Hillel, the Elder, an ancient Jewish sage, said, “To the place my heart loves, there do my legs walk me.”
On the streets of his childhood, close to Habima Theater in Tel Aviv, Michael swept me to the journey of what his heart loves:
His mother who gave him the world.
His grandmother who washed his little hands with her warm ones every day at noon.
His wife who gathered and returned to him his heart after it stopped and missed a beat.
His heart that went through turmoil, and my still stormy heart met at last on a Saturday morning.
On the way from the coffee shop where we met to the house of Michael’s grandmother, we stopped at his father’s to pick up a pink plastic bag with a freshly baked bun that he bought for his mother earlier that morning. Sometimes, a piece of bread is all it takes to show love.
“The women in my life are my true strength. It’s something… almost lioness-like,” Michael wrote to me. In his gentle way, he said, “You have that too. You’re also such a woman, a lioness.” And inside, my self-doubts shook up into second thoughts.
Two days after our meeting, and after two weeks away from home, I got on the plane that would take me to Texas that my heart currently loves. After landing, three human cubs jumped on me and my chocked-up throat felt ready to roar.
In July 2022, Grandmother Suzanna passed away leaving Michael with beautiful childhood memories of bravery, strength, and love.