*Special recording included
Who could have known that the title of my concert, “Tears, Joy, and Hope would parallel the human experience of a Pandemic so closely? Jews experienced their own lockdown and uncertainty between 1939 and 1945 by being forced to live in ghettos where there was no escape. Although the circumstances were extremely different, Jews fed their souls by writing Yiddish songs that expressed their deepest emotions, as did the artists and musicians of the pandemic this past year.
Writing this blog, and working on my Documentary/Performance has helped me have a sense of normalcy that I haven’t had in a while since the Pandemic started. Preparations for my upcoming Yom HaShoah event on April 8 where I am the featured presenter (See Zoom invite below) has helped me keep my sense of purpose and well-being. And yet, taking on tasks that I’ve never done before still creates a lot of anxiety and stomach pain. But as I sat at my breakfast table this morning listening to NPR, I was reminded that it is the one year anniversary of when the pandemic officially began in the US. I am grateful that my family was able to stay safe from the deadly ravages of Covid 19, but I found it painfully sad to listen to healthcare providers and grocery store employees relive the devastating moments in their jobs when they were affected by Covid 19. It brought up my own internal conflicts. Throughout this entire year I felt guilty, knowing there were so many people under lockdown that were lacking complete physical contact, while I had a loving husband that I was able to touch and be touched in return.
I can’t help but remember how life began to unfold so differently for my family last March. At the start of the pandemic my eldest daughter Jessica had been living with us while she was apartment hunting. My husband and I decided to create our own bubble, and as it became obvious that looking at apartments was not the safest activity during a pandemic, my daughter accepted our invitation to be part of our household. It was hard for Jessica to face the fact that she was going to have to live with her parents indefinitely, but thanks to her newly adopted cat Tabitha, life became more tolerable. Jessica is an amazing cook and we have benefited from her excellent culinary skills. Being that she is vegan, my husband and I accepted the fact that we would be eating a lot of plant-based meals (which we did). But as I mentioned before, she is a fabulous cook!
Due to several underlying lung issues with my husband Joe, I was no longer entering grocery stores for fear that I would infect my husband. Rachel, my younger daughter, who was temporarily living nearby with a family friend, did all our grocery shopping for us for all of 2020 until she recently moved back to Los Angeles. We are lucky that we have a huge backyard which made it possible for Rachel to regularly visit us (at a social distance of course). It warmed my heart going to the backyard to find Rachel sitting in her own little make-shift office under our blossoming orange tree. Except for a very short walk to our bathroom, for our protection, she did not enter the rest of the house.
The hardest part of 2020 for me was having to look at Rachel at our Passover Seder on the screen of a computer.
My whole family was forced to make a lot of sacrifices and adjustments this past year, as I am sure you all did. Between Joe teaching all of his Cal State University Zoom math classes (both undergraduate and graduate) in our dining room and me giving Zoom voice lessons in a back bedroom, we had to learn how to compromise and be more empathetic and understanding of each other. I guess you could say that this pandemic has given each member of my family a deeper appreciation for the relationships we have with one another. In February of 2021 both my husband and I received both vaccine shots and there is talk of Rachel joining us at our Passover table this year!
If you did not see the Zoom invite in my last blog to the Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial) event on Thursday, April 8 at 12 noon, here it is again.
Click here to join the Zoom event
Meeting ID: 921 9378 7384
To call in with your phone, find your local number here: https://zoom.us/u/ablSIE0ZpC
*And as a special gift because you all seemed to enjoy the Yiddish lullaby I included in my last blog, here is a little preview of what you will hear during my April 8 Yom HaShoah Zoom event. Thanks again to my sound engineer Paul Levitt. I am accompanied by Ben Gown on Accordion and Diana Parmeter on Cello. Enjoy! Click on the word SOUNDCLOUD in the upper right hand corner which turns ‘orange’ when you click on it: