Spiritual awakening, the start of my conversion to Judaism.

I would rather think of life of as a good book. The further you get into it, the more it begins to come together and make sense. 

This quote is credited to Rabbi Harold Kushner, I feel like it could not be more relevant to my life, in general, or right now.

When I think over my life there has been a large amount of pain, turmoil, and hurt, but there has been joy, and love, as well as extreme happiness. I searched from a very young age for more. From Catholicism, to Evangelism, Judaism, to even Buddhism. I have learned a great many things about what those around me had believed.

I have always felt there was more in this place than random design. Weather it be anger, sorrow or stubbornness, I have chided away from this in the past. I have gone to churches, tried to feel welcomed and fit. How could I ever find a home in a place where others were hated? Where a good and loving God would cast aside those who were different, and it was my duty, nay, calling to judge them and cast them away from me, or even worse the love of the creator of us all? There was no part of me that felt at home in those places, though my faith and connection spiritually never disappeared. I suppose you could call it a spark inside of me. A light that shone, even if it was dim at times.

This, is about how I came to find a start in my life, a path that I must walk to see where it leads, and where I believe it will lead. I say this, because for some reason I can’t help but feel that my feet already know the steps. I just need the hand to reach out and help guide me. I felt lost, yet not scared, I feel adrift, needing knowledge, yet I know that it will come, when it is time. For the first time in my life, ever, I feel like I have found solid footing in a world that has always felt so uncertain in my mind. Everything around me feels firm and planted.

I feel just as sure about the choices I am making now as I did choosing Zane, falling in love with Zane, and marrying him. There is nothing but clarity inside me. I feel as steady inside as I did in the NICU with Alexandr, knowing that I was his mother, and somehow, we would make it through. So many nights I sat in my glider or on my knees, holding the number to the NICU unit in my hand in the dead of night, crying, and praying, waiting to call and hoping for the safety of my child. I know he was kept safe. I’ve never lost faith, I’ve just never known where to place it, I’ve never known a home to hold that faith.

Next month I will begin a year long spiritually educational journey. A pilgrimage of my own as it were. I will immerse myself and our family fully to the practice and observance of Judaism. Every day I work to enhance my spiritual relationship with God. I will work very diligently to learn all I can and to live as Jewishly as possible, and raise my family this way. This includes following as many practices as we are able, including my fumbling attempts to convert our household to being Kosher (which has been mildly amusing).

I know I’m going to get this question from some, yes, my husband is Jewish. This however is not my reason for conversion. We have been married for some time now. Two years on Valentine’s day as a matter of fact. That said he has been non practicing for as long as I have known him. We are embarking on this journey of spirituality together, and feel it is a wonderful thing for us all, and is the way we want to conduct our home. The idea to convert was actually my own, it has been something I have considered for years. Starting in my teenage years. Sometimes you are just called from within. I believe Judaism called to me and always has.

If I haven’t told you personally about my conversion know that I told my family only directly and felt that announcing it this way was the best way to go about telling others. If you have any questions you’d like to ask me about it, any curiosities feel free to ask me privately, or comment. I am looking forward to this journey, and hope to share in some of it with you. I would love to hear from any of you who have gone through the conversion process, or talk to any of you who may be considering it.

I feel very much like my spiritual heart has found it’s home.

Shari

(The pictures at the top are my Magen David, to commemorate the start of my journey we decided a modest pendant to keep me in touch with my path, and remind me to pray was in order.)

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Much Germs, So Yuck!

So the video is live, Alex has a bacterial infection surprise, surprise, because sickness always runs rampant in this house. Took him to the doctor who was AMAZING. This guy took the time to earn his trust. Alex even opened his mouth and showed his ears to him. He gave the doctor a hug at the end, which is not something he does with people. Affection is not his thing having ASD.

I’ve decided to switch doctors to the one we saw. He versed me better in the short visit with him than the two doctors I’ve seen in the last two years have. There is a lot going on with me but I will save that for another day. For now I’ll just say there may be some serious items on the horizon for me and my own health some of it having to do with my thyroid issues that cropped up in 2015 around Christmas for those of you that have been long time readers. That is never anything new though.

