According to Jewish tradition, this morning the sun was in the exact place at the exact time that it was when it was first created, an event that happens one morning every 28 years. I got up at “O-Dark-Thirty” to celebrate it, largely thanks to my cousin Bill, who persistently nudged me about it. It got me thinking, the last time this happened, I was two. The next time it happens, I’ll be 58. Where will I be? What will my life be like?
I know that body parts I take for granted now will be giving me daily trouble. I know I’ll probably be worried about retirement and trying to figure out what comes next. I hope the work I’ll have done in the mean time will have been meaningful and will have made me proud. I hope, whether I’m married, whether I have kids, that I’ll be surrounded by people who love me and know how much I love them. I hope I’ll have spent those 28 years well.
On a related note, Pesach cleaning is done! (Teresa, upon hearing how much cleaning the holiday required, grinned at me and said, “You may not know this, but we celebrate Passover too, so you’re coming over to clean my house next, right?”) As I’ve found myself explaining the preparations over and over the past few weeks, it occurred to me what if anyone else told me that God had commanded them to scrub their house, blowtorch their oven and go on the Atkins diet for a week, I’d think they were nuts…
But it’s the first time I can ever remember not being home for the Seder. No listening to my parents sing Had Gadya and Echad Mi Yodea in Yiddish and Russian. No bellowing “It Happened at Midnight” and giggling over the melodrama of being frightened by a loaf of bread at midnight. No watching the different kids around the table grow up, seeing how their lives have changed in the past year. I’m sure the Hillel Seder is going to be wonderful, but it won’t be the same. This has always been my least favorite holiday, but I forget the good parts, and I forget how much the good parts are tied to my love for my family. I’m going to be missing them tonight.