Day 280

This year started out pretty bleak. My life was in utter chaos: I moved out of my childhood home in the span of two weeks, my mom was in a care home, I was struggling with all the changes and desperately trying to keep it together. It only grew darker as Mom’s health declined rapidly, eventually passing away, and I had to start a new chapter of my life without her. I will continue saying this to anyone to will listen: the only reason I was able to survive that period of my life was my chosen family, made up of those few related to me by blood and mostly those who are a part of the Temple and Jewish community. There’s absolutely no question in my mind that they are the reason I kept moving forward, however small those steps were.

And then there is the light that unexpectedly and rapidly filled my life in the past six months. I fell in love, got engaged, and am expecting my first child next year. My family has grown in ways I wasn’t expecting. I am so grateful for all of this.

I miss Mom every day. I miss talking to her. I want to ask her so many questions about my impending motherhood and if she was also scared when she was pregnant, scared that she wouldn’t be a good mom, scared that she would lose herself, scared that she wouldn’t be able to provide. I have so much support and I am grateful for that, but there’s always going to be a hole in my heart that aches for my mom.

I am grateful that my year and my life has gotten considerably brighter, even as the world is in turmoil. I am grateful for the many years I had with Mom and everything she taught me and I am grateful for my chosen family. I am especially grateful for the baby girl growing inside me and for how loved she is by so many people already. Hanukkah is about hope and I am grateful to have that.

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