Yesterday was primarily a driving day. We drove another 440 miles. The kids were incredible. They listened to music, played car games and kept themselves entertained. Originally, we planned on making a stop at Daytona Beach halfway to our destination, but by this point in the trip we were antsy to get to Boca. BH, without incident we made it to my in laws condo. We are excited to spend a few weeks of quality time with them before our big move.
With less than three weeks until our flight, I would like to share my sister, Shana's, perspective on our aliyah. Without her, I do not know if we could have really made this dream into a reality. Thanks Shana for paving the way for our own aliyah.
As the countdown continues to wind down, the excitement for us keeps on growing. I replay that incredible night over and over when Becca shared the news. It was a regular Tuesday night, the night every week when I speak to Becca, when the phone rang. We began chatting about the past week and the kids, work, and our upcoming trip to visit in the summer. Then I heard Simcha in the background mumbling something and Becca says, we need to tell you something, we have big news. I knew she was expecting, and after having twins, my first thought was IS IT TWINS!? But, the answer was “no, I asked a million times and its one healthy baby BH”. Then what could it be? I asked anxiously. Becca proceeded to tell me that the trip they planned on taking in Summer 2018 to visit us in Israel would not just be a visit, they would be coming to stay and making Aliyah! My mouth dropped, I was speechless: the moment I had been waiting for for the past 11 years was finally happening. I literally could not believe my ears. All I could say was WHAT? Are you serious? This is the best news I have ever heard.
I made Aliyah right after High school alone, leaving everyone and everything I knew behind. I was the one who left, still carrying with me guilt of leaving my family and tearing us apart even 11 years later. Although I knew and still know it was the right decision for me, that does not make being so far away from my family any easier. Maintaining long distance relationships is hard to say the least and it takes effort and desire to keep it going. Being far away was not easy, all the missed family occasions, holidays, birthday parties, births, and trips would never be given back. After a few years of being without immediate family here in Israel, I married into the wonderful Rapps family. Over the years, all of my husbands’ brothers made Aliyah and 5 years ago, his parents and younger sister followed suit. I felt a sense of family and support. As I watched my husband strengthen his relationships with his siblings, I always felt blessed and completely jealous and sad at the same time. My family was always here in spirit and love, but our time together was reserved for short trips throughout the year.
Endless emotion came forth that Tuesday night when Becca and Simcha told us of their plans. I would have my sister here, my best friend in the world. We would share those birthdays, smachot, holidays, vacations, shabbatot and everything in between together. Our children would grow up together, knowing each other and forming those incredible “cousin memories”. We could speak during the day without a 7-hour time difference separating us. We would be together again. For days after I still couldn’t really comprehend. I would find myself saying “is this really happening?” over and over again. It was surreal and I was completely overwhelmed with joy.
Although I know and believe that Becca and Simcha are making the right decision as did I, leaving is very hard. My parents and another sister are still in the states with 6000 miles separating us. We will not be complete until our whole family is together again, and we will never grow accustomed to being so far away. We miss our parents and sister miserably and we are hoping and praying for another of those life changing conversations when we will be told, “we are not coming to visit, we are coming to stay”.
As the days and months went on, I followed the Davidman Aliyah progress closely. I awaited those special conversations with Becca and Simcha to hear about their decisions and new developments. Like anyone else who is following their blog, I know they have begun such an incredible journey full of challenges but they keep pushing through with smiles and optimism. They are a true inspiration to us all. As the months from Aliyah date have now turned into just a few weeks, we could not be more excited to finally welcome the Davidman family home. We have our calendars marked and our welcome home signs for that special day in August already in the works.