The End? (April 25, 2009)

It’s going to take me some time to process all I have seen and experienced here in Israel, and what it all means to me. Right now, my head is sort of dizzy with the prospect of seeing Eddie for the first time in two weeks at the airport tomorrow. At the risk of sounding completely corny, it’s like nothing in my life is real or full until I have shared it with him. We had a brief web chat over Skype earlier this evening before I went with Bobby and Moish out on the town for my last night in Tel Aviv. I warned him that he will be bored out of his socks tomorrow night listening to my chatter. No matter how lethargic I might be when I deplane, I know I will find my second wind when I see his gorgeous face waiting for me in baggage claim.

I think I have found a side of myself I never knew existed until I came to this place, so abundantly rich in religious and cultural history. I discovered a “believer” of some sort. I am not necessarily certain as of yet what shape that belief takes, but I definitely unloaded a heavy burden of cynicism. As I said, it will take awhile to sort out, but I don’t think this change is at all temporary. If this post sounds annoyingly vague, I think I have warned you in the past that I have more questions than answers. But in ways I don’t yet have the language to describe, I think I have found some truth here amongst heritage that frankly, everyone in the world can claim in some form or another. It’s an inner kind of certainty. I feel more sure of the decisions I have made recently, less plagued by doubt.

Bobby and I have been friends for years, but I do feel I will be at a loss without Moish. He has been my friend, companion and nurse throughout the last week. Brat that I am, I have mocked his solicitous nature a time or two, but yesterday, as Day 3 of a nasty rash raged on my forearms and hands, tears falling, more than slightly considering rebooking my flight for an early return to Chicago, it was his gentle RN experience and love that soothed me in a way that I am not sure anyone else could have. He consulted his Israeli medical books, pulled out an unforseen arsenal of creams and medications, and confidently assured me that what I feared was a bacterial infection, was in reality, simply an allergy to their laundry detergent. I don’t have a mother in my life, though I have dear mother figures. Somehow I feel Moish is the comforting Mummy I have always longed for, friend to all children and animals. Lucky Bobby, and he knows it.

I feel that the little vignettes of understanding I have gained here will only enhance as I move forward through the next phase of my life. I am back to work on Monday, two weeks to go until I am done at the ADA. Then? Who knows? But something tells me that this week has fortified me to face that unknown. I have a greater sense of what’s really important in life, what is and isn’t worth getting worked up about. I pray tonight, as I prepare for my flight home, for the strength of character to hold onto those assurances in the weeks ahead.

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