I was sitting in synagogue today for Rosh Hashana. I was listening to the music with my daughters and it struck me that I was sitting in the same position as my mother did 25 years ago. It was not the same synagogue or the same rabbi, the music was different and the people were different, but one thing was oddly similar: we were both single moms bringing our children to temple on Rosh Hashana.

It's strange, the things you think about when you're supposed to be praying. I wondered if my mother sat there all those years ago wondering if her children were going to be ok- if my brothers and I would survive in a divorced family, if we would wind up in rehab or forever single or afraid of commitment. Did she worry about her job and her ability to care for the house and her ability to juggle her commitments at work with her commitments at home. Did she pray that God would give her strength, for another day, for another week, to continue to do the best she could and to forgive herself when she fell short?

I wondered those thoughts of my mother because they were the same worries I carry with me today. I prayed that God would help my daughters not be afraid of love, not be afraid of commitment, not be afraid of marriage because their parents' marriage ended. I asked for God to forgive me when I could not be everything to all people, but also for the compassion to forgive myself for transgressions real and imagined, for goals set and missed, for attempts tried and failed. I asked for the guidance to believe that this life is leading me somewhere, to someone and something bigger than myself; to lessons learned and love attempted and hope everlasting.

I also talked to my mom, from my heart to hers above somewhere- no longer in body but remaining in spirit. I told my mom how much I missed her, that being a mother myself is not easy, that I wish I could have understood those years ago that it must not have been easy for her. But that is not the role of children. The role of children is to hold our parents to standards no one can meet. The role of children is to see their parents try to do their best, never meeting expectations but continuing to plow forward nonetheless. It's our children who see the best in us even when we cannot see it in ourselves. Our children bemoan our failures only because they see us as the very greatest version of who we are.

And now I see my mom through clearer eyes. I understand and empathize with where she was, those years ago in temple. So today I forgave her for not being perfect, for doing the best she could, but understanding tempers lost and tears shed. I commended her for doing all that she could, even if she thought it was not enough. Because the truth is, it all was enough. And the truth is, my brothers and I are all ok. And the truth is, that even if we had fears of commitment or fears of marriage, we overcame those and continued to hope for the best. The truth is that the one thing we have instilled in us because of her and our life circumstances, is our ability to continue on, through the most difficult times, through unimaginable sorrow, with an optimism that it will all work out in the end.

After all, this is the life.