Posted by Ilana Angel
I am sad to be away from my mother on Mother’s Day. I’ve been thinking back and I don’t believe I have been with my mom on Mother’s Day for 20 years, which seems so wrong. We talk of course, but it’s not the same thing. Ever since I became a mother myself, we have had three conversations every Mother’s Day.
I will call her to tell her I love her. When we have chatted about anything and everything, we hang up and she immediately calls me to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day. We manage to find new things to talk about, which is always lovely. It is important to her that we both call, which I love, so she always calls right back.
At the end of the day we chat again about our day. These three calls make me happy, but as I sit home on this Mother’s Day, I regret I did not fly home to surprise my Mom. I love her very much and one of the true blessings of my being a mother, is that I understand how she loves me by how much I love my own child.
My son loves me in a way that I can really feel. We are very close and I am fortunate that he is my friend in addition to my child. Yesterday he was involved in a bad car accident and so this morning I woke up feeling grateful for Mother’s Day. I sat and watched my son sleeping and was overcome with emotion.
He was going to meet some friends when he was involved in a hit and run. Someone sideswiped his car and took off. My son was left alone, scared and nervous, because the person who hit him did not have the decency to stop and make sure he was okay. I don’t understand how you can hit a car and not stop.
When I got to my son he was shaken up, crying, and hugged me as if he was a little boy. I held onto him tightly and kicked into Super Mom. We called the police and the insurance company to file reports, and I poked and prodded until I was certain he was physically okay. Three hours after the accident, we were back home.
He went to take a shower as I stood in my kitchen and cried. This young man is the reason my heart beats and the accident was scary. I was strong and supportive, but the second he was in the shower I broke down. I cried tears of relief he was ok, and tears of fear that I will worry about him for the rest of my life.
I am a good mother. By good of course I mean brilliant. I was raised by a wonderful mother and am blessed to be able to give my child the love and lessons my mother gave me. There is a thread that connects my mother, my son, and myself. It is strong and allows us to see, feel, and understand the love we share.
I am about to have my first call of the day with my mom and I am excited. Soon my son will wake up and I am going to try really hard to not burst into tears when he comes to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day. When my son calls my mother to thank her for being such a great mom, I will see the thread and be grateful.
Happy Mother’s Day. My hope is that all of us are able to see the thread that connects us, and marvel at its strength. Not only at how it ties together our own families, but also how it binds us to each other. We are mothers and that makes us all the same, regardless of race, religion or location. We are the same.
If you are with your mom, lost your mom, are a first time mom, or a seasoned professional, enjoy your day. If you are a step-mom, a mother-in-law, or the mother to your pets, it’s your day too. Celebrate the blessings in your life. I see the thread, I am honored to share it, and I am fiercely protective of it and all it means.
To the mother of my Englishman, you did a wonderful job and I am grateful for you today. To my sisters and sister-in-law, you are my heroes and I love you. To the step-mother of my son, you have loved my child as if he were your own and while I have struggled with that, I have always been thankful.
To my mother, I love you. To my son, I love you. To all mothers, I am sending you prayers for health and happiness. To the person who felt it was okay to endanger the life of my child, and was too much of a coward to make sure he was okay, I am one pissed off mother and karma is a bitch, so you better be keeping the faith.
5.24.13 at 7:07 am | Burning myself has shown me I am burning out.
5.23.13 at 3:17 pm | Dating, divorce, death, and marriage, all require. . .
5.22.13 at 6:34 am | I am forever touched by this young man.
5.19.13 at 5:43 pm | JDate should be more of a mensch.
5.17.13 at 5:27 pm | I am never going on another coffee date.
5.14.13 at 4:36 pm | Love needs a kick in the ass.
