Tuesday, April 26, 2005

“Motherless Child”

I read the Renegade Rebbitzen’s post “In search of the "labor of love:" The RenReb wants her mommy” http://renegaderebbetzin.blogspot.com/2005/04/in-search-of-labor-of-love-renreb.html#comments at some ridiculous hour of the night (morning?) last night, and found it even more depressing than being completely ignored on that message board (see previous post) after going out on a limb.

“The rebbetzin seeks comfort.The rebbetzin wants her mother.”

Likewise, I’m sure—but what mother?

I posted an anonymous comment to the RenReb’s post, but, on second thought, I've decided to bring that comment over here and add to it the few words that I couldn’t post as long as I was trying to hide my identity. Since no one in my family knows that I’m writing a blog, and since they wouldn’t know this one was mine, even if they read it, given the fact that—confession time—I write this blog under a pseudonym, it makes no difference what I say about my family here. So I might just as well post something that describes how I really feel, and get it off my chest, after all these years. Frankly, I could use the catharsis.

“It was difficult enough when my parents made aliyah and left us to raise a child with disabilities without help and without grandparents.But I knew I was truly alone, and could never "go home" again, the day, some years later, that I asked my mother for some cooking advice and she told me to look it up in a cookbook.

Ever since then, I've considered myself a pseudo-orphan. My parents are both still alive, baruch ha-shem, but I no longer consider them a real part of my life. I grew up real fast that day.

But I still remember a day a few years ago when I was sitting in the shul choirbox learning an Israeli lullaby. It's probably a mental block, but I can't remember the name of the song, or very many of the lyrics. What I do remember is that the song spoke of a grandmother with her grandchild. I was choking back tears, knowing that my son had never had that kind of experience with either of his grandmothers, and never would.”

There was only one treatment available at that moment for the depression I felt after reading that post and commenting on it. So there I was, at some outrageous hour of the night/early morning, rocking from side to side on my computer chair and harmonizing along—in truth, it sounds better without my harmony, but I’m incapable of not harmonizing along—with this. (See the Saturday, April 16, 2005 post “Lullaby” at http://psychotoddler.blogspot.com/). Thanks, Dr. Skier, for having such a fine "bedside manner." I find your song a great comfort.


Blogger Shira Salamone said...

I haven't sung in my old shul's choir--I used to go back there every now and then, just to sing in the choir--for well over a year. I quit after I discovered that the choir was no longer composed entirely of Jews. (With due respect to my Christian readers, as well as to those professional singers who do this for a living, I've never been comfortable with the idea of people singing prayers that are not part of their own tradition.) So it took me some time, rifling through my old, now-dusty, choir music to find what I was looking for. It's a lullaby in waltz time called "Hitragut," with lyrics by Y. Karni and a gorgeous choral arrangement by P. Ben-Chayim. I wish my Hebrew were better--I understand almost none of the lyrics. All I understand is "savta . . . tashir . . . ," grandmother will sing. I can't remember either of his grandmothers ever having sung to our son.

Tue Apr 26, 02:27:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Unknown said...

While this has nothing to do with the lullaby part, I know what you mean. My mom died suddenly when I was 20 and my dad went berserk. I left and didn't speak to him for 15 years. He had never wanted to be part of my adult life anyway so it didn't matter all that much. We reconnected about four years ago and it's been good. But I'd never ask him for a dime or a smidgeon of help ever. I just don't relate to him that way anymore. It's weird to everyone around me who are so close to their folks. I just don't have that kind of Dad. Oh he gives me things and very nice things at that. I even feel comfortable enough to actually TELL him now when he asks what exactly I want (yes, he's responsible for the Kitchenaid mixer, the DVD/VCR combo and the digital camera!) But to come right out and say, hey, the furnace died and I need $3k or we have no heat? I'd mortgage the house again.

Tue Apr 26, 07:47:00 PM 2005  
Blogger PsychoToddler said...

I had a falling out with my parents about 18 years ago. It took me a few years before I could talk to them again. It was very rough. We're closer now, but you really can't go back home. The distance doesn't make it any easier.

I'm glad you liked the song. This is what's great about the internet. That song would never make it on an album. It sat on my hard drive for a few years doing nothing.

Tue Apr 26, 08:59:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Renegade Rebbetzin said...

Hey, "Shira" (and here I was, all amazed that you would write under your first and last name - everyone who does that amazes me) -

Very moving post - thanks for the email alert. I certainly didn't mean to depress you with my post, and certainly didn't mean to inspire a night of rocking in misery, craving that comfort that apparently everyone, regardless of age, still seeks (I'm learning quite a lot from my blog, and this was the most recent thing). I'm so very sorry about your non-relationship with your parents, but it comforts me, at least, to know there are mothers like you out there. Your sincerity and unconditional love, towards so many things great and small, are truly inspirational, and your legacy to your own son will be different from the legacy you've inherited (small comfort, I know).

(for what it's worth, by the way - my relationship with my parents is far from perfect, and I often find myself seeking things from my mother that I know I'll never get, but I can't help trying over and over again anyway. but this isn't about me.)

Hugs and kisses, and chag kasher vesameach.

Tue Apr 26, 09:28:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Barefoot Jewess said...

I can relate all too well to your post. I am estranged from my family; it has been years. There was a time, a phrase, that finally did it for me as well. I finally gave up hope and the fight. It was enough. You never get over it. It hurts as much today as it did many years ago. It will hurt till I die.

When I was reading RR's post, I thought, she has no idea (nothing to do with her, really). She is blessed to have a mama that she can go home to. I consider myself an orphan as well. Just know that you are not alone, in the grief. I don't know what else to say.

I am so glad you posted this.

Tue Apr 26, 10:38:00 PM 2005  

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