The Jewish Holidays are close. The weather cools down, just a bit. We miss those that have come before us terribly. We wake up one day and realize, we are the women that raised us. If we do not bring them back and keep them alive, who will?
Today for some odd reason I heard that question my Father used to ask me all the time “Saranne, what did your Mother do all day?” I guess I was so busy back then to really appreciate the question as well as the answer.
I had set this day aside to begin the holiday prep routine, only it was very different this time. Today, as I polished the silver, I could actually visualize my mother, grandmothers and aunts. I could see and feel their hands imprinted in their candlesticks, trays and kiddush cups. I wondered, was Mom thinking about her own Mother as she polished those candlesticks.
My kitchen smelled exactly like Mom’s and Grandma’s as I baked holiday cakes to deliver. The recipe file was full of handwritten as well as typed treasures from so many women of my past. Women that spent countless hours in their kitchens preparing for the holidays and delivering goodies to those they loved. They carefully planned their menus, making sure to mix traditional foods with a few modern day favorites. I could see my Mom and Grandma sitting in “their spots” making their shopping lists both using the same recipes. I could see my Mom making the week of and up to the hour countdown list. I could even hear their voices.
Today, I brought them all back. They were in my kitchen with me, holding me closely and guiding me through the traditions they held so dear to their hearts. Lately, their passion for living these traditions of giving, family and memorializing those they loved are deeply ingrained in my daily life and holiday preparation. The strength and love of these women allows me such joy and a meaningful appreciation for exactly what they did do all day. They planned and then executed flawlessly.
Missing those that came before you? You can bring them back by doing what they did often and well. With time, you might be amazed with just how much effort they put into what looked so simple. Stepping into their shoes with intention and being very present in these moments is the only way to really appreciate all they did do. When we are young, we are busy creating our own world, and the truth is, we probably were re-creating a lot of what we had seen and learned. Pay attention today, because one day if you are very fortunate, you will awaken to be those women.
May your High Holidays be full of reflection, appreciation, forgiveness, an easy fast and a break fast full of family goodies.