This is a difficult topic to discuss but I will just put it right out there: I am going through menopause.
Going through menopause means that you will, at any given time: have hot flashes, be irritable, get dizzy, be tired, and lots of other fun stuff I will leave it to you to look up and memorize at such time that it is your turn.
As things stand it appears that menopause is quite the taboo topic. You are allowed to discuss it with: your mother.
Also you can discuss it with any people of the female persuasion (are we still allowed to say female or is that politically incorrect now?) who appear to be in their late 40s-early 50s.
When I tried this exercise with a friend at synagogue she said OH MY GOD, I FEEL YOUR PAIN DANNIELLE and then laughed a wild, loud laugh.
“You gotta get yourself a lotta, lotta herbs, my friend.”
“More herbs? I have a cabinet full.”
“Yesssssss,” she replied. “And soy milk. Lots, and lots of soymilk.”
My other friend, from work, also happens to be going through “the changes.”
How do I know this?
She walked in to a meeting — it was freezing cold — and stood there mopping sweat off her brow.
Like a drug dealer I sidled up to her and whispered, a little too loud:
“Soymilk? Soy pills? Hormone replacement therapy?”
“Nah, I don’t like any of that stuff,” and waved me off. “I would rather sit here and SWEAT.”
To each her own, to each his own.
But God has not forgotten me.
I went to synagogue yesterday sick again from the faintness.
At one point in my life a rabbi suggested that He has better things to do than “micromanage our lives.”
Maybe this is true, but God’s infinitely loving and caring micromanagement was fully on display yesterday, in what could only be a miracle.
I went back home, not able to sit in the service at all.
I sat on a chair in the kitchen, defeated.
Every week I go to synagogue. It’s part of my personal 3-step recovery program, what I call “Back to Faith.” Now bear in mind I don’t do any of these perfectly, but they are the observances I focus on:
- Observe the Sabbath.
- Keep kosher.
- Go to synagogue with my family every week.
Inevitably every week, something comes up to block me from going to synagogue. A minor spat, a bit of rain, over-involvement with whatever I’m doing at the moment, excuse after excuse.
This week it was menopause.
So I’d been defeated by the gremlin of anti-religion, at least for the moment.
And then a thought came to me, seemingly out of nowhere:
“Boil four eggs and eat them. You can go back to shul (synagogue).”
Instantly I knew that God had made a miracle.
The dizziness that made me unsteady on my feet was caused by a hormonal imbalance.
Looking it up quickly online confirmed it: Eggs have progesterone. Eat eggs to combat the dizziness. (Here’s a page with Chinese change-of-life remedies, including that one. Don’t use this advice as a substitute for seeing a doctor, please.)
I boiled four eggs and they came out perfect. I ate them hurriedly, not wanting the family to come home before I had a chance to return.
I was scared to go back. What if the eggs didn’t work?
So I waited five minutes.
Within five minutes, I was fine.
This isn’t the beginning or the end of the miracles. There are too many to count. I know them, I feel them almost daily.
I understand that the fact I am alive, that God keeps me here to do what needs doing and to take care of my family, is a miracle in and of itself.
My daughter asked me yesterday:
“What does observance mean to you? How do you decide which things to keep and not keep?”
“It wasn’t my decision,” I explained to her.
“Left to my own devices, I wouldn’t have been religious.”
“Then what is it?” she asked.
“God has made it clear to me, I have no choice.”
“What does that mean?” she said, her eyes dark and worried.
“Either I find my way back, or He’s taking me.”
There is a strange joy in knowing that God cares about you so much He will go to any length to keep you on the straight and narrow.
It is a strange but very real journey I am on.
I tell you the truth as it appears to me.
What you do with that information is always your choice.
As the Jewish New Year comes upon us, may God bless us all, with good health, peace and prosperity.
Posted by Dannielle (Dossy) Blumenthal September 10, 2017. All opinions are the author’s own. This post is hereby released into the public domain. Photo by Ruth Lindsay via Pixabay.