot, I will not, let it win

The essence of me

The truth of who I am

Is contained within

The strong chambers

Of my beating heart

And the infinite barriers

Of my everlasting soul

Pain can never win

For my inner strength

Repels every attack

In the war between

Love and Pain

The love that surrounds me

Conquers and vanquishes

Any type of negativity

I know love. I feel love.

I know truth. I feel truth.

My mission, my goal

Is to be true to my soul.

 

Thank you G-d for bringing me through that dark chapter in my life. Thank you oh L-rd for the blessing of wonderful children. I praise you oh G-d for the gift of family and friends who have always supported me through thick and thin. I thank you G-d for the life that I live – I am happy, healthy and oh so blessed with all that I have. There is so much light in my life now – how could I ever have lived without it?

Needless Slaughter

What can I possibly say that has not been said? The devastation that was visited on Mumbai toward the end of the week was vicious and wrong. War used to be about armies meeting on the battlefield and the ones left standing were the victors. When did it become ok to kill innocent bystanders, people who spread good in the world? As a Jew my heart breaks over the Jewish people killed, including a rabbi and his wife who were in Mumbai to help other Jews who may be visiting the city to find kosher food, a place to meet other Jews and experience Shabbat far from home. There were 5 other Jews killed at the Chabad house – their deaths just as tragic, just as sad, just as inexplicable. The news reports are telling us that the total of people killed in the Mumbai terrorist attacks was close to 200. I mourn their deaths, all of them, my heart shattered into a thousand pieces. My son asked me why this had to happen. I have no answer. Unfortunately violence has become a way of this world.

 

I needed to go to shul last night, to daven with my co-religionists, to seek succour from a room full of heartfelt prayer. For an hour my spirit was exalted, uplifted. But I remain angry about why this had to happen. I hugged my children tight all of Shabbat, I reminded them as I bensched them Friday night how much I love them, I rejoiced in their healthy bodies and boisterous voices. They are the future, they are my future, the children of today will improve tomorrow’s world, but only if we allow them to develop the right tools.

 

As the burials and the mourning start to take place, let us remember that we are all human beings, that hate should have no place in this world. I understand that this is somehow all part of G-d’s master plan, I just wish it didn’t have to involve innocent vibrant good people.

 

May their families be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem, Amen.

shabbat shalom!

Frumster Files – Closing Arguments

OK, we all know couples who met on Frumster, got married and live a very happy life together. If I recall correctly Frumster boasts over 1100 matches made (it doesn’t say marriages, it says matches….interesting turn of phrase). I am very happy for these people, and it shows that these sites could work.

 

I took myself off Frumster almost a month ago. I got so sick and tired of the misrepresentation and the lying and the cheating and the guys who are still married, the men who cannot string a coherent sentence together, the ones who cannot even be bothered to put any effort into wooing you. “do you wanna $#@^?” – that doesn’t count as an expression of interest in my book.

 

Many of the divorced guys on Frumster, when discussing their divorces, have blamed the ex wife for being totally unbalanced and psychotic, none of them apparently have any blame at all in the break up of their marriage (it takes two to tango, no one is 100% blameless in a divorce). I just find it so interesting that the courts are so repeatedly uninterested in the welfare of the kids that they keep awarding custody to psychotically deranged homicidal maniacal mothers. What is this world coming to? Can no one in this day and age take any responsibility whatsoever? Is it too much to ask for a guy to say “yes we had problems, and I didn’t do enough to help fix them” or “there were issues I ignored” or even “I cheated, and I was wrong..” – does it hurt to be humble, human and honest?

 

I have been asked the most rude and disgusting questions, from men who present themselves as being above that kind of thing – their profiles all say how they are kovea itim (ie they make time to learn every day). “We’ll have plenty of tefillin dates, but at least we daven and at least we learn. We may be bonking half of the city’s single female population, but at least we can quote gemara.” (oh and they won’t use protection, apparently, because it’s against the torah….oy vey don’t get me started).

