This year Chanukah is truly a happy one for me. I have not had a Happy Chanukah since before December 2009.
December 2009 was my first Chanukah alone. I remember returning home after work on the first night of Chanukah. I had set up my Chanukiah the night before and had planned to light the candles and sing Maoz Tzur when I came home from work. Well, I got home, and I attempted to do so. But I couldn't. I could not bring myself to light the candles alone, and to sing the songs. I just was SO SO SO lonely. I had no children with me, no family with me, no friends with me and I was just SO alone. I think I curled up on the sofa and cried.
I did manage to celebrate Chanukah in 2010, more or less -- I was able to be with my brother and his family for some of it, in Baltimore. I was busy -- with work, and a bit of a social life. I was also very much in the mode of accepting my new reality and creating a new reality by planning for my aliyah. It was still not a particularly HAPPY Chanukah yet, for me, but I was trying.
This year, 2011, I can say that it is a Happy Chanukah. I am busy. I have my family close to me. I am not alone. I am not lonely. I have many many good friends. I have two grandsons who are absolutely precious. My youngest grandson just came home from the hospital, recovered from his bout of viral meningitis, B"H.
We gave a present to Gavriel and it was SUCH a pleasure to watch him open it and delight in playing with it. I lit candles with my family, and we sang together. I am meeting many new people, and having a nice life.
Thank you, G-d!
Happy Chanukah to all my family and friends. I love you all...