Dear Imma

Yeela told me to write you a speech. Then Yeela told me to write you a speech again. Then again. Then she got mad at me for not writing a speech, because I should have written a speech. When I could hear the intensity rising over the phone (she got that ability from you), I knew I definitely didn’t want to mess with that voice (a sixth sense that I got from Bushi). So, I forced myself to sit down, and think about why it is that I cannot write a little something for my own mother.

It was an extremely frustrating thought. It is not as if we come from a family of no-talkers or god forbid, in the words of jerry Seinfeld, low-talkers. As a member of the Porat household I can say that the table at Friday night dinner is dangerous and all outsiders should be aware of the verbal crossfire. And it certainly is not like we come from a family who didn’t INVENT Qualie the one (or several) time(s) of the day in which we tickle Tin Tin, in attempts to get information out of him. Essentially, Qualie is nothing but another medium through which we openly share the events of our lives and the thoughts running through our heads with you.

Then what the hell?

And then I realized that for my entire life, all I did was hear how wonderful I am from YOU. So, here is my opportunity to attempt to start, even though I am sure that what I can get across in words is only a mere, tiny fraction of what I truly feel.

Thank you-

Thank you for your spontaneity- Remember the time we wanted to visit NYU and I wanted to leave on a random Thursday night? Then we couldn’t because you had a Stanford event? The only reason we couldn’t leave was that you had a Stanford event. It didn’t even occur to you that it was last minute, or that it’s a hassle to go and find a hotel in NY, or that WE WERE GOING TO FLY TO NEW YORK. I feel this quality mostly now, when I am on my own, and I seem to be one of the few people who can take surprises with a grain of salt. Even a trip to Akko that we are given half an hour to eat lunch and prepare for, I find that I am of the rare few who seem excited by the event as apposed to annoyed by it. I think that this attitude to face life with is within the top 5 of most important things that you’ve taught me. One of the things you say that sticks out in my mind every day is, hadvarim etzlaynu dinamim. Every time something changes last minute, I think about you, every time we invite 20 people to dinner, or every time you invite someone to live in our house from one day to another and your answer is always, hadvarim etzlaynu dinamim. It has become my answer to people every time someone seems thrown off when something changes or when someone is strictly opposed to a change of plans. I learned that life is unpredictable and there is no point in attempting to predict it. The best way to keep myself sane and to enjoy the moment is by knowing that the next moment is likely to change, for better or for worse, and even if I don’t like what is happening, the moment after that is also likely to change.

Thank you for being a person who everyone loves. Not only because they have to but because it is impossible not to. Thank you for making the video such a pleasure to make. Yeela and I were looking forward to meeting your old friends and it was a pleasure hearing all the amazing things they had to say about you (which you never said about yourself.) Thank you for being a person who my friends love and actually lead me to suspect that they are my friends solely for the fact that they can talk to you. Lauren, for instance, sits and talks to me only because there is a slight chance I will ask her to call you and tell you to go online.

Thank you for DEMANDING that I always follow my heart and always supporting me on everything I do. Throughout my life, all I got was positive feedback and impenetrable support from you. Whether is was when I first hated elementary school and you volunteered in the classroom almost every day to be there with me. Whether is was when Ms. Bassett was being a bitch and you basically told her that she’s dumb and to allow me to be creative. All the mess with the Tzofim; which you spent unfathomably long hours calling, writing, and protecting me under your wing. Or all my difficulties deciding between NYU and UCIDF, not to mention the difficulties of actually moving to those places and living there. Every day you had as long as I needed to talk on the phone. You allow me to vent, help me with my problems (even homework, because no distance is too great for you), and you guide me to make sure, no matter how tough times get and how many people I seem to be fighting, I always follow my gut and keep my morals in order. If you didn’t have the faith in me and expect me to be so strong throughout my life, I don’t think that I would have been to stand up for myself and for all those people along the way who I was able to stand up for.

And thank you for loving me so much that I cant help but learn to love myself. Every day, I hear how great I am and how confident you are in everything I do and so every day I walk a little straighter and trust myself a little bit more. The amount that I’ve grown, no one can see but you, because it is thanks to you that I’m at this point today.

Even when you are not here, I get strength from you and from all of the people who love you. Every time I hear Nadav say how he changed just from a few months from living in our house I feel stronger. Thank you for believing that no mistake is too bad, nothing is permanent and everything can be fixed; and that there is no such thing as taking no for an answer, unless I’m being offered drugs.

Thank you for literally, no exaggeration, being the best Ima in the world.

Happy birthday, ve ad 220

Your favorite youngest daughter,