Good Things are Happening to You
When I was 20 I lived in Brazil for a couple of months. I learned Portuguese, rolled Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, walked everywhere, danced samba and fell in love three times. I rented a room from an Israeli Brazilian woman named Adina. Brazilian born, her parents moved to Israel after the war to support the growing community of Jewish refugees. After she concluded her mandatory military service Adina moved to Europe and married. When she became pregnant her husband was unhappy and pressured her into aborting her child. There were complications during the procedure and she was told she could never get pregnant again. Her marriage ended after that.
She once told me that she felt life had punished her for not following her heart. She very much longed for that baby and she never truly recovered from her decision and the outcome.
Years passed but her desire for a family never ceded and so she had come back to Brazil to adopt a baby. It was there she found Luca. Brown and beautiful with big round eyes and a calm demeanor he was the perfect baby for her. When I moved in it was just after Luca’s first birthday.
The second story apartment we lived in had tall ceilings and the windows were covered by long white embroidered curtains. Down on the street were the fruit carts and cigarette stands. The musical sounds of Portuguese and honking cars floated up in through my dream catcher filled window.
I would spend the mornings in school, the afternoons at the beach, the evenings at the Jiu Jitsu gym and all the moments in between swinging in the hammock in the living room with Luca in one arm and a book in the other. In that little apartment we would blare music, dance in the living room, joke at the dramatic Brazilian Telenovelas with their titles like “Passionate Women” and discuss the new people’s president Lula da Silva.
For a few weeks in the middle of my stay, Adina had a visit from her cousin Gavriella and her daughter Shai. Luca and Shai were the same age. I watched the two women slip into the ease of a routine that had been established long, long ago.
As the children were tucked in tight, the two women would stay up late smoking cigarettes while sitting on the floor of the laundry room, and giggle and whisper secrets in Hebrew.
One evening they told me the story of the day Shai was born. Adina raced to the hospital to be with Gavriella. In her thick Hebrew accent Gavriella told me the father was a musician, and implied that his being a musician was a sufficient explanation as to why he was nowhere to be found. The two cousins held hands, breathed, screamed, sweated and pushed together. Adina spoke of experiencing a big feeling that day. It was a feeling she could neither describe, nor pin point.
She would find out later upon her adoption of Luca that he was in fact, born the same exact day as Shai. I envisioned Adina, in Israel holding the newborn Shai with a big feeling in her chest while across the ocean in Brazil the nurses were holding the newborn Luca.I came to realize that sometimes good things are happening to you in this world that you don’t even know about at the time.
A good thing could be happening to you right now, in this moment, on this day, on the other side of the world and you don’t even know about it yet!
I recently came across a current picture of Adina and Luca on Facebook. The grey in her hair and the smile on her face reminded me that in the 10 years that have passed since that summer in that apartment, countless good things have happened to me that I didn’t even know about a the time. In this very moment, as I sit in my office typing this up, good things are happening to me that I don't even know about yet.