I very often learn my lessons with my foot in my mouth.
I was at the park this week with a few other women. We were discussing the usual pre-Pesach gripes.
Who has cleaned the kitchen, who did their shopping already, who found interesting treasures behind the couch.
One woman said that her parents are coming for the entire holiday and taking them away to a hotel. I gushed about how lucky she is – how amazing it is that she doesn’t have to clean the house, how she gets to spend time with family and on and on. I asked her a few questions about her parents, her background, etc. and I could tell that something was off.
And after gushing for a bit and telling her how jealous I was that she was going away – she quietly told us that her father is dying. And that this is a last vacation together.
You know, we really and truly never know what anyone else is going through. Jealousy and envy are such funny beasts. They come from our own desires – from what we perceive others to have. They don’t come from a reality, from what is really happening with that other person.
And once in a while we are given that wake up call.
I was speechless, as you can imagine, as she described her father’s sudden illness and their plans.
And she turned to me and said, “I bet you’re looking forward to getting back to cleaning that kitchen now, aren’t you?”
“Yes,” I said quietly with tears in my eyes. “I really am.”
And I was reminded, yet again, about appreciating each and every day of my life and about appreciating each of the people who are in it. And who are healthy.
And about appreciating where I am in the world, and what I have, without having to compare my bounty to others. Or their bounty to mine.
Because you simply never know what is behind their bounty or what they have going on in their lives.
May we all approach Pesach with gratitude and joy for where we are in our lives and what we have to fill our hearts and our homes.