I now know where I come from.
I wonder if it's because I never asked, never listened, or because my parents never talked about it. I really knew so little about my parents early lives. Although I knew that they were spared most of the atrocities of WWII, the reality of their lives had somehow escaped me.
Our trip to Israel allowed me the chance to watch, to listen and to learn...and now I understand.
When I was diagnosed with cancer, my father's reaction was far from predictable. Yes he was sad, yes he was frightened, but more than anything else he was angry. I know he was angry at the cancer, but he would yell at me on the phone. It actually got so bad that I had resolved not to speak to him anymore as I found it too painful. My father wanted me to fight, to survive, to commit every living moment towards this battle. He was terrified that I would be complacent, that I would allow someone else to control my destiny. My words fell upon deaf ears, nothing I could say would change his feelings. Now I know why.
They never had the luxury of complacency. They never had the luxury of trusting their lives to someone else. As I listened to my parents surrounded by their friends in Haifa, it dawned on me that apart the obvious we had something else in common, a story of survival.
They made and remade their lives 4 times; as children, young adults, newlyweds and finally with us as a young family. Each time the challenge was confronted with the certitude that they would succeed if they committed all their energy to the task at hand.
"Commit all your energy to the task a hand." That is what my father kept telling me on the phone. " Do whatever you can, do everything you can".
Over the last 5 1/2 years many people have commented on my attitude and the way I have confronted the cancer. I really didn't know any other way. Some people have asked me about the logic of undertaking this ride. I really don't know any other way.
I guess that it's true when they say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
Thanks Abba, Thanks Ima for giving me the survival gene.
2 Weeks left and I promise to commit all my energy to the task at hand.