(Oh yes, we are headed to Israel. Have I mentioned that?)
I reached Brian, a cheerful man with a lovely Southern accent.
"Where y'all goin'?" he asked me.
"Israel," I answered, thinking the answer might have something to do with the long distance stuff.
"Well that's an interesting destination! Business or pleasure?" he asked, conversationally.
Is it pleasure? Is this a trip of pleasant delights? What do you call it when you are taking your dying child on a trip-of-a-brief-lifetime?
"Pleasure," I answered. It was just easier.
But sweet, clueless, cheerful Brian wasn't done.
Clearly he had some time to kill while he pulled up my account.
"What made you choose that?" he asked.
My sweet dying son cried out in anguish that he would never go to Israel. That's why we picked it.
"Well, my husband and I met there so our kids have always heard a lot about it," I answered slowly, breathing shallowly and choosing my words carefully, holding back the tears.
"So romantic!" he said.
Will I ever be able to revisit my beloved Israel, place of so many good and sweet memories, without the pain of this trip? Will the good memories that we are determined to create win out? What will they remember of this beautiful holy place? Will they remember Sam's pain or will they remember how the sunlight glints on the Jerusalem stone? Will they remember the bittersweet taste of his moment or will they remember the sweetness of Marzipan rugelach and pop-rock chocolate and Milky cups?
"Yes," I said. "Yes, it is."
Every interaction, every conversation, I weigh out what to share and what to talk about and how to say it and how to take it and how to breathe....
Learn to drive:
Other things are in the works. Your generosity astounds me and leaves me filled with tears of blessing. The outpouring of love and care is truly amazing and we are so touched.
Sam is anxious and angry, he is emotional and cries easily. He's in some pain and I'm worrying over a spot on his ankle that's particularly bothering him. He's very excited for the trip and when he gets emotionally overwrought I can bring him around by talking about what we will see and do in Eretz Yisrael. It always gets a smile. The other kids are excited to go. Solly wanted to get on a plane tonight and didn't want to go to bed.
I suppose I should go and pack....