5.19.13 at 5:43 pm | JDate should be more of a mensch. (349)
5.23.13 at 3:17 pm | Dating, divorce, death, and marriage, all require. . . (343)
5.14.13 at 4:36 pm | Love needs a kick in the ass. (280)
May 10, 2012 | 9:23 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I rarely dream. I suppose it’s possible I do and just don’t remember them, but either way, dreams are not really my thing. Could be because I’m not a great sleeper. All I know for sure is that when I actually remember a dream it freaks me out. I am certain it means something and is a message of some kind. Over the past two nights my dreams have been very vivid.
I tried to research what the dreams meant online but I got conflicting stories. Turns out reading about dreams and ailments online is bad. I am sharing because maybe one of my readers interprets dreams. If you have any idea what mine mean, please let me know. By let me know of course I mean unless it’s a sign of something bad, in which case I don’t want to know.
On Tuesday night I dreamt that my foot hurt. It does in fact hurt, so that was not the strange part. There was a golf ball sized mass in my left foot. I was sitting on my couch and I was rubbing my foot when a beak popped out of the skin and a red bird came out. It had a little face that was very expressive and looked at me with scared but mocking eyes. It was crazy.
I was not bleeding, and I think the foot actually closed up as soon as the bird came out, but I was chasing around the bird trying to kill it. That makes no sense because I am a vegetarian, and an animal lover, and I would never kill a bird, but there I was, chasing it around trying to kill it. It was not screaming like a bird would, but rather laughing like a cartoon.
I woke up as I was trying to catch it and kill it so I’m not sure if I ever managed to get it, but it was weird. Writing about it now I am not sure if it was a scary dream of not. I’m not scared thinking about it, and don’t think I was scared by it, but again I don’t remember the emotions of the dream, just the little bird and the fact that he came out of my foot.
Last night I dreamt about Joaquin Phoenix. Important to note that I love with him so on a lot of levels it makes perfect sense I would dream about him, but this was strange. I could swear we were actually together, that’s how real it felt. He was gorgeous, and lovely, and if I saw him on the street I would approach him as if he were an old friend because of this dream.
In the dream we met in a hallway. He was playing a guitar and singing. I watched him, unaware of who it was. He looked up and I realized it was Joaquin. I told him it was hard to look at him and not see Johnny Cash. He said he understood, and we started to talk. He was very soft spoken and his eyes looked at me as if he was seeing me from the inside out.
I asked if I could take a picture with him, but when I pulled out my phone, it would not work. I was frustrated and he said he would wait. He stood there while I tried to get the camera to work, but it never did. He then turned to walk away, the doors to the hallway opened, and there was a red carpet with paparazzi waiting to take his picture. He went off and that was it.
I woke up then so I’m not sure what would have happened had I kept sleeping, but I’m guessing it would have included some making out, an engagement ring, a beautiful wedding, and happily ever after. Could it be that my dream is a premonition about meeting Mr. Phoenix and our falling in love? That’s the interpretation we are going to hold onto today.
I believe that dreams have meaning, unless it’s a meaning that freaks me out, in which case I think they mean nothing. For example, if dreaming of a bird coming out of your foot means you are going to win the lottery, then I’m in. If it means a bird will crap on your head and you will die alone with 18 cats, then I’m not buying it. I am curious however, about these two dreams.
They really did feel real, which is fascinating. My son dreams on occasion but can rarely remember them. My Englishman dreams often and remembers them all. Interestingly enough he watched Gladiator last night and when we chatted this morning he mentioned Joaquin Phoenix, which was just weird. We were not together yesterday yet we both had him in our thoughts.
I will spend moments of my day thinking a bird may crap on my head, and will look at people around me should Joaquin happen to be walking past. This is LA after all so it would not be an impossible happening. If you are reading and know what my dreams mean, please let me know. I am open to the interpretations, but also scared, and therefore keeping the faith.
May 6, 2012 | 3:20 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
In speaking with both my mother, and the mother of my Englishman this weekend, I was struck by how similar these women are. Not only to each other, but to me. The three of us are all Jewish mothers, living in three different countries, but all with the same hopes and dreams for our children, no matter how old our children are. It was a revelation that made me happy, but also sad. I realized how much my mother misses me, and know that the day will come when I will miss my son in the same way.
