It has almost been a year since my grandfather Bruno Valabrega died and it was just during Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur that I remember him at his best despite the hilliness he had been living with for the past year. I remember him saying he really wanted to do the Yom Kippur’s fast and wanted to come to synagogue with all of us for the day of atonement. And he did only to later get a cold that turned out to be fatal. But his wish was answered and he was there with all of us above him in the women’s section receiving his blessing and praying together like when we were kids and we all walked together to the temple.
This year everything is different. But different is not always a synonymous of bad.
I am here in Djerba, my grandmother, uncle, mother and father are in Rome, my little sister is in New York, my middle sister in Switzerland and my grandpa is not with us anymore. The whole family is divided on such New Year’s occasion and a lot of other unexpected facts have felt upon my family this past year, but I feel peace inside and the hope that this next year to come will bring us closure from the storm that passed is strong and load.
I am alone in a island in the middle of Tunisia univited to any Rosh Hashana meal because the Jewish community here is very strict and religious and not very open to the outsider Chagim *(although I have an invitation for Shabbat), but I am calm, reflective and very close to the one person I miss the most today, my grandfather. I know he is here with me, watching over me this very moment and he has been blessing my traveling from above all along.
I am not alone after all, I am spending Rosh Hashana` with Nonno Orso right this moment.