 

Give em land with a good view, to start a family

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Things in our country are tense right now. A lot has been going on the last few months and as someone who follows politics pretty closely, and who has been a pretty avid follower of it since I was in high school it’s all hit pretty close to home. I have seen a great deal of hate, sorrow, and ugliness in the days following the presidential election, and I feel the need to turn away from these things.

With some of the important holidays just around the corner I’ve felt it’s important to reflect on the things I’m thankful to have. Before I know it Alexandr will be three years old. His Birthday is in February, and I cannot believe he is growing so fast. His mind amazes me on a daily basis. My husband is my love light still and that flame burns with a ferocity that I’ve never known in life. I could look into his eyes for hours. Pretty sure he could do the same with me, though I cannot pass words from his lips in his absence, I think I could make a close appraisal of his level of affinity.

This year will find this house void of company come Thanksgiving. The sounds of my husbands voice and laughter will not be here. As a result, our footsteps shall not grace it’s floor either. Alexandr and I will do what most people do, and for once fit into a strange societal standard I’m not accustomed to meeting. We shall travel for the holiday. We will make new memories with my wonderful sister, and her beautiful children. We will forge fresh beginnings, and I’ll be invited into the warm and open arms of family. We’ll cook turkey, drink wine, and share our lives in a way we are not always able. I am grateful for the opportunity.

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Not all people are as blessed as I, nor do they lead as warm and loving a life as I do.

I face challenges, with my health, and my sons.

I do not lay my head down at night worrying about the roof over my head, or if there will be food to eat in my home anymore, I do not worry if we will be able to provide an ample Christmas to our child. The contrary, I wonder where we will put the new gifts he will be provided!

I realize now more than ever, that the love, and family that I have, albeit small compared to some, is so warm and strong, that I could wrap up in it like a thick blanket, and carry it with me. It would shield me from so much harm if I would let it. That is a true blessing, and for it I am incredibly thankful.

 

The thought of arriving, kind of feels like, dying I don’t want, to go home and be, alone…

  So I have been on hiatus for some time now for those who may have noticed. Enter my triumphant return. Ever changed by the experience.

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Both my chariot and husband awaited me. We rolled away with eighteen wheels and where the road normally took my love light from me for a time, and with it my heart along side him, this time I went along for the ride. For two whole weeks I left my normalcy behind. It was like being swept into a whirlwind. Before I knew it we were leaving everything I knew behind and even states that I knew behind. Then it was just me, him, the darkness and the headlights on the ebony asphalt in front of us. My feet up on the dashboard of his truck, we had all the time in the world, or what seemed that way in our minds.

When you only have four days a month in your marriage to drink each other in, those moments become precious. You treat each day you are with each other like minute to minute, you have to make it count. Having so much time was almost dizzying, for us both. At first I don’t think either of us knew what to do with each other. We have been together now for almost a year and a half, and our one year wedding anniversary is incredibly soon as Valentine’s day sneaks up on us. We know each other so well that we can be in different parts of the country, yet we can feel the dissonance in each other. Like some strange disturbance in the force we can simply detect when the other person is suffering silently.

This leads to so many phone calls randomly, be it in the middle of the afternoon, or at three in the morning.

“I needed to hear you” or “I felt like I should call” I’ve never felt so synced with someone in my life. Our souls dance across the distance, and I feel it, no matter how far apart we are.

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As the miles passed we talked. We connected with each other on a level we hadn’t always had time to. With the creeping stretch and wind of the roads and hills, the crawl of the pavement and the tick of the clock, every mile we drove we both learned a little more. Zane and I have been friends for so many years. Six to be more precise, but there’s so much that sometimes you just don’t say, and even as partners there is always room to learn more.

I shared stories from my childhood that he had never heard. He shared some with me. The miles passed. We made jokes, laughed, held hands between gear shifts up hills and around curves. I read books out loud. We sang together, loud and uninhibited in the wee hours of the morning. We talked of our aspirations for our life together, and for our son. I took in the landscape of eight beautiful states. Four of which I had never set foot in before in my life.

