After I turned 40 I started to yearn to know more about my father and his history so one day I googled him and his father just to see if anything came up. Much to my surprise I stumbled across a pretty extensive family tree online. I joined the tree and started adding some of my own info and got in touch with one of the admins who happened to be one of the 5 above. We soon connected on Facebook and so started the family reconnection.
One day an email from my aunt arrived, in her usual style, inviting me to visit but only if I actually remembered that I even had an aunt. She went on to say that if I loved Keith then so did she and he should come too. From then on I nagged Keith to go to Israel. It took a while but we finally went in May last year, joined by our friends Brooke and Christina. It was an incredible experience, there are few words to describe it. Not only did I remember how much I loved Israel, we were all welcomed with open arms. I heard the stories about my dad that I had longed to hear, we sat in the sun in a park and shared laughs at our similar traits and mannerisms,
It took 43 years.
After I went home I quit my job and joined a new company who just happened to have a large office in Israel. And so I found myself on a plane back to Tel Aviv 5 months later. My aunt had a stroke two weeks before I arrived and I was devastated at the thought of not being able to speak to her again, or to receive a WhatsApp message asking if I had forgotten that she existed (the Jewish guilt was strong!). On the plane on the way over I watched the movie Lion, a story about family reuniting; the emotions resonated strongly with me.
My aunt was strong, her face glowed when she saw me. My cousins embraced me, we ate and drank and shared stories and we said “till next time” when I left.
My aunt passed away this week. There won't be a next time. But life is not worth living if full of regret. I am sad for the years that were lost yet I am grateful for the moments that I gained. I will always be able to remember her voice, read her WhatsApp messages to me and take comfort in knowing that I told her I did remember (love) her. And with that, I am content.
- 1.in a state of peaceful happiness.
"he seemed more content, less bitter"
synonyms: contented, satisfied, pleased, gratified, fulfilled, happy, cheerful, glad; More
- 1.satisfy (someone).
"nothing would content her"
synonyms: satisfy, please; More
- 1.a state of satisfaction.