Yesterday morning, I woke up to one of the most melancholy, yet beautiful sounds on earth.
The pit-pat of rain on the roof.
The world was grey and wet on this Shabbat; the trees were bare and the landscape varying shades of grey, brown and snatches of green as I drove to the service at the Messianic synagogue. I was late, having decided at the very last minute to make the hour drive to the little congregation I attend semi-regularly. I slipped into the back pew in the middle of a praise and worship song, pausing to hug my friend and her mother before taking off my coat…just in time to participate in the singing.
One of my favorite parts of the service is the liturgy. We go through the traditional liturgy. I love saying the prayers in Hebrew, even though I’m still learning how to pronounce all the words and am still putting the meaning behind the words as I say them (I am so thankful for the English translation!). After the scripture portions for the day were read, after the excellent teaching by one of the gentlemen in the congregation, we returned the remainder of the liturgy for the day.
I glanced down the page during one of the last few prayers and realized that the next one was the mourner’s Kaddish. In that moment, I remembered.
November 13th, 2008. I was sitting in a coffee shop to get out of the rain when I got the news from across the ocean that my great-grandmother had died that morning. A flight home the next day and a funeral the following Monday. Trying not to cry as I watched my brothers and cousins carry her casket into the church. And battling that ache in my chest at Thanksgiving a few weeks later and she wasn’t there.
I was never close to her. But…she was my relation. She was my mother’s grandmother and I’ll never see her again. I never got to say goodbye. She never got to meet the wonderful guy in my life and will never see the children God may bless me with one day. She was my great-grandmother and I miss her, I miss all that could have been and what will never be.
And so I stood in memory of her yesterday and recited the mourner’s Kaddish.
Glorified and sanctified be God’s great name throughout the world which He has created according to His will. May He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and during your days, and within the life of the entire House of Israel, speedily and soon; and say, Amen.
May His great name be blessed forever and to all eternity.
Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored, adored and lauded be the name of the Holy One, blessed be He, beyond all the blessings and hymns, praises and consolations that are ever spoken in the world; and say, Amen.
May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us
and for all Israel; and say, Amen.
He who creates peace in His celestial heights, may He create peace for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen.
She probably would have been slightly appalled, the staunch French-Canadian Catholic that she was, but I’m glad I was able to stand and remember her yesterday.