Monday, March 20, 2017
There is another aspect of long term illness I want to share. Along the way there are so very many losses and each one is painful. When Yitzi first got sick, I knew with absolute certainty that I would not survive without him. Is it even possible to live without your heart? Without the person who makes me me? We did everything together. He was a very hands on father and husband. He took care of so many things, how could I even manage without him? I feel like it is a bit cruel, to force me to manage without him before I have to. I was perfectly content to die with him, or at the very least, to stop living. And now, I do almost everything on my own and I am not dying. (We have so much help and support from the community, so in no measure am I actually doing it alone, but I am refering to living my life as a mother and wife and friend.) I am going to have to live without Yitzi. I have already lost his smell, his sound, his music, his touch, his easygoing way of taking care of the kids and me. I have to function in a world where for the most part, he is not by my side. It is true that I still have him, and of course I love that and thank G-d for that daily. But the losses, well they are there to great me every night instead of sleep.
*These same symptoms would apply to people suffering prolonged abuse of any kind as well.
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Every once in a while, you hear of someone so special they change your world forever. This was the case for me with Adam and Lia Kreif. Adam was diagnosed in July with a rare form of blood cancer and his story became very public as we joined him and his family in their search for a bone marrow donor. We all had our cheeks swabbed in the hopes that we would be a match. Over 60,000 of us did. We watched and waited and cheered when a match was found. Not only for Adam but quite a few lives were saved in this process. We prayed and took on more and more good deeds, kind deeds, whatever it would take to rock the heavens. We had his entire family in our minds constantly. What a very beautiful family, so young and with so much love you can feel it just by looking at the pictures. I am not one to give reason to what G-D does, but I do know, that G-D has a plan, and this week G-D took Adam back to the eternal home of our souls. Today I went to visit his wife and family. There are very few things that would comfort someone at this point aside for a hug and a shoulder to cry on, but I will share with you a thing or two. The pain we feel is directly related to the love we feel. If we are lucky, then the pain is excruciating. That means the love was so very powerful and special, and this is a gift we do not all get. So don't hide from it, it is not a bad thing, it is a reflection of the love we have, and that is a blessing. I also feel strongly that a husband and wife are part of each other. They are souls that are on equal grounds and they complement and complete each other in many different ways. As much as Adam touched us all, so did his wife. The love we see reflected in his eyes is the love for her and the love received from her. But maybe even more important then those two is their personal loss. Although we are all sad and broken and feel like we have lost a brother, Adam's family actually lost a brother, a son, a father, and a husband. We can cry with them, but we cannot begin to imagine the loss of such a remarkable human being to those who are his family.
If you have not yet had the opportunity to get your cheek swabbed, please do. You can save a life and what is more important then that?
Sunday, March 12, 2017
I breathe a deep somewhat disappointed sigh of relief. Purim is over and it wasn't awful. It wasn't fantastic either. Every day is a concerted effort to be positive and happy and Purim is no different in that way, oh but what was.... The joy the festivities, our Chabad house and our friends. They all weigh heavily on my heart and mind today. It is such a privilege to have a Chabad house and the Purim festivities, and being so busy and so tired you can't breath. Now we are home with too much time. Our home is far away from where our hearts are. We have so many new friends, but what about our before friends? The ones who we loved and the ones who loved us when we were just us. The space between reality and memory are ever growing. This is the fifth Purim since our lives changed. It is harder and harder to be positive and upbeat. It is these days, the ones where it is a Mitzvah to be happy that I find so challenging. The days that were defined by the energy of Yitzi, that I miss so much. Let's just hope the Mitzvah of being happy is counted by the minute and not the day. Perhaps then we did alright.