I cried a lot last night. The first time was during services. It was a special Shabbat celebration, so there were already more people than usual there. I ended up sitting in a section of chairs on the bimah with friends. At one point, Rabbi Stern asked everyone who brought a tallit to open it and, with the people around them, hold it over their heads like a canopy. It was a beautiful sea of tallitot. The cantors began singing Mi Sheiberach.
I haven’t been joining in during that part of the service but I tried to move past my reluctance and sing. I made it a few words in before the tears started coming out and all I could think was how much I wanted my mom at that moment. A friend came around and stood with me and a conversion student I’ve worked with held my hand through the rest of the song. My friend whispered to me that it took a long time for her to not hate Mi Shebeirach and I realized my reluctance to sing was because I do hate that song right now. I sang that song every time I could when Mom was sick and nothing ever got better and now I didn’t have her to think about during the song. It probably also doesn’t help that I have the memory of when Rabbi Kim sang that to my mom when she was in the hospital and Mom was soothed enough to fall asleep.
The second time I cried was when I was with another friend and we stepped into one of the art installations that are set up at Temple. The artist turned a corner of the atrium into a butterfly habitat of sorts. It took my breath away and all I could think was that Mom would have loved it and I told my friend this as my voice cracked. She just hugged me as I cried. I’m so sad that Mom isn’t here for me to share this with. I think she would have loved seeing the light show and art work commissioned for this weekend.