 

I like the premise of Frumster, I like what it sets out to do, to aid and abet religious Jewish singles to meet and marry like-minded individuals. There just needs to be a way for the administrators to check out the people, to vet them, like other dating sites do – I saw you at Sinai, for example. In this day and age we should know better than to be so trusting, but we don’t seem to learn. There is no substitute for introductions through mutual friends who actually KNOW both parties well.

 

For those of you continuing with Frumster and the like – good luck, please keep your wits about you, don’t meet with anyone until you have checked them out thoroughly – that means not just calling the references you are given, but find someone you know in the area where they live so you can ask a non-biased party for their opinion.

 

I have complete and utter faith that my knight in shining armour is out there, its even possible we have already met – but sadly Frumster will have to manage without my hard earned cash supporting it.

 

I am very interested to hear your opinions – experiences etc.

Bookmark and Share

An expensive lesson

Regular readers will recall that way back in the summer, I drove the kids down to Lake George for a final hurrah, and we had a blast at the Six Flags there. Read the original post here . What I didn’t tell you back then was that on the way back home we got a speeding ticket. Yep, that’s right, this Ima has a heavy foot. I was driving 83 mph in a 65 mph zone. The policewoman was right to give me a lecture, and even though the kids thought it was so cool that we were pulled over by a police car with lights and sirens, it really wasn’t cool. There is never an excuse for speeding, and I apologized to the kids immediately. I was also issued a ticket for a seatbelt offense, which I could have fought, because I believe she was wrong (she objected to how one of the kids was buckled) but the hassle wasn’t worth it.

 

Anyhow, we came back, and I promptly forgot about the ticket what with one thing and another. I was recently driving down to NY with a friend and happened to mention that I had a ticket that I hadn’t paid, and that it really wasn’t clear on the ticket how much was due, and how to pay it. This friend, who lives in NY, offered to find out the info for me, so that I could take care of it. Apparently in NY if you have two unpaid speeding tickets you could lose your license. Even though I have a Canadian license, I would rather not be pulled over in NY for another infraction, for them to immediately suspend my license. That would kind of put a damper on any plans I might have.

 

I got the news today – my heavy foot and my laissez faire behaviour cost me the equivalent of 2 gloriously hot pairs of shoes. Ouch. Half of that was late fees. I had to fax the courthouse back and forth to get it taken care of – pleading guilty to both counts (I feel like a criminal, and maybe I should, because I should not have been speeding).

 

Moral of the story – don’t speed, and if you are caught doing something wrong, own up to it, apologize if necessary, and be more careful in future.

 

Those shoes would have been so cute, but now the Ausable courthouse can go buy themselves a cute new pair or two……i hope they appreciate them as much as i would.

Channeling Marilyn Monroe

Ok, so we all know that famous picture of her supreme hotness Ms Marilyn “happy birthday mr president” Monroe  – you know, the one with her in a sleeveless white dress, standing on top of an air vent / grate / whatever you want to call it, playfully holding down her dress that is threatening to expose 1960s glamorous undies and those luscious legs…and she manages to look gorgeous and stunning and oh-so-relaxed…..

 

Picture this, if you will, in the year 2008. Woman leaves office building wearing high heeled winter boots, thick black winter tights, knee length a-line plaid skirt (very trendy this season) and winter coat together with winter hat. As she walks along the street there is a huge gust of wind, and it blows her skirt up about her ears. She has a hard time getting the skirt to go back down, especially as she tries to hold hard to her hat, the look on her face – sheer panic. She wonders if she should stop for a second and strike a pose just in case this tableau will also be immortalized on camera. But no, it is way too chilly to leave her skirt up in the air like that, but she is ever so thankful that she ignored her disdain for tights as she dressed this morning. They may be ugly, but they sure as heck protected her from the leering of the construction site guys that whistled as she walked by, skirt firmly tucked to her sides.

 

I don’t know how Marilyn did it, but I want some of whatever she had so I could be nonchalant about my skirt exposing me to all and sundry.

Tag, I’m it!!

Kosher Academic tagged me over the weekend, so I must do my bit and pass it on.

 

Here are the rules:
1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people (if possible) at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.

 

Seven facts about me:

1…I collect all things Betty Boop, especially clothing

2…I have a major compulsion to ride a Harley – (Freud – shut up!!)

