FOLLOWING MY HEART
In 1966 at the age of 19, I left the States, moved to Israel, married my husband, had four children and for 34 years lead a “typical” Israeli life. This changed dramatically for me in Dec. 2000, when my husband, whom I loved dearly, suddenly passed away.
After some time, I decided I wanted to meet someone in the hopes of finding a new partner. I signed up on a dating site and started dating Israeli men.
In August 2004, I was approached by a certain American man. In the past, Americans had approached me but they never interested me since I could not imagine anything developing because of the great distance. But this guy was different.
We started corresponding, then talking on the phone, and at a certain point we decided we wanted to meet somewhere in the middle. In October 2004, the “somewhere in the middle” was the De Gaulle Airport. We had 10 fabulous days, first in Paris and then touring the northern coast of France, and when it was time to say goodbye, we realized we had a problem. We did not want to part. Saying good-bye was very difficult for both of us. I returned to Israel and my friend returned to Kansas City, Missouri.
In February 2005 I came to Kansas City for a two-week visit and the following May, my friend came to visit my family and me in Israel. It was then we decided that we wanted to be together.
In June 2005, with my family’s support, I left my job, my home and my loved ones and moved to Kansas City.
The culture I knew and lived in for 39 years was so completely different from what I found in the Midwest and nothing like what I knew as a child and youth growing up in New York.
In addition to the life-style and culture change, the feeling of isolation and being so far away from all that was dear to me, was often almost unbearable.
Adjusting to the new partnership in this “strange” place was, and still is, the most challenging, demanding and rewarding part of my new life. My partner is an extraordinary man and the great love we share is the reason for me being here. We both want it to work.
The time here has been an unbelievable challenge for me, filled with endless tests, gifts and rewards. It was only after the first year that I started to feel I had a life of my own.
In my wildest dreams, I could not have imagined myself at the age of 58 getting up and leaving all that I built and created and all that is dear to me. But I did it, I am doing it.
When I was a young woman, I followed my heart and was never sorry for that decision.
Thirty nine years later I gave myself a gift by following my heart again.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.