A New Chapter

Today marks the beginning of the end of this chapter in my life. By Saturday, I will be fully moved into my new home and ringing in the new year with the two dogs. I am unsure of what to expect but I can say that I feel much better about moving forward.

I visited my mom today. The caretaker pulled me aside and said that she has been much more depressed and less cooperative lately. When I sat down with my mom, she was hunched forward and spoke very softly. I put new decals on her nails and sat with her for lunch and fed her. Towards the end of my visit, she started crying and told me she loved me. I could barely keep it together. She has changed so much, both mentally and physically. She is still the mom who raised me and taught me how to be independent, yet, in many ways, she’s now a stranger.

I always told her that I didn’t know what I would do without her and she would say that I would be just fine. I’m trying to be fine, but I miss her so much.

There are nine candles on a hanukiyah, one for each night of Hanukkah and the shamash, the helper candle, the one that lights all the other candles. My mom is my shamash candle. I’ll save the details for another time, but she is the reason I have made it this far. She sacrificed a lot and I put her through it during high school, but she never gave up on me. Even when she didn’t fully understand why I was converting and why I stayed despite the negative experiences, she supported me. We may have screamed at each other in the parking lot of Tiferet almost ten years ago, but she still came to my conversion ceremony. I am grateful for her.

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