3…I cry during really sappy movies and even during ridiculously sappy commercials

4…My clothes closets are colour coordinated and it bothers me tremendously if something is out of place.

5…I can burp much louder than my sons

6…I can wrap my ankles around my neck

7…I love to crochet and knit…..

 

Here are the people I have decided to tag

A mom in Israel

Juggling Frogs

RivkA

Ruti

Here in Highland Park

I’ll call Baila

Shiloh Musings

 

 

In desperate search of a wife

 It is day three of the ickie sickies at our house. We have been dealing with a stomach bug, coughs and colds. Today Puffin has a raging fever and his conversational efforts leave me dazed and confused. Will be taking him to the pediatrician later.

 

Most of the time the single mom thing is manageable. Most of the time I am well adjusted to doing it all alone. Most of the time. Right now I could really use someone to come and spell me, so I could run to the store to pick up some groceries, so I could take 5 minutes to run a brush through my hair, or even take a shower. Right now I could use someone to hold me and understand just how tired I am, offer to rub my back and watch the sickies for an hour so I can take a rest. Right now I could really do with someone to cook dinner while I sponge down the febrile child, read stories to calm hysterical ickie sickie, someone to do the laundry while I mop up the vomit.

 

I think what I really need more than anything is to just have someone to listen to me while I kvetch, to put their arms around me and tell me they love me, even tho showering hasn’t been high on my priority list.

 

Sigh. Any wives out there looking for a temporary position?

“Those that can – do, Those that can’t – teach” (chinese proverb)

I have the utmost respect for teachers. It is a job that I could never do. I have enough managing my own little people. I cannot imagine dealing with other people’s kids all day long and then coming home to my own. The daily juggle of work and home would just be even crazier (is that even possible??)

 

I have the utmost respect for teachers that have been to university to get a teaching certificate, because I understand it’s not an easy road, its arduous and fraught with lots of assignments, teaching practice etc. But I also understand that in all those teaching courses most future teachers pick up on how to deal with people – both students and the parents. It is part and parcel of being a teacher.

 

That being said, in our circles, many of the teachers do not have certificates or diplomas, and the only school they have been to didn’t teach them much about psychology and people skills.

 

Without getting into too much detail (and believe me I would love to, but I have to live in this community still, frustrated as I am) these people who have smicha, certain ones in particular, have no idea how to behave. Granted, my family presents with a situation that is not the norm (although sadly, divorce amongst religious folks is on the rise), but that doesn’t mean that they cannot be amenable to us. Most of the rebbeim in the school have been wonderful and accommodating. But of course it only takes one to make you want to throw a brick at all of them.

 

If there are seminars for religious educators about how to deal with kids going through a parents divorce, or kids who face unique family challenges – blended families, visitation with non custodial parent at a time when there are school commitments, a parent who lives in a different city etc – then these rebbeim need to attend them, they need to learn how to act towards impressionable children and young adults, to act with sensitivity and understanding, they need to be taught what happens to a young mind when they are needlessly intimidated by a person in authority. (Mind you, any intimidation of a child by an adult is unnecessary and totally wrong).

 

One thing people need to understand is that you mess with my kid, you are so going to get hurt. You make my kid cry and you better pack your bags and high tail it outta town, because even though I have no free time to even breathe these days, I will make time to make your life a living hell if you upset my flesh and blood. I am here to raise my kids, and I am trying my best to do it well, I don’t need these ignorant people shoving unnecessary oars in to stuff that’s so totally not their business.

 

Why can’t the charedi schools employ real teachers who might actually have a positive influence on the next generation??

Woman / Man

My thoughts are deeply private

Yet you think them

My feelings leak out

Through my eyes and face.

 

I tremble

You sense it in your own body

I smile

Your face lights up.

 

My pain you take as yours

My joy cheers your mood

I cannot think nor feel

By myself anymore.

 

In me you see

The embodiment of woman

Because for me

You are the essence of man.

 

What is this thing called love?

How does it invade every fibre?

How wonderful it is to feel

Unconditionally and truly loved.

Bookmark and Share