(Okay, I would have - because I do believe that strongly in living here and raising my family here - but it would have been very, very hard)
And God's kindness to us that, bank account (un)balance notwithstanding, we ARE living here and blooming and blossoming and fruiting, is tremendous. Every day is a gift.
I am overwhelmed with kindnesses of late. Here are the most recent ones, some of them as recent as just hours ago.
- A coworker just had voluntary weight-loss surgery... and when they went in, they found a tumor they didn't know he had, would not have been able to detect - and they removed it cleanly. What a kindness they never saw coming, but will never forget.
- Both of my children's teachers made a point of telling me how fine both girls were all the time that I was away, marveling at their stability and security. Such a kindness - I was going on that trip anyway, but how wonderful that it wasn't disruptive to their little self confidence.
- While I was in Houston, my grandparents were charming and affectionate and felt good, and I was able to have wonderful visits with them and everyone else and be lighthearted doing so - such a gift! Especially because now, one week later (has it only been a week?) my grandmother is hospitalized once more and in a dreadful amount of pain. Such a kindness that we were able to enjoy each other while I was there.
- I left Houston a week ago, freeing my parents to go this week to Miami to be with my very ill Aunt Andy. Such a kindness that they, loving and compassionate as well as medically trained, were able to be there and spend time with her in her last days and hours, because you see, she passed away just this morning. I am so grateful that I was able to speak with her while I was in Houston as well.
- And indeed such a kindness, because Andy's own mother, our Mama Gloria, passed away just the day before. Such a kindness that Andy knew she wasn't going to leave behind her elderly mother, that they could avoid the tragedy and horror of a child dying before the parent.
And I know that because we live here, my children are growing up with such an awareness of Hashem's kindnesses in everything, everything that happens, that they hardly need to be shown.
And so in loving memory of Aunt Andy, whose inherent Godliness made her choose for her life's work helping children (as teacher, principal, professor, leader) - because God shows us kindnesses like a parent does for their child: daily, constantly and unceasingly.
.... One explanation of the six-word Shema Yisroel we say goes like this, that "Hashem Elokeinu, Hashem Echad" (God is Lord, God is One) is phrased as such to say God of Kindness (Hashem) and God of Judgement (Elokeinu) are not contradictory, but are in fact One.
In the midst of God's judgement, his kindnesses have been pouring out - as they always do.