Zoom is a gift that keeps on giving. At any moment of any day, with the simple click of a button, we can see and hear each other in real time. Over the last 18 months, we checked in with our neighbors, our friends, and our families. Yet, there is no substitute for the absence of presence that we have all longed for.
My parents are blessed with nine grandchildren, all within a close age range. For the last 13 years, we have been stretched geographically from London to Los Angeles. That led to a game of musical chairs; as one pod finished their grandparent visit, another would arrive, and the pattern continued year after year.
Yet, this summer, we were determined to be together. There are moments when we simply say the words of shehecheyanu, and there are other times when we live those words out.
This past week, all nine grandchildren ate dinner under one roof. Old relationships renewed and new friendships formed.
Tomorrow evening, we sit on the floor and read the book of Lamentations, eicha yashva badad, “How lonely do we sit.” We mourn the destruction of Jerusalem, but we also recognize the feeling of loneliness and the yearning to return as a family together.
As we sat around the table this week, parents, children, and grandchildren reunited, we had returned; each of us a bit older, each of us a bit wiser, each of us with hearts full of love and gratitude for the moment.