The week between finding out about his mom’s aneurysm and my flight home was one of the longest weeks of my life. I tried to be as supportive as I could while I was on the other side of the world, but I blamed myself for being unable to get home. After taking my final exams, I had Shabbat one last time at a synagogue in Shanghai, and boarded a plane for the States that Sunday afternoon.

I was still recovering from the mixed emotions of seeing my boyfriend for the first time in months combined with reverse culture shock, but all of those distractions went out the window when I saw her lying comatose in the hospital bed. Instantly, a flood of memories from twelve years before came rushing back.

I don’t pretend to know why things happen the way they do. I trust that it is all a part of a larger, clearer picture that we just can’t see yet. I have faith that there is good in everything that is seemingly bad. We have a choice on how we react to the situations that we find ourselves in. And, at that moment, I knew I was placed in that situation for a reason. I’d like to think that my boyfriend’s mom waited until I was back to pass so that I could be there for her son.

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