Friday, December 16, 2005

Awkward Time

My father lays on his deathbed in a hospital in Lakewood. Not quite in this world but not quite in the next, I have many questions about how to behave. Throughout my life there has always been guidance as to how to act in any given situation. As a child the rules were keep quiet in school, make noise and be free at parties bowling or rollerskating, stand up when a rabbi enters the room, look serious when davening in shul, be yourself at home. As an adult, stay stern when disciplining children, look concerned at PTA, act solemn at a shiva house.

While my father is technically still alive, the inevitable is imminent yet my father seems to show superior body strength in refusing to die. He lays stable in his bed. Could be days, weeks, or months (probably not). People look at me sadly when they see me or expect me to be crying day and night. They treat me as though I'm in aveilus. There is a lot of guilt in doing just normal things with my family. Can I plan a little vacation or is that so inappropriate? My mother and I went out the other night and we were left thinking we were doing something wrong. I hope we don't get caught. What would people think, us enjoying ourselves while my father lies in a hospital. The truth is there is nothing left for us to do for him and I don't think that we should be absorbed in illness all the time. We are not sure if sitting in the hospital with him is of any use to him (of course we still go all the time) and it is certainly just depressing for us. The worst is for him as while he was sick, he did not want any visitors. He didn't want people to remember him that way. Now people are coming all the time to say their final goodbyes. He would hate it. It's almost like a viewing. I think it's important for us to get our minds off of things and try and distract ourselves a little bit. On the other hand, I can't help but prepare for aveilus in cutting my hair more frequently or squeezing in a bit more shopping than usual. The torah dictates how to behave in every situation from the moment a person is born till they leave this world. I really should find out how to deal with this in between time.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

What bracha do we make on carrots?

Don't know if anyone even glances here anymore but I'll write anyways. In my children's never ending quest to show who knows more, last night at dinner there was a debate. My middlest said, "I know where oranges come from, they come from trees and we make haetz." To which my oldest replied, "well I know where grape juice comes from, it's crushed up grapes and we make hagafen." Finally my middlest won by saying, "oh yeah, well I know where carrots come from, it grows from the snow." I think he saw some snowmen.