I'm back in Israel after a few weeks working in the US. Of course it's hard saying goodbye to my family here and crossing an ocean but there is something nice about life being so compartmentalized. When I'm in KC working, that's all I really have to focus on. My mom even packs my lunch! Speaking of crossing oceans, the flight to the US was incredible. Before we had even completely boarded the plane a flight attendant was injured so I stepped forward to help. I would classify her injury as "minor" and so really all I did was reassure. Well, was my reassurance rewarded. Thank you US air. I didn't really think much of what I had done (because again it was so minor) but after dinner had been served, they moved me to first class. Oh yeah baby. I got to lie down on an airplane. The captain even came out and gave me a hand written thank you and personally thanked me. They treated me as if I had performed a life saving procedure. It was pretty cool. On the flight back I saw the flight attendant who had been injured and fortunately she was fine. I got thanked again but no upgrade. No problem, I was so tired I actually slept in the upright coach position on that flight. Anyway, it was great being back in the ER for a few weeks. I am always reminded what a great team I work with and how wonderful my colleagues and co-workers are. Life at chez Mom and Pop was grand as always. My parents definitely know how to make life sweet. I stayed an extra few days to spend time with my dad. If love could keep someone alive I know he would live forever. Just seeing how their community and really amazing friends love and support my parents is a tremendous source of comfort.
Moving to Israel means not seeing family in US as often and I was not looking forward to saying goodbye to my dad, not knowing if we would see each other again. One thing is when you have a father as great as mine I guess there isn't a final goodbye because the love he gave will last my whole life. And since he is beating the odds we are all hoping for more time spent together.
The final night packing for my return flight was like watching one of those episodes where clowns keep getting into a small car and you can't figure out where they are going. I got upgraded to first class for the domestic part of my flight which is great not because you get a bag of pretzels and can reminisce about what it used to be like to fly, but because you can bring two bags and don't have to worry about the 50 pound weight limit!! My mom packed those bags so full, I don't know how she did it. Really, you can buy pretty much everything in Israel (except for Life cereal which somehow early on in my parenting days got classified as a non-sugar cereal even though I suspect it is a sugar cereal so naturally my kids beg for it) but things are more expensive here so I guess a perk of the long commute I have for work is getting to bring inexpensive goods from the US. We didn't come close to the 70lb limit per bag but with things like Life cereal and chex mix you can imagine.
Returning to Israel was great. I find myself more and more familiar with the flow and I do not take for granted getting to stand in the line for "Israeli Passport" holders when I return. Michael held the fort down but I definitely have my work cut out for me in terms of organization. L and one of her friends have been collecting bottles to recycle and give the money to a local organization that helps the poor. So we have lots of bottles that have yet to be redeemed. She also apparently brought into science class an onion which had sprouted a long green stalk. It was somehow relevant to what they are learning. In the meantime, A has taken to picking out her own clothing (as I was away) and apparently her fashion sense leans towards refugee style. De gustibus non est disputandum.
I'm meeting tomorrow with the folks at the ER in Jerusalem where I will be doing my 3 month "observation" period in order to be completely able to work as an ER doc in Israel. I have been told that it will be a radically different experience from what I am currently used to in the ER. Don't worry, I will keep you posted and let you know. Absentem laedit cum ebrio qui litigat.