I have spoken to my mother every single day for the entire 20 years I have lived in Los Angeles. I suppose I must have missed a day here or there, but some days we talk 4 or 5 times so it all balances out in the end. Knowing that I talk to her daily, she still ends every single conversation with the same question, “Will I talk to you tomorrow?” I have long thought it was charming that she says it. It comes from the place in her heart that misses me and will always see me as her baby. It’s sweet but melancholy.
This weekend my Englishman was talking to his mother in London. He has lived in Los Angeles for 31 years, and they speak every day. She ended their conversation today by asking him, “Will I talk to you tomorrow?” It was the sweetest thing and I found myself loving his mother and understanding her in the same way I understand my mom. We are all the same. We love our kids and feel the sadness that comes with them going off to live their own lives away from us.
I cannot bear to think about the day my son will go away to college and I will not see him everyday. I can hope and pray I will talk to him daily, but the truth is I will probably not talk to him every day and I must prepare for that. I won’t take is personally. By won’t of course I mean I will totally take it personally, throw some major Jewish guilt at him, and cry myself to sleep wondering why he does not love me enough to call. It’s silly I know, but I am a Jewish mother and there is nothing I can do about it.
My mother has spoken to the Englishman and she is happy for me. She thinks he is lovely and appreciated how he spoke of me to her. He has lived here for over 3 decades, yet my mother is now convinced we will fall in love, get married, and move to London. She has been waiting for me to move back to Canada for 20 years, and now worries my move out of LA will be to England, not Canada. When a child leaves the nest a mother begins her prayers for them to not only not go far, but come back one day.
When I spoke with the Englishman’s mother, she told me I make her son happy, and it makes her happy to hear him speak of me. She said, “A Jewish mother never gives up Ilana. You understand right?” He is in his 50’s but her wishes and prayers for him are the same as every other mother. She wants him to he happy, healthy, and loved by a good woman. God willing someone who loves her too so she will bring him home to see her. If the significant other of your child does not like you, it’s going to be hard.
We are Jewish mothers in both authentic and the stereotyped ways. We use guilt as a way to torment our children, insist on feeding everyone, think our kids are perfect, worry about things that are out of our control, and believe chicken soup can cure anything. We dream about being grandmothers from the day we give birth, and worry about who our kids will love. We pray they won’t move away, cry when they do, then pray they will move home when we know they never will. We are Jewish mothers.
I love my mother. I love my son. I love my Englishman, and I love his mother. I look forward to a day when we can all be in a room together. It will be a happy day, but also hilarious. I will be worried about my kid leaving, my mother will be worried about whether I am moving to England, and the Englishman’s mother will be worried about my making it impossible for him to ever move to England. Three Jewish mothers in one room, worrying about our kids in the same way, will be comedy gold.
My mother will read this blog and cry. She will tell me she loves me and suggest I move to Canada with the Englishman. The Englishman’s mother will read the blog and cry. She will then tell him we should move to London to be closer to her. My son will read it and tell me he will never move far from me, knowing that it is a lie just so I will not start crying. Being a mother is an honor. Being a Jewish mother is a privilege. Dating someone who loves my mother, and whose mother I love, is a blessing.
Being a mother is a lifetime job. You don’t stop being a mother when your kids grow up and go off to start their own lives. I think it becomes harder because they leave us with the memories of when they needed us and relied on us for everything. We work hard to raise decent human beings and are proud when they go, but wish they would need us for a little longer. I love the two women who raised my Englishman and me. Will my son’s girlfriend feel the same love for me? I am keeping the faith.
May 3, 2012 | 9:16 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I believe in God and find myself talking to him most days. I pray every morning when I get up, and again before I go to bed. I have faith that he is with me, and while I don’t think he can answer my prayers, he brings me peace. Having him listen provides me with the answers I need. Faith is personal, religion is personal, God is personal, and this blog is personal.
