After the lift left I did the requisite house walk-through. There is something overwhelmingly powerful about realizing that the only thing that fills your dining room is your echo. Its downright depressing to want to curl up in your bed and realize that the most you can do is snuggle into the fluffy parts of carpet your bed once covered. I'm a pretty casual gal, but I must admit I'm missing the luxury of back support my chairs, the ones currently going bummpity-bump on some highway, provide.
I didn't expect to have flashbacks and a flood of memories consume me as I explored my empty home. When I looked in the living room, I remembered the bris (circumcision) we'd had in that room 10+ years ago. I wandered into the dining room, or the Shabbos room as we like to call it, and remembered the meals we've had, the people we've welcomed into our home, and the ways in which our interactions have left an indelible mark on my soul. I went upstairs and realized that the pictures of grandparents and our literal history were stored away. And then I walked into our daughter's room, saw the American Girl doll on the closet floor sitting near a bottle of hand cream, and the remnants of her pre-adolescence. That's when I lost it.
We have really lived in this house, I mean LIVED in this house. Our kids have grown physically, matured emotionally, driven us crazy (sometimes literally), and loved in this house. Our daughter’s keeping that doll, the one I refused to buy but Bubbe (Josh's mom) wanted her to have, and a lifetime of memories. The Desitin hand prints in my closet remind me of when our now 12 year old decided he wanted to finger paint years ago. I was less-than-thrilled when I found him happy as a, well, kid in cream in my closet, but there's a certain sweetness those little hand prints hold. Our 15 year old's wall etchings have been painted over and our 10 year old's abstract crayon art (I call it 'Themes on a Wall') is no more. We have left our literal mark on this house and I'm grateful to call it my home.
I know where I'm going, both literally and spiritually and I know where I'm currently sitting. Still, I feel like I'm in two places at once, though the feeling is somehow tempered with direction and purpose. I spent several moments yesterday questioning if I'm an American, an Israeli, neither, or both. There are aspects of Aliyah that no one can prepare you for. I suppose knowing who you are, where you stand, and to where you are headed are things each oleh (person moving to