If you’re as avid a viewer of the BBC “soap” Eastenders as I am (fan since day one in 1985, and still watch every episode), you know the importance of “fam’ly”.  You probably also know this if you’re a big fan of The Godfather, like my husband, but then it’s more about the famiglia.

Anyway, I just got home to Israel from a week in London visiting my family. My little sister had a beautiful baby girl a couple of weeks ago, and for the first time since any of my 8 nephews & nieces were born, I am finally close enough to go meet her as newborn.

Unfortunately I contracted a virus for the last two days of my trip, but until then, I had 5 days of amazing family time. I stayed at my sister’s & brother in law’s, so I got lots of newborn squishy baby cuddles, plus I got to witness firsthand that she does the whole brand-new-baby-in-the-house a lot better than I ever did. I watched my nephews and niece learn how to hold and burp their new sister, and I got to enjoy just being with them when they weren’t at school. I managed to see my “big” (not older) brother for dinner before he rushed off to Manchester for work, and we didn’t even have an argument. I spent an afternoon with his four boys, and I was able to hang out with my sister in law for a few hours where she wasn’t working like mad as a doctor. My baby brother met me at the airport and dropped me off again when I was leaving. He also took me out for dinner one night, and I got to see him over Shabbat. I saw my parents every day.

And then I came home. And it’s wonderful to be home with my husband and my kids and my dog, and in Israel. But I miss my family.

Every time we are all together, the siblings, our significant others, my parents, the kids – and it happens far too rarely, and almost never with everyone – I realise how lucky I am. My family is far from perfect – show me a family that is – but we are a fantastic family.

We are four siblings who love each other in spite of our differences. We are all so different, and yet we get along. Put me in a room with my brothers, my sister, my parents, my husband, my brother in law and my sister in law, and I can tell you this:
What we will argue about, who will pick on whom, who will blame whom for what, who will be blamed for a lot, and who for nothing at all. I can tell you that it won’t matter, because we all laugh at ourselves and at each other, and there is so much love there, that it can’t be quantified. Each of us has traits that annoy one another, but each of us has qualities that everyone loves.

I’ve lived away from my family for 24 years, and while I’m used to it, I hate it now more than ever. Thank God for our family Whatsapp group – it’s the only group that I don’t dread hearing the notification for. We’re all on it, and sometimes what happens in that group is so ridiculous we could star in our own sitcom. It’s easy to feel like we’re all together this way, even though they’re all “there” and I’m over here.

I hear friends talk about their own families and the discord between them and siblings, and I feel blessed. So this soppy blog post is for you: Mum, Dad, Barry, Lyann, Laura, Jon & Jeff, L, A, D, Y, A, M, E & Y.

I wish Mashiach would hurry up and ride in on his donkey so we could all live nearby like fam’ly should.



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