Someone dear to me reminded me that I haven't blogged in a long time by suggesting some scary stuff!
I won't go into that here but I do want to discuss a few things.
I have been working really hard lately and that usually makes me not take the time to write even though writing should be my first priority every day.
But I write for a living so it gets tricky.
Also, I'm torn between writing about food, like I'm supposed to and philosophizing as I am want to do.
Yom Kippur this year was the most amazing experience I have ever had during a fast period.
Normally I really hate fasting and pretty much can't do it. I honestly doubt that I have ever truly fasted before this year.
For those who don't know about this religion I will explain. Although it will be hard for Christians to understand, we Jews repent for our sins only once a year.
We don't ask forgiveness on a regular basis. Every year there are high holy days during which we think about being a better person and on one day of the year from sundown to sundown we do not eat, drink or think of ourselves in any way other than how we are sorry for the things we did wrong and how we hope to suffer enough during this one day to be better in the coming year.
This may seem ridiculous to other religions but you have to realize that Judaism is not a religion of deprivation. We love to eat and drink and enjoy ourselves! We don't deprive ourselves of things - that's just not our way.
So one day a year is a pretty big deal.
I only managed this complete fast because of my friend who inspires me to take certain Jewish laws more seriously than I have in the past.
In fact, I spent all day baking and cooking. I was hosting a big break fast at my house and I wanted it to be fun and full of good food.
It was really quite easy to fast and although I was hungry I was able to think about the person I was this past year.
I thought a great deal about the things I did wrong in the previous 12 months and the list was astounding.
The most painful thing to acknowledge was that I was partially responsible for one of the most terrible things that can happen in this world and there is no getting around it.
Much of the day I felt the presence of a deceased friend with me. I could see his big green eyes clearly and I spoke to him throughout the day, I suppose asking for forgiveness.
I know that I hurt people deeply, out of carelessness and selfishness.
Miraculously, I felt hopeful as the sun set on this day of atonement that I had found a way to be closer to g-d through it all and that this coming year would see me being careful and selfless.
That night, at 2 am my daughter's throat closed from croup, which I had never experienced. I woke to the horrible sounds of choking and I found her standing terrified. I looked into her eyes and saw her gaping mouth, with spit hanging from her lip. I had no idea what was happening. I just knew that she could not breathe. I asked her if she had thrown up or if she was throwing up or if there was something in her mouth. She stared at me.
I remembered to hug her. This calmed her and she was soon wheezing instead of choking. I carried her downstairs and decided to call her father instead of 911.
Still, I rushed her to the emergency room at the nearest hospital, not even daring the five minutes further to Children's Mercy.
They examined her, gave her the medicine she needed and after an hour she was fine.
I took her home and put her in bed to sleep and went to my own to find some rest but so many terrifying thoughts were in my head.
I did not yet know that this was croup and that I could have helped her myself by letting her breath air from the freezer. I didn't know that she had not been in as much danger as it had seemed.
All I could think of was what if she had not woken up. What if she had just stopped breathing? I was in shock.
I found myself lying in bed, silently chanting to my friend who does not answer to this world any longer for some peace. Why I think he could grant this to me, I don't know. But in the night when I am scared I find myself turning to him and asking him for some kind of guidance from the place where he dwells now.