Carried in His Hands

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"Don't tell God how big your storm is; tell your storm how big your God is."

I believe in God.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Mixed Up and Sad

Recently I have been feeling mixed up and sad about never having children.  It isn't Shepard's fault, and I still want him in my life; last night, he thought I was hinting that I no longer wanted to be with him, and I absolutely do not mean that.

Because here's the thing.  First of all, Shepard is in my life right now, obviously before any children.  He came first.  Secondly, if I told him to leave, I have no evidence I would find someone with whom to have children, or even another life partner.  Shepard's perfect, except for the children thing.

Also, I would need a partner who could 300% parent with me, not 100%.  I couldn't be up in the middle of the night with a child.  A child could physically hurt me very easily.  It's all too much...I would need protection from the other parent, who would essentially have to parent both the child and me.  I don't see that happening.

I definitely do need something to take care of.  There's a reason I plan to teach kindergarten, and I have told Shepard that one day, we are getting a cat: no ifs, ands, or buts.

Still, even having all that settled, I am grieving.  This isn't what I pictured for my life.

Yom HaShoah 5777 / Holocaust Remembrance Day 2017

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day.  I am NOT going to be telling stories of my family here, because I have already told them too many times.  Instead, I will be telling you how I am observing the day this year.

First of all, I am dressed head to toe to remember.  Except for my kippah clips and hair tie (I'll get to those in a second), all my clothes are gray: gray striped shirt, gray skort, gray tights.  I am wearing my somber, black velvet kippah I set aside especially for these occasions. 

Both my kippah clips and my hair tie are yellow, a subtle tribute to my relatives and what they experienced, a reminder of the yellow star badges they were forced to wear.  Originally I was going to wear black clips to match the kippah, along with whatever hair tie I happened to be using at the time I brushed my hair today.  (I think it was navy blue.)  Then I got this yellow accessories idea, and I think they have meaning.

Aside from clothes, I am also doing something more major, borrowed from Tisha B'Av: today I am not engaging in pleasurable Torah study.  I have interpreted this in an extended way, to mean Bible, Psalms, and theology.  This practice is meaningful to me because originally, I had wanted to fast on Yom HaShoah, as we do on Tisha B'Av.  Then I found out that Yom HaShoah is in the one month on the Jewish calendar when we are forbidden to fast.  Therefore, I am appropriating other practices, such as this Torah study one.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

IT CAME!!!

Finally, finally, finally, my college graduation gift of which I have been dreaming for almost a year is here! The main part, the candelabrum, arrived just in time for me to light my Sabbath candles in it Friday night.  I can never take a picture of it with candles lit, because photography is not allowed on the Sabbath/holidays, but I did snap this photo Saturday night, after the Sabbath, before I took down my candle set up.  You can see that this week, I used my new, pink-and-yellow runner.


I must admit that as I stared at this arrangement Saturday, I felt a twinge of sadness and longing for the children I will never have and raise.  Giving up on having children is the right decision for a number of reasons: it is not just that Shepard doesn't want them and I'm giving in to him.  However, I have dreamed of being a mother since forever.  As sad as I was over not having biological kids, that's how sad I am now over not having kids at all.  I'll adjust eventually, but right now I'm sad.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Much Recent Judaica

Below you will see pictures of my recent Judaica.  My graduation gift is finally in the process of happening.  (I had to reject that Israeli company, because they never shipped my order, refunded me, or gave me store credit--and it's been almost a year.  That said, I now get kippot from Etsy, and I found the exact same candelabrum on an American site.)  I have the kippah, but not the candelabrum just yet.  However, I also have another kippah--that means I am at FIFTY KIPPOT--and I made two table runners for Shabbat/holidays.




Friday, April 7, 2017

So much to catch you up on!

I have so much to catch you up on, faithful readers of my blog.  Many things of great importance have recently happened in my life.

The biggest piece of news is that my boyfriend is MOVING IN WITH ME, towards the end of next month! Yes, you read that correctly; really.  We are going to make one person's space work for two. We are very excited, and happy together.

Also, I no longer plan to have any children: birth, adoption, ever.  Shepard doesn't want them, and I want any child I have to be loved and wanted by both parents.  Besides, as people have pointed out over the years, with my disabilities, I'm really not suited to parent.