I have written about faith, Judaism, prayer, temple, Rabbis, and my own journey for spiritual enlightenment. I have been on a path for a long time, and am always waiting for something to happen to tell me that my unwavering faith and belief in God is not a waste of time. It sounds like I worship in order to get something in return, but that is not the case.
I have experienced moments of unbearable darkness in my life, and I have gotten through them by leaning on God. I have experienced moments of unbelievable joy in my life, and thanked God for allowing them to happen, as if it was him who gave them to me. I have also questioned and blamed him for things that have happened which I could not understand.
In the end God matters to me. I am blessed, and being able to lean on him is one of those blessings. I share my life with him, he listens, and I take what I want from the silence that comes through prayer. I don’t ask him for anything, just let him know what I’m thinking. I work hard to not be disappointed because I control the turns my life takes, not God.
Yesterday I believe my son had an encounter with God. It is his story to tell so I won’t go into details, but I will say that he came into contact with someone that I believe was holy. It was a brief encounter, but words were spoken and it mattered. An exchange that lasted seconds was powerful, and in the words of my child, “life altering”. It was magic.
It’s all up for interpretation of course, and it could be that my son needed something and so he felt what he needed to feel, but I think it was an angel, a gift, a blessing, a message, and a sign God is listening. It was a profound moment for my child and a lesson for me. I have been waiting, and there it was. God reached out to my child, which is simply divine.
I have been a little lost lately. My son is growing up, I am in a new relationship, I desperately miss my family, I am dreaming about my beloved father, I am at a crossroads with my career, and I don’t sleep. In the past couple of months I have been praying a lot and reading Torah. My life is good, but I am searching for peace and comfort.
I have been trying to listen more than I talk, and think before I speak. I am sad, but hopeful. I am grateful. I feel tremendous gratitude for so many things in my life, and it took God reaching out to my son for me to get clarity on it all. I love when I needed something from God, he brought it to me through my child, as my boy matters the most to me.
I feel inspired to do things today. I am going to book tickets home to Canada to see my family. I want to hug my mother for hours, have her make me all my favorite meals, and buy her pretty things. I am going to hang out with my sisters, laugh with my brother, and spoil my nieces and nephews. I am going to eat poutine, Aero bars, and ketchup potato chips.
I am going to try to not be so afraid of everything. I want my son to spread his wings and then allow him to fly, knowing I have done a great job and he will be fine. I am going to trust myself and enjoy what I am building with my boyfriend, instead of waiting to be disappointed. I am going to believe that I am living my best life and don’t need to worry about everything.
I believe in God, and I believe my son came into contact with him, or someone sent on his behalf, to comfort him and restore my faith when I needed it. It may be silly to some, and that is okay. It’s personal to me and I understand that some will get it, some will question it, some will mock it, and some will be inspired by it. Whatever the reaction, it’s okay.
I am sharing the experience because that is what I do here, and also because if there is someone out there who is sad and looking for a sign, use this one. I believe this gift was given so I could share it because someone needs it as much as I do. Know that it will be okay, you are blessed, and God is listening. God bless you. Be well, stay safe, and keep the faith.
May 2, 2012 | 9:08 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
This morning I walked around my son’s room repeating, “I love this boy”, over and over again. I said it when I picked up the wet towel off the floor, when I shut the dripping faucet, when I found socks under the bed, and when I took dishes from his desk to the kitchen. I had to remind myself I love him while I dealt with the fact that he is a slob. By slob, of course I mean a 16 year old boy who while brilliant, does not understand how a hamper works.
I love my kid and am blessed he is so great. He truly gives me no trouble and when I think about all the things he could be doing, I thank God he is so levelheaded and wise. He is a good kid and I am a good mother. By good, of course I mean fabulous. I was born to be a mother. My heart is wrapped around this boy and being his mother is the greatest joy I have ever known. That said, I am exhausted, and there are days when I pray for a break.
