May 25, 2024
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Preparing for the New Year

Generally, this is the time when we are wrapped up in the excitement of the preparations for Rosh Hashanah and the thoughtfulness that goes into the serious nature of preparing for Yom Kippur, and what our destinies will be in the coming year. For many of us, this year there is far less to prepare when it comes to cooking and entertaining. Households normally full of families and friends have dwindled down to, in most cases, only immediate family and those living within the confines of their own homes. Yom Tov takes on a more somber air as we are all living and worrying each day about the future and when and if this horrible COVID era will end. For now it seems as though no one is able to predict accurately. Although I am generally an optimist, the past months have weighed heavily on my psyche and I honestly can no longer look far ahead with any type of positivity or optimism.

Since COVID struck our household with my beloved Mordechai extremely sick, our life has not been the same and I am saddened to say it will most likely never be again. Many of the myriad things that we enjoyed doing as a couple I cannot really see ever happening again.

Traveling, even if it was just for two nights to a destination two hours away, used to be a honeymoon for us. I remember how often Mordechai would tell me that it never mattered if it rained while we were away because as long as we were together the sun would be shining.

I cannot see those trips taking place anymore. The excitement of going into the city just to walk the streets and absorb the sights and smells of so many different things, including a bite to eat at a new (for us) restaurant, I cannot see happening anymore. Taking our grandchildren on special trips or to unique places is no longer in the cards for us.

Every drop of our life has become more difficult. Mordechai has great difficulty walking, can hear very little and his memory deteriorates each day. Nevertheless his smile is there and he apologizes to me practically every day that life is much more difficult for me. Each day, without exception, he tells me how lucky we are to have each other and each day without fail he tells me how much he loves me. That part of his mind will always be the same. He still reads many books (only non-fiction) and can discuss them, but sometimes forgets after a short period what he has read. He still interacts with people and can appropriately engage in discourse with them. Usually I have to remind him who the person is. He loves to play with his great grandchildren and interact with his grandchildren, but frequently needs to be reminded of their names. He is happy to socialize and be with people. The virus has prevented this from happening normally. I am terrified of what will happen when the days become colder and we can no longer sit outside to visit with people.

Yes, so many have said, “It’s the virus.” I know that there are few people who suffered from severe cases of COVID who did not suffer from various residual effects. At this point I doubt that most of these deficits will make an about-face.

I am very frightened for the coming year. I will daven and I do believe that we are all part of Hakodesh Baruch Hu’s plan. I certainly do not believe that we are qualified to understand any of it. I know that each night I go to sleep with a man next to me who reaches out to hold my hand and who has given me a life that few people will ever live. He is my most important person and will continue to be forever.

Hashem, I will daven to you for a year that will make me strong enough to weather whatever challenges we will face and I will respect whatever choices you make for us with faith yet with difficulty.

I wish all of you, on behalf of Mordechai and me, a year of appreciating everything that you have no matter what, of loving those around you and telling them so and always believing that Hashem has a plan for us which we need to believe in.

Shana tova.


Nina Glick lives in Bergenfield with her husband, Rabbi Mordechai Glick, after many years of service to the Montreal Jewish community. Nina coordinated all Yachad activities in Montreal and was a co/founder of Maison Shalom, a group home for special needs young adults. She can be reached at [email protected].

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