someone from the synagogue forwarded me an email today that they had received from JM. he's living in israel now and has launched a new business. its so fascinating to me. before he was a rabbi, he was a high school english teacher. that seemed so funny to me because he was such a rabbi. he often joked about the novels he would one day write or his plan to take up gardening one day, once he was a retired rabbi. instead, he's building houses in israel.
we don't talk. we haven't talked in eons. we were texting one another every once in awhile and trading voice mails from time to time but i don't think we've really talked since the day i gave my notice in february 2010. things went crazy after that and we just never talked again. he and the board were at war and i was in the middle. he kept me at arms length, and only spoke to me when absolutely necessary. he was my boss and my friend and he just stopped speaking to me. it was three months of awful.
during that time, everyone else was talking to me, questioning me, whispering in my ear. people said some terrible things. but also some things that were just painful for me to hear, even if that wasn't their intention - "how can you not know what's going on? you used to be his right hand!" yeah, thanks for the reminder.
i shut down almost completely during that period. i wasn't sleeping, i wasn't taking care of myself or any of the things i was responsible for outside of the temple. we had our gas turned off at home because i'd just forgotten to pay it. i was a mess.
then, in may of 2010, we ran into him at the cemetary i hadn't seen him since he'd been, well, since he'd left the temple. i had called him once or twice to say "shabbat shalom." after years of saying shabbat shalom to him as i left on friday afternoons, it felt odd not to. i like to think he appreciated those calls. anyway, we were at the cemetery for shawn's grandfather's headstone unveiling. we stopped at the office to find out where to go and there he was, coming out of the office. he was there for another headstone unveiling. it was awkward at first but nice, exactly like running into an old friend. he joked with shawn a bit. he told me some day, maybe in a couple of years, we'd really talk about everything that happened but for now all he could say was that he missed me and loved me. he hugged us and walked away. i remember looking at shawn and he had the same confused look on his face that i'm sure i did. what the hell had just happened?
here i am, over two years later and i still have no idea what really happened and i just learned about his new life from a forwarded email.
i am actually shocked at how ok i am with that.