Farewells are always brutal in nature. Driving through Southern California – the mountain pass of the 210 from La Crescenta to the 118; the Pacific Coast Highway; or even in my hometown of Thousand Oaks – with my CD playing Idan Raichel or Moshav – remainds me so much of Israel!!! The topography, the weather: it’s all strangely familiar. Over the past few months I’ve been saying goodbye to California, my home for the past 33 years. I’ve been sneaking in last minute farewells to the Getty Center, the Huntington, and the Norton Simon Museums. I’d get all teary-eyed during the beautiful Christmas season, seeing the lights and hearing festive carols in the malls – realizing this will be my last season of beauty here in the States. This was the last time to harvest the fruits and vegetables from my garden; the last scents from the Old English roses I planted; the last outdoor barbecue and Havdalah Service to mark the end of the Sabbath and beginning of the week.

Saying farewell to my family and friends has been so difficult. People I’ve known and loved for so long; friends I’ve recently made. Leaving behind my gorgeous children is the most heart wrenching. I hope we’ve instilled a strength in them – the ability to make sound decisions – and the knowledge that they can lean on the Everlasting Arms of G-d. I know they will have each other and we are only a 16 hour flight away, but it’s still the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I pray they know this was not an easy decision, that it is not selfish, but something greater than myself. I pray they know how much we love and treasure them and all their unique talents.
I pray that they know we will always be there for them, to support them. I hope their hearts are not breaking as much as mine is now. But I know we WILL be reunited someday, hopefully soon.

I’m sitting here amidst the chaos of my house, with things half-packed, and only one full day to go. On Tuesday our shipping container comes. After that, we’ll be living out of our three suitcases apiece and our carry-ons until escrow closes here and we depart. I’ve raised my children in this house. So many of our memories are wrapped up here and in this community. On one hand, I hate to leave, on the other, our new lives and destiny awaits.

So: enough with the sentimental reminiscing! There’s so much to do… I hope to somehow make my next post after the movers leave. Hope we survive the next few days, LOL.

Farewell to my friends, my home, my country – and my beautiful, sweet daughters. I bid you peace and blessings…. shalom!

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