Monday, December 3, 2012

My Return to the "Real World"

This past Thursday, I was finally released from the rehabilitation center. This means that my injuries are healed to the point that I do not need constant supervision and that I can continue my therapy at a facility that I do not live at 24/7. All in all this is great news!

Now that I am out of therapy, I needed a place to live in New Jersey until I get well enough to go back to Israel. (I could not live in my parents house for various reasons). So I am staying with two friends of mine that I grew up with that married each other and their four children. Their kids are 7 and under which is quite the change from all the 80 and 90 year old people that were at the rehab center with me. Kids are energetic and lively, which is much nicer then grumpy and tired.

One interesting side effect caused by being out of rehab is that I find myself being reminded about my parents more frequently. This is not to say that I was not thinking about them every day before. In rehab, my injuries were a constant reminder of the accident that led to my parents being killed. But now I am being reminded about what life was like with them, as opposed to without them.

For example, the family I am staying with is a religious, orthodox Jewish family. That means this past weekend, they celebrated the Jewish sabbath in the traditional fashion. When I saw my friends with their kids at the table for the sabbath meal, it reminded me of my childhood with my parents. Seeing my friend bless his kids Friday night was a strong reminder of how my father blessed me every Friday of my life. Even if he was not near me physically, he always made sure to speak to me before the sabbath via phone. While this tradition did not have any specific meaning to me any more, it had great meaning to my parents and I always appreciated that.

My parents looking very happy at synagogue social event

While I was in rehab I knew that once I was released I would feel the gap left by my parents deaths in a very different way. While I was going through such a hard time with my injuries, I wished I had my parents who were always supportive through life's rough moments. But now that I am getting back to "normal life" that my parents had been a constant presence in, their absence is constant. I pay a bill, I think about how my father taught me financial responsibility and constantly checked in on me to offer guidance and help. I go shopping, I think of the countless times I went shopping with my mom. I drive around East Brunswick, the town my parents called home, I am constantly reminded of different times I was with them around the town.

I know as time passes I will feel the lose of my parents in countless different ways. One day if I am lucky enough to meet the man that I will marry, I will not be able to introduce him to my parents. If I am lucky enough to have kids, my parents will never get to meet these grandchildren and my kids will be robbed of having the most amazing grandparents ever. The list can go on and on. But in short, my parents will always be missing for the rest of my life.