On top of this I gained something else. Perspective.

I gained a newfound respect for the man that I love.

I have always had the deepest and utmost admiration for Zane and what he does. The man sacrifices himself and his time to provide a life for his family. It kills him to be away. The look of pure anguish on his face when he has to leave is gut-wrenchingly brutal. I thought I knew how hard his job was. Until I watched him do it. He works so much harder than I could have ever imagined in my head or realized.

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The time I spent in that place he calls home when he cannot be with us, his family, at his real home, showed me what an amazing individual I am married to. I felt like I gave him enough credit an admiration before. He will get even more now, of that there is no doubt.

The hard part comes now. Now I am home, and I have had to let go of his hand once again. This time for eight weeks, so that I may have my light back in my life for Christmas. After getting such valuable time together I got comfortable. I keep reaching for his hand, and turning to see his face. Only to be reminded that he is not here, and sadly, I cannot see him. Thank goodness for technology.

What I wouldn’t give for his breath on my cheek, or his hand brushing back my hair.

His gruff voice telling me how much he loves me in my ear as he holds me tight.

Lying next to him as we fall into a deep sleep.

Dream of me tonight my love.

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Did you and jupiter conspire to get me?

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I was talking with some friends today about a subject and it brought up the song that Zane I both hold dear. One day I would like to make our story into a book, but for now I’m going to commit this to my blog.

I’ve been through alot, and last year a lot of choices had to be made in my world. I made a very hard choice to end a relationship, and go it alone. In that venture I was presented with a new prospect.

You see Zane has been one of my best friends for a very long time. For many years. He’s been someone that despite any differences we have had in our past, we have always found each other in the dark, and held each other up to the light. Last year during my dark time and having to make the choices that I did. I found him by my side more than once. I was faced with weather or not to allow myself to entertain him as someone I would consider dating. This was not a choice I took lightly. He’ll tell you himself I did not make it easy on him lol. I spent a lot of time dwelling over the decision and trying to decide in my heart how I really felt. I did not want haste to cloud my judgement.

I remember waking up from a very vivid dream, in that dream I found myself standing at a four way stop, and as I stood there I was unable to will myself to choose which direction to go, and which path on that road to take. No matter how much I urged my feet to move forward, I simply could not.

For those of you who know me, or follow my blog, you know that my husband is an over the road truck driver, so during all of this, I was not able to see him, which may have been the best thing in making my decision or trying to sort myself out. It gave me a fair bit of distance to clear my head.

One day I got particularly angry at myself for being unable to make up my mind and have any clarity or hold on anything. I’m usually so level headed, why was everything so incredibly murky?! I didn’t want to ruin our friendship, and I was so scared of being hurt, I was so fragile…

So I ran. I ran as hard as I could, as fast as I could. I remember hearing my feet pound the pavement. Thump, thump, I could hear my tennis shoes hit the asphalt with the full weight of my body with each individual step. I could hear the sharp breath in my lungs and feel the sting as they drew in. I didn’t know where I was going or when I would stop. I just ran until I could run anymore. I even remember yelling at some point.

When I finally did stop I looked around and all I could see surrounding me were trailers. The kind he would haul around attached to his truck. Somehow without realizing it, I had made it to pretty much the only place in this one horse town that has a giant lot full of them. I sat down for a minute and soaked in the irony of it all before sending him a message to that effect, then of course it began to rain. I actually welcomed it in the blazing heat. I began walking aimlessly with no destination in mind still. I suddenly stopped walking and found myself compelled to look up. There I was standing at that four way stop. The one from my dream. I had never been there before but there it was. Somehow I found my footing and was able to continue forward and pick a direction this time.

Then, there in front of me passing down the road was a white dodge truck, with an amber light bar, and all I could think in my head was “Sarah”.

