I know what you have all been thinking: I hope that Toby posts something for Rosh Hashana! It took me awhile to figure out what to write because it seems all too obvious, when I think about the coming year I hope to have a baby. This wish has the number-one spot on my short list. Sure, I’ll throw a few prayers out there for world peace, but this year I am allowing myself to be a little selfish and focus on what I want!
Someone once told me that couples who are dealing with infertility often have a difficult time around the holidays and especially with the new year. I’m not sure. Throughout the year a hormonal surge can be relied upon to add an emotion to any point in time- Tommy has learned to say, “Tobyka, it is not you, it’s the hormones!” In general, my most difficult moments usually have little to do with communal events, holidays or life-cycle celebrations. Instead, the hardest times are usually deeply personal and private and mostly involve disappointments.
If the Jewish new year was only about looking forward, a person could focus exclusively on his or her aspirations for the future and the yearly repetition of an unanswered prayer would make for an arduous holiday season. Fortunately, reflecting on the year that is concluding is an integral aspect of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.
Looking back on this year, I can only conclude that it was a good year full of blessings (both open and hidden). This year I have learned and grown so much: I amazed myself in the sheer number of people I have touched by sharing our story through this blog, I approached challenges with an internal strength I never knew was there, I discovered that members of my family were there to support us in very tangible and helpful ways, and I received an AMAZING recipe for homemade ice cream - ice cream just makes everything better! Tommy lost his job but found a career, strengthened his Jewish practice and knowledge, and used his subtle and still incredible sense of humor to create amazing moments. Approaching this year’s challenges together has strengthened our relationship and taught us both the meaning of partnership – in those moments when I want to collapse in my disappointment, he is my rock. Looking forward, I can only hope for much of the same.
There are numerous Hebrew greetings/blessings for Rosh Hashana and these days I find myself drawn to one in particular: Shana Tova U’Puriah ( a good and fertile year). AMEN!