Man plans & G-d laughs.
I had this amazing plan. My dear daughter and I were going to Israel in December for a week (during Chanukah!) , and then for a family vacation in Florida directly after. I was going to have SO much to tell you about our Israel food experience…especially how to eat gluten free in Jerusalem. It was going to be the perfect post!!! My readers were going to be super excited and filled with joy after reading the amazing articles I was going to write about our trip.
Right after Israel, baruch Hashem, we met our family in Sanibel where KIH our son proposed to our future daughter-in-law (from Venezuela!) on the beach at Sunrise! I couldn’t wait to tell you all about it and about the awesome Venezuelan food we had made by our future Machatanim.
Then our family came back to hometown Chicago, where we excitedly worked for less than a week to make a fabulous L’Chaim for the newly engaged, happy couple, the Motzei Shabbat after our return.
SO MUCH TO WRITE ABOUT!
Then. G-d. Laughed.
After feeling kind of ill for a few days after the l’chaim, seeing the Dr. and getting antibiotics, everything came crashing down the following motzei Shabbat. I was rushed to the ER (with pain level 10!), only to find out that I had a ruptured appendix. Ruptured. Appendix.
It turns out that a ruptured appendix is kind of serious. Serious enough that I was in the hospital for around 2 weeks on major antibiotics that would kill any elephant sized bacteria that might mistakenly venture into my system. I was finally sent home, with a fashionable IV line accessory for continuing with the antibiotics.
It’s a long recovery process.
On the plus side, the hospital gave me awesome drugs to counter the pain – super fun, and I was blessed with a fabulous nursing staff. On the down side, do not try to order Kosher, gluten-free food in the hospital. It’s a concept that has not yet arrived and only serves to seriously confuse and confound the hospital food service staff.
I hope that your will bear with me as I slowly come back to full strength.
It’s a slow recovery process.
How can you help? If you have any recipes that you would like to share for the next few weeks please let me know – I’m happy to post the fabulous recipes you send me. I’d really appreciate the help!
I’ll keep you posted about the rest…
As a bonus, here is the fun speech I made at our son and future dil’s l’chaim (before life hit the fan).
January 14, 2017
First – Hodu L’shem Ki Tov! We give much gratitude to Hashem that we are here tonight. We also recognize those that we wish could be here with us tonight but sadly are not. They are truly, truly missed but not forgotten.
As you all know, Yosef romantically proposed to Lucy at sunrise on the beautiful shell covered beaches of Sanibel Island – with a shell that theoretically said “Will you Marry Me”. We were so proud (and not surprised) that he managed to come up with such a touching and romantic proposal.
So – humor me here for a minute… Now when Yosef was home last summer he was uncharacteristically prone to taking incredibly long walks every day. Intrigued, I asked him what prompted this new change. “Pokemon Go” he answered – “it’s a new game you download on your phone. You get rewarded with Pokemon for walking.” Cool! I knew about Pokemon – Yosef and his friends would spend hours playing Pokemon games when they were younger. If I download it on my phone will you show me how to use it, and can I join you on your “Pokewalks”? It was the start of a beautiful walking relationship between me, Yosef & Jigglypuff. 😀
Now, Before I came down to Sanibel Island this year, Yosef warned me that there were tons of Pokemon to be found on the Island. However, there were very few places to get new pokeballs) – and the best place was down by the lighthouse. He said that if you walked all the way to the lighthouse you could replenish your stock within a fairly reasonable amount of time.
So, on the afternoon after the much awaited proposal, I took a walk down to the lighthouse. Even though Yosef and Lucy were engaged, the game was still on right?
On the way back to our place, I did the slow “shell collecting shuffle”, looking for perfect shells. Over time I have switched from collecting large, showy shells to collecting tiny perfect ones. While collecting this time I reflected on the nature of shells on my way back.
Here is the thought I came up with:
“How could something so small be so beautiful and perfect?” And among the millions of shells and buried in the sand I managed to find that perfectly shaped, tiny, unbroken shell. It is truly a thing of wonder.
As time goes on those tiny shells grow into larger shells, the shell’s inhabitant living in the calm of the ocean floor. In the right environment, the shell grows larger, stronger and more beautiful. There are times however when there are storms, and the shells are thrown about on the bottom of the sea. If the shell is strong enough, it can withstand the harsh waves and currents, and remain whole and intact.
When I was younger I used to walk along the beaches of Miami after a violent storm. It was then that I found ginormous, unbroken conch shells. These shells had withstood the test of time and because of their strength they had remained whole even during the havoc of the storms.
Your relationship is like a shell. We spend our lives pre-marriage looking for the perfect “one”. Among the millions of other individuals, like the shells on the beach, hidden from view as if buried in the sand on the shore. When we find that special someone it is like finding a perfect small shell. Created by Hashem in a tumultuous environment. When we find it, we marvel at it’s beauty and perfection. Hashem has given you something beautiful and perfect. In the right environment, your relationship, like a shell, will grow stronger and even more beautiful than it was when it was new. There will be waves, and storms, and currents, but if you work together and remain strong together, your love and will continue to get bigger and more beautiful. In the end, what you will have – is huge. Like the small beautiful shell, it can grow into something incredible with time.
My message to you is to create the right environment in your home to grow – a bayis neeman biyisrael. Withstand the waves, storms and challenges that you will face – together, because those will make you stronger and your relationship more beautiful and bigger than you can imagine.
We feel so blessed to share this simcha with you and your Family Lucy. Mazel Tov! And may we be zocheh to share many many more simchas together. We love you both!