The month from hell is finally over. It started at 4 am on Jan. 1, when my grandmother passed away. It’s taken me a few weeks to realize the true scope of my loss. Even though it’s been years since she’s been able to “take care of me” when I’m sick, I suddenly felt so alone when I realized she wasn’t going to call and ask how I was feeling. Totally self-centered, but there it is. True adulthood is when we realize that there’s no one to really worry about how rotten you may be feeling, whether from the flu or a broken heart. My grandmother nursed me through many of both.

The month didn’t improve when I went on an annual overnight trip with my company and managed to injure my feet during a 3 hour climb down a mountainside. The trip itself, a combination of Dead Sea spa hotel and some serious hiking in the desert, was wonderful. It was the side effects, two infected toes, that pushed the rest of the month into a downwards spiral.

Just as my toes were healing up enough for me to wear shoes and socks again, the flu began to make it’s way through the household. It was the never-endingest flu in memory. High fever for days, and weakness that lasts more than two weeks. DH was the hardest hit. It knocked him out so badly that he called his mom to come take care of us over the weekend. She came, she cooked, and we slowly recuperated. I lost at least two days. I think I slept through them. My sister came to Israel for my grandmother’s memorial, and we just managed to share some quality time before I got sick. Karen and Matan adore her, and now can’t wait to visit her and her family in San Fransisco. My sister and I managed to have two perfectly matched sets of kids. Both our daughter’s are the same age, and both our sons are too.

Now that February is finally here, and all of us are on the mend I suddenly see that with all the difficulties we’ve had, one thing hasn’t come up at all, Karen’s behavior. If anything, she’s been a champ throughout the month, and has been more helpful than one can expect from any 8 year old. She even goes to the supermarket to bring back emergency milk when necessary. It’s only a block away, but there is a busy street to cross. Mostly it’s an opportunity for her to feel independant, something she loves above all else.

She deserves a post of her own because the last two months have seen a subtle, but dramatic evolution for her. She’s happy, I think, for the first time in her life.