As my son gets older I find the amount of time I spend worrying increases. He is driving, which is stressful. He is of the age where drugs, alcohol and sex will come into play, and that is enough to put me over the edge. The thought of my son drinking, makes me want to drink. If he ever did drugs, I might need a joint to get through it. As for sex, Dear Lord! Not my baby! The older he gets the longer my list of things to worry about becomes.
I have one child. I am a single mom, but still, he is just one child. My mother had 4 children by the time she was 25, which is incredible to me. I am sitting on my couch, having a cup of tea, and I could cry because I am so tired. Tired of waking up early to drive my son to school, tired of yelling at him about homework, tired of doing laundry, tired of feeling guilty about how tired I am. I need a holiday, but am too tired to think about it.
I sometimes get resentful of my ex-husband because I am the one putting in the time and work with our child. He sees him every other weekend and it’s fun, but I am the one living a life around this boy. I would not change it of course because I treasure every minute he is with me, and miss him every minute he is gone, but I am doing the work and there is no back up. If I am sick, or need a break, too bad. It’s all me, all the time.
As I sit here and try to assign a number between one and ten to my fatigue, I am watching the news and hearing that Octomom, Nadia Sulemon, is filing for bankruptcy. They are talking about how last week she got a $500 Brazilian Blow Our hair treatment, while on welfare, and now she is bankrupt. I should think she is a moron, and frankly I do, but more than that I feel sorry for her. I cannot wrap my head around how tired she must be.
If I am feeling sorry for myself doing it alone with one child, so how must she feel? She made some bad decisions, and I think she has not handled her situation well, but at the end of the day she is a mother, has fourteen kids, and my heart goes out to her. I do not understand how this woman manages to get up every morning and put on a happy face for her children. Her life seems sad, difficult, complicated, and unhappy.
I am car shopping with my son, and thinking ahead to college applications, and while it will be tight financially, I will do it. With fourteen kids, how will she pay for everything? She is not good with money so even is she came into a large amount, chances are it would not last long. I feel like going over to her house to watch the kids just so she can sleep. How lovely would it be for her to just be able to sleep for a few hours?
Being a mother is hard. Raising children without a partner is hard. I am counting my blessing today that I am able to provide the life I do for my child, and thinking a lot about Nadia Sulemon. I want her to know that while I cannot relate to what her daily life must be like, I feel compassion for her as a mother, and I wish her well. I want her and her kids to be okay, and I will keep her and her children in my prayers.
It is easy to make fun of this woman. Many make a mockery out of her and I understand how easy that is. I would suggest however, that we view her as a mother first. However she got to the place she is in, there is no turning back, and so she is just a mom. A mom who is tired, alone, sad, and probably desperate for some relief. From that perspective, I have walked in her shoes and I understand. We are mothers.
I got up off my couch, cleaned my son’s room, did a load of laundry, counted my blessings, and am now going to head into work. It’s raining in Los Angeles so I will have to deal with bad drivers and a Jew fro, but that is okay. My life is blessed, my child is perfect, and I have done a remarkable job raising him on my own. I am tired, but would not change a thing, except maybe my son’s understanding of what a hamper is for.
To Nadia, I want you to know that I get it. Your bankruptcy, possible porn career, and blown out hair are of no real interest to me. Your well-being, and the well-being of your children are. You are in my prayers and I hope you are able to rest. Not just your body, but your mind and your heart. You have beautiful children. Be strong, be careful, be proud, and remember that it’s always a little easier if you are keeping the faith.
May 1, 2012 | 12:08 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I first spoke to my Englishman two months ago. I thought he was funny and charming, but did not think he was my type. He lived 35-45 minutes away and while attractive, he was unlike men I usually date. I loved that he’s English however, and agreed to a date because if nothing else the accent would be sexy and I would get a blog out of it. Just incase I was wrong, I suggested lunch so there would be no drawn out dinner or painful meeting over drinks.