Those of you who don’t know, my husband has gone by Dodge, or my more familiar version “Dodgie” for years, due to his love for Dodge’s, and he had a particular truck named Sarah. Her identical twin must have passed directly next to me.

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I sent him another message and said I swear I felt like someone was tapping me on the shoulder, or that he was following me.

His response was it must be the universe, and a simple LOL. I kept walking.

A minute later, the song “Bright” by Echosmith came over my headphones, as the entire time I had been walking I was listening to music. I had never heard this song before as it was fairly new at the time. I got chills and almost dropped my phone. I stopped and sat down below a stop sign. He didn’t know it at the time, but right then and there I felt I was being told what to do.

I believe in signs all around us. Call it fate, call it divine hand or intervention, or call it coincidence if you like. I believe something was telling me that day that Zane was my path. That I was supposed to give him that chance, reach out, and take his hand. I was terrified and in awe of the signs that day, and I am still shocked by the things that occurred. As a result, that song has always been our banner to each other and since we are apart often, we say that at least we can see the same stars at night.

I know it might sound cheesy, and I know a lot of people say it, but of all the love stories, I think mine is our favorite. It took a lot for me to make the choice I did, and it was not an easy one. It changed a great deal about my life, but I am glad I did it, because I could not be happier with Zane as my partner, lover, and husband.

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Don’t hold a grudge or a chip and here’s why…

I know you got mountains to climb, but, always stay humble and kind….

So many things have happened since my birthday a few short months ago, and it’s almost too much to catalog. I can’t even really go through it all, but suffice it to say, between multiple trips to the hospital, a stint in ICU, and in general more health issues than I care to admit to myself, I seem to have stabilized somewhat. Toward the end of this month I finally make my way to the Rheumatologist I have been waiting to see since last year. With any luck this will get us some more real answers, unfortunately it may create more hiccups.

There have been plenty of new developments, Zane came home for multiple months, and is now back on the road again, back to doing what he’s always been good at 😉 I know he’s married to me, but that blacktop is his second home, and I’m okay with that. There has been so much more that’s happened and I could go on forever about everything that’s developed over the last few months. Let’s just say I see so much coming on the horizon. I will meet it all with my head held high as I always have, and with my hand held by those whom I love. Zane has been such a driving force for me this last year and I can’t believe how much I have changed being with him.

They say the world and the people in it can change you, and that’s certainly true. I think he has changed me more than he will ever know, but more than that he’s helped me find me again. It’s like settling back into the earth that I once was. I’m comfortable in my own skin again. I don’t feel like I have to pretend to be someone I’m not. No need to impress or keep appearances for anyone. I can be as raw as I feel I truly am. I can sob and let my emotions as free as they are. If I honestly cannot handle the day and the cross I bear is to heavy, he will take it off of me and hold it for as long as I need, and hold me in the meanwhile. Even from hundreds of miles away. I have never met someone so kind and gentle, nor someone so caring. I cannot ever see myself anywhere else than in this life.

Everything lately has been so heavy on me too, there has been so much difficulty, so much sickness and pain, one bit of bad news after another. One unanswered question after another. I feel like it’s a constant spiral some days.

Alexandr continues to be my guiding light though, every day I awake to his sweet smile and “Hi!” I get to look into his beautiful face and get kisses and hugs, I play cars and teach him things, he puts bugs in my lap and we play in the dirt. I spend too much time in the sun, and I wouldn’t trade and ounce of it.

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I really do wish I could see the world through his eyes, the wonder he must feel at every little thing he sees. He has been making great progress in therapy, his favorite color is orange and he is doing great at saying them now. He can now say “Juice, eat, and bite” he knows what they all mean and uses them respectively to get what he wants. He also says “Thank you” and “Hi” he is starting to call me “Moma” on occasion, which is rare, but just about makes me cry when it does happen. We had a regression of his verbal skills early on and “mama” dropped from his vocabulary completely after being around for a very short time, since then he has not referred to me by a word at all. I’m very touched he is starting to use it again and I cherish it when I hear it. Sometimes it wears on me with how hard I work to not hear it. I love him so very very much, he is my everything, my soul even in some ways. To have him not say things like “love you” or “momma” is hard sometimes. I know that some people who have children who are somewhat non verbal, autism spectrum, or special needs will understand this. It can be difficult when they cannot reach out to you through words.

I try to remind myself that it’s not my fault, nor is it his. It may never be his way, and that is okay. I know that he loves me, and appreciates me. So when he does hug me, or kiss me, I just appreciate it that much more. I also do not scold myself for feeling jealous or upset when I sit at the park and see mothers of other two year olds carry full conversations with their children, where they say “I love you so much mommy!!” I remind myself it’s okay to hurt. I’m allowed to feel that way, just as I was allowed to mourn my pregnancy, and feel pain over the things that I lost in his infancy. I will mourn a great many things as he grows, and I will not allow him to feel that any of it is his fault, nor will I EVER let him feel like he is anything less in this world even if others want him to feel that way.

I know that he will have challenges. I know that his growing up will not be easy, but I’ve always grown to know that being his mother, or being a mother at all, is something that takes more than I ever imagined, it takes every part of your being and then some. I will spend the rest of whatever life I am granted making my son know that his mommy loves him and has every faith in everything he could ever be and will be in this world and will stand behind him 100%.

I’m not entirely sure when I started writing this that it had a direction, but perhaps I just needed to talk a little bit, and get out some things that have been inside me lately, and this being my platform, and my soap box, I pour my heart out here.

The truth is, I love my family. I love my son more than myself, and I love my husband more with each day that passes, and as it sits I see only better things on the horizon for all of us. Like I’m being embraced by a warm hug most days, even if some days are hard, nothing breaks through that hug.

Thank you to those of you who share in reading about my family and my journey through life here on my blog.

Till next time… Always be Humble and Kind.

Constantly Mourning, and now I am 29.

In front of you, you see a woman who us struggling to maintain, one who, from day to day,e is doing everything she must and can to hold it together. While you may see the smile on my face sometimes, it all too often masks the complete anguish and turmoil I am in at this point.  Yes, that is a cane, yes i need it fairly often now. I even have a handicapped placard for the car I am no longer allowed to drive.

Yesterday I turned 29 and while my Birthday was the best I have ever had, some part of me is the saddest I have ever managed to be. I feel more of a burden and hindrance than ever before to my son and husband. In the past four months or so I have lost more of my independence than I thought possible by this age. My amount of medications is staggering to a degree that is officially alarming. Now that I am epileptic that takes a large chunk of me doing certain things without help, like driving, away. I even have a wheelchair on standby should I need it as well.

I miss being 19 sometimes, and sometimes I wish that Zane had met that version of me. So full of spit, fire, grit, and determination. Everything mentally I am today but with a bit more of an ability to carry on. Then at least Alex and him would have gotten more out of the less chronically ill me than they are now.

It is incredible to me to look back on all I am and wish for so much more. I always knew I would likely regret choices, but I would say that my choices led me here and I would not take them back. Now my real regret is not living fully when I had the days in front of me to advance and swim in. I had opportunities on and off my whole life to push myself as hard as I do on ky good days now, but man, the things I could have accomplished. I feel as though I should have made better use of the time given. I suppose everyone probably feels that way a bit.

I cried yesterday, and I cried because I know that I will likely never be what I once was and yet again it is time to lay to rest another version of myself that I will miss.

I do not know how many more years my precious life holds. I do know this.

When I wake up each morning I am greeted by a man who tells me he loves me and who makes sure I take my medication, and get food after I am up and about. Then I get to wake up our kid, who, despite his many issues is always at his door to greet us with a “Mama, Dada!”. Sometimes we get hugs, sometimes we do not. I just remember to drink in the mornings and nights that I do get them.

Thais birthday was the best of my life, hands down. It was also very sad. I have a feeling moving foward in my life that might be normal for me. For those of tou close to me, I love you all very much. Here is to next year and making it to the big 3-0. ( My cake and gifts thia year were awesome.)

Goodnight Everyone,

Shari