Double the Presents?!

My father was raised in a Jewish household. He had his Bar Mitzvah when he was 13, he went to synagogue, celebrated the holidays, and at one point spoke a little Hebrew. By a little, I mean enough for him to read the Torah to complete his Bar Mitzvah.

My mother was raised in a Methodist Christian household. Went to church on Sundays, participated in a church group, and was an active member of her church.

When it came to their children, we were mixed. On surveys or dating websites that ask your religion, I also put ‘other.’ When I was young, I was baptized, but that was it. I never went to church or synagogue, unless grandparents were in town and wanted to go, but still, it was scarce for my family to be in any holy building on the weekends. You would think that a child not having a solid faith would mess with them, but it didn’t. It did the complete opposite. Having the opportunity to grow as a person first before I found faith allowed me to question my views and to see the diversity in the world as what brings us together, and not what should be used to tear us apart. Every year since I can remember my family has celebrated: Easter, Passover, Yum Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah, and Christmas. No holiday is above another, and my childhood was about learning the various traditions and reasons behind each holiday. While I was unable to put a religion besides other on surveys for a long time, a year ago I participated in a Jewish Birthright trip to Israel. There I felt connected to the Jewish culture more than anything. I learned that while religion is a factor in Judaism, the culture is a more significant factor, and because of that, I completed my Bat Mitzvah ceremony next to the Western Wall in front of 40 of my new closest friends.

To this day I occasionally mark ‘other’ as my religion on surveys and dating websites, but that’s not to discount what I completed at the Western Wall, it is to commemorate my family and how both religions raised me.

Finally a Perk

 

 

It has been a few months living at home with my parents and my brother. While it has been stressful doing so, I have survived. My dad and I have a tendency of saying the same thing, just in two different ways, which has caused a lot of “yelling.” [The quotes are because my father believes that he never raises his voice, which means he has never yelled, but it sure sounds like yelling to everyone else in the house]

Regardless of the countless fights my dad and I have had or the number of times I’ve attempted to hide from my family in my room there are good moments that have occurred while living with my parents; such as having a bubble bath and my mom bringing me hot chocolate and cookies while I soak. Now, this is the reason I moved home. I’ve never had a roommate bring me hot chocolate and cookies while a bath, then again I had a roommate in college bring me a beer while I was showering. We called them Bhowers. Needless to say, I could get used to living at home if this becomes a regular thing becomes.

Goodbye Neenee

Today the world lost an amazing woman who I knew as Neenee. May knew her as Elizabeth, Betty Ann, or Lizzy. A couple of people knew her as mom, and one knew her as wife. She had always been there for me whether in person or over the phone. No matter what I was doing, she was always looking over my shoulder and guiding me through the journey of life.

I don’t know if I believe that heaven is real or where our “souls” go when we die, but whatever does happen to them I hope she goes somewhere warm where she can swim until her heart’s content.

Her funeral is this weekend, and I volunteered to speak. I will be reading a poem that my Poppop loves; it is called So Little Time by Sister Miriam Barker:

So little time to say the things
You’d really like to say
Before you even find the words
The time just slips away.

So little time to do the things
You feel that you must do.
So treasure, like the purest gold,
The time God’s given you.

So little time to dream your dreams
For youth has passed its prime,
And all too soon you realize
That there’s … so little time.

So little time to reach the height
To which you’re bound to climb,
For swiftly pass the waring years,
And there’s … so little time.

So little time for past regrets,
And less, to make amends,
Yet God can heal the deepest wounds
In chosen, cherished friends.

So little time to share God’s love,
And beauty here on earth
And know, before His endless time,
Their meaning and true worth.

Oh, yes, there is so little time
To seek the hidden door
That open’s up to heaven’s time,
Where time’s forevermore.

How did I get here?

I had moved out of my parents’ house. Then, I was in an apartment with a couple of coworkers, but now I’m back home again.

For me, returning home to my parents was a failure to me. I somehow had to get over the fact that it wasn’t, but how? My older brother still lived at home, but I was the failure. My brain rationalized him being home. He was had been in the Peace Corps down in Nicaragua, he was still adjusting to a first-world country after living being down there for 3 years. I went from being on my own to back home with the parents, so I was the failure. It would take me a while to not feel like that.

We wrote and signed a contract. That changed everything. I went from their freeloading child to their roommates from a few strokes on a keyboard and the swipe of a pen. These are the “demands” that I had to meet to keep a happy home and to live as an independent adult in my childhood home, sleeping in my childhood bedroom:

  • Rent must be paid on the 1st of every month
  • The floors of the house must be cleaned weekly (My brother would clean everything else)
  • All yard work must be completed weekly; luckily grass doesn’t grow in our yard during the winter
  • I must plan and cook 1 meal a week for the family (take out was allowed)
  • All of my expenses came out of my pocket; phone bill, health insurance, car insurance, gas money, clothing, hygiene needs, etc.
  • If I was not going to be home that night, I just text them, so they don’t freak out and wake up in the morning wondering if I am dead in a ditch somewhere

This contract worked. I was able to feel independent at my home while also allowing my parents to have their freedom from me as well.

I have no survival guide to living at with their parents as an adult, but what I can tell you is that what I am doing is working for me. Living at home is definitely not a boring life. We will just have to see where this takes me.