His accent is in fact divine and although I don’t understand half of what he says because it is so thick and he uses lots of British slang, I loved it. He was kind. Not the type of kind one can be on a first date, but inherently kind. He was gentle and sweet but still manly and strong. For reasons I do not understand, and am not going to figure out, I instantly liked this man. He made me feel comfortable and safe, which are things I crave.
He was leaving on holiday to England a few days after we met and after several hours on the phone, we spoke by email while he was gone. When he wrote my heart would flutter. Over the time he was gone we became friends. When you are communicating in the written word, it’s lovely. You ask questions that are important, and await answers as if they matter in a profound way. It was slow and steady so by the time he came back we knew a lot about each other.
We met for dinner as soon as he got home. An Englishman and a Canadian walked into a bar and it was on. We were instantly great together. He was now my friend not a stranger, and I liked him very much. He inspires me to think and challenge myself in ways I have not thought about in a long time. I feel like I have known him for a very long time when the truth is I’ve known him for a very small amount of time. Next week will be two months since we walked into a bar.
I spend a lot of time writing about my search for love. After years of writing about it, it’s very interesting that in the past few weeks I have discovered that I was searching for the wrong thing. I was so certain I knew what love looked like that I was unable to see what it really is. Love is grand. It is not a shiny new penny, but rather a worn out shoe. The Englishman is like an old and beat up shoe. The kind of shoe you take care of so it will last forever.
He fits. I don’t need to wear him for a few minutes each day so he gets worn in. He just fits. I have been at this place in relationships before and it always ends badly. I am willing to open myself up to another human being, but in the end I am hurt. The difference here is I have found great shoes, not a shiny penny. He looks at me and I see all I want to be, instead of all I think I am. He has broken barriers and allowed me to peak over the fence to the other side.
I’m not sure that anyone has the perfect pair of shoes, or is even capable of seeing what true love looks like. There are no guarantees when it comes to love. It is what it is, and it will last for as long as it is meant to last. Whether the Englishman and I are beshert, I do not know. What I do know is that he is my friend, he sees me, he protects me, and I am on a path to love. The kind of love that eases sorrow and allows a girl with a broken heart to dream about love again.
I am not fearful to express my feelings here because he gets it. I will always be fearful I suppose that something bad will happen and I will get hurt, but I will never be fearful to tell him what I think. He will look back at the blogs of our time together one day, and see when I began to have feelings for him, and how they grew. That is a blessing. Not sure he agrees, but if nothing else he tolerates my blog and knows that it matters to not only me, but to others.
I want my Englishman to know I am happy and he brings me incredible joy. I have never laughed more in a relationship than I have since I’ve known him, and that is a powerful thing. I love how he treats my child, and I adore his children. We are building something special and if it were to last a week or forever, it will have been worth it because he brings me peace and that has been elusive. This is a lovely man and I feel blessed to know him and have him in my life.
I must also tell you that he is lucky to have met me too. He is a man with a lot of stories and not all of them are sunshine and flowers. He has lived a full life, several actually, and it has made him strong. He is passionate about his children, dedicated to his family, and brilliant at his work. He brings a lot to the table and I am of the belief that not a lot of women are worthy of him. By worthy of course I mean smart enough to take a minute to listen without judgment.
We are not at the same level of Jewish observance which I thought would be hard for me. At the end of the day though, he is Jewish in his soul and while he cannot recite Torah, he speaks with his parents, brothers, children, my son and me from an inherent place of Jewishness. He is a mensch and it shines through whether or not he goes to temple. He is not defined by being Jewish, he simply is Jewish. That said, I will drag him to temple at some point.
I am blessed to have met this man and privileged to know his kids. He makes me happy and that matters. I am going to really try to not sabotage or project myself out of this relationship. I am also going to pray he is not a lying douchebag who is going to be an ass in the end. It will take time and trust, but I’ve got nothing but time, and a desire to have trust. In the end hope has trumped fear. Love is possible so I must enjoy myself, be smart, and keep the faith.