Passover is coming up in just a few days.  This year, I did not have to clean my apartment at all, because I will be visiting my parents for the whole holiday.  If you're not going to be somewhere, you don't have to clean.  My Grandma will be visiting us for the whole holiday, and towards the end, Shepard is coming up to meet my family.

After Passover come three small holidays: Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), April 24th; Yom HaZikaron (Israel's Memorial Day), May 1st; and Yom HaAtzma'ut (Israel's Independence Day), May 2nd.  I no longer go to services for the first two, because they make me cry, and as an adult I choose not to cry if I have the choice.  The third is on a school day, so I don't know if I'll get anywhere for that, either.  Regardless, I have a special black kippah that I wear on days of mourning for tragedies, to wear on the first two; and for the third, I will dress in blue and white, the colors of Israel's flag.

Finally, a note about my academics: due to my five-week bipolar episode, I am taking incompletes in all three classes, and working into the summer.  This will also allow me to do things like sleep enough, not work when stressed, etc, going forward.  It's not the optimal solution--for instance, now I can't take summer courses--but it is the best I can do, and that's what matters.

So that's all the news in my life!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Rosh Hodesh Nissan 5777

Today is Rosh Hodesh Nissan, the start of the new Hebrew month of Nissan, in the Hebrew year 5777.  Passover starts this month; today is the day I start praying for "Passover miracles," as I call them, for my Reece's Rainbow babies, "Jacob" and "Rheann."

However, in this post I would like to focus more on what is done to celebrate Rosh Hodesh. Primarily, Rosh Hodesh is celebrated with extra prayers.  This makes me very excited; my dear friend Katherine (probably my best friend in the world) once told me that I was the only person she knew who would be excited by extra prayers.  There are three, listed below.

  1. First comes an extra paragraph in the Amidah, or central standing prayer.  The paragraph is called "Ya'aleh V'Yavo."  I just skimmed it really quickly, because I always say it in Hebrew and my Hebrew isn't good enough to remember what it means.  Basically, "Ya'aleh V'Yavo" is about remembering the Jewish people and our ancestors with goodness and merit; as well as the coming of the Messiah, descended from King David.
  2. After normal morning prayers comes a collection of Psalms called "Hallel."  Hallel is all about praising God for various miracles, and most of the selections have pretty tunes.  In fact, I nearly always do Hallel out loud just so I can sing through it.
  3. Finally, an extra Amidah is added.  It is called the "Musaf" Amidah, literally "additional." Those of us who wear tefillin take them off before reciting this part of the service.
Also, I celebrate Rosh Hodesh by dressing up a little in three ways: ladies' tallit katan, spritz of perfume, and jewelry.  Today's jewelry is my pink/gold/white/magnetic coil bracelet; and yes, there are reasons I am wearing bracelet only.  I cannot tolerate rings in this kind of pain, and the neckline of the blouse I am wearing does not allow for necklaces.  I used to also wear my fancy bobby pins on Rosh Hodesh; but since Shepard gave me the set of pretty, flowered clips for Valentine's Day, the fancy bobby pins have been retired.

So there you have it! Rosh Hodesh Nissan.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Over-the-Moon

In my own terminology, I am over-the-moon excited and happy right now, despite feeling mentally ill.

Why? Because at the end of the week, stretching into next, I am going back to work with Joseph Antoine Alston (real name used with permission).

Joseph is the only person, on God's Earth, who can consistently, drastically help my pain.

He heals by touch.  I'm sorry, I know, people have asked, but I know of no other way to describe or explain what he does.  You either get it or you don't.

True, it would be nice if he could heal me once and for all, but he comes closer than anybody else. Besides, needing him regularly means I get to see him regularly.

In the end, that's what I am over-the-moon about.  Joseph and I connect as "kindred spirits," as Anne of Green Gables would say.  I am not over-the-moon about the medical stuff.  I am over-the-moon about seeing Joseph and connecting again, person to person.

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I am a bipolar, Jewish young adult (had my Hebrew birthday, the one I count, and turned 23 this past January) who also suffers from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. I love life and I live for my best friends: they are my purpose and my reason for trying so hard. I remain passionately devoted to those I love; I will not let my disorders make me totally self-centered. I like to read, write, and sew. My Rabbinical school plans did not work out, and I am now hoping to go into the field of Early Childhood Education. Please note: I am currently maintaining only Carried in His Hands. Enjoy!