It’s been a difficult year for our family. Lots has happened since late December of 2013 and early January. And here we are in November 2014, and we are celebrating the birth of our 5th grandson, thank G-d. Yes, our second son and his wife had their third son this past Wednesday.
After illness comes recovery for some, whether it’s a complete or partial recovery. But throughout that process, I have experienced various emotions, from sadness, frustration and mourning all the way to happiness and fulfillment.
It’s as if the challenging times gave birth to happy times.
By talking about my past year, I don’t want to minimize what others go through. Nor do I want to over-dramatize what my family and I experienced. Everyone has rough times. No one is free from challenges in this life, whether physical, emotional or both. I continue to pray for all my friends and relatives who are suffering daily with various issues. When my children were growing up, things were chaotic, crazy and difficult…and fun. And I came out on the others side stronger (I think!).
But this year for some reason was more intense, concentrated into one year.
And this week, after all that, we have a new grandson. That alone gives me the strength to know that bad times are often followed by good times..and so life goes. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
The Year in Review:
Last January, one of our sons was diagnosed with a rare auto-immune disease, called transverse myelitis. He was in the hospital for a few weeks and until the diagnosis was clear, we were quite afraid of what he actually had. Thank G-d, he has recovered almost completely from the illness and is now free of most of his symptoms, but it was scary.
I now appreciate, as does our son and his wife, every bodily function from breathing, walking to using the bathroom. When we realize what can go wrong, and actually have those things go wrong, we are all the more relieved and appreciative when those abilities come back. Our son still has intermittent headaches which is a symptom of the original problem but the neurologists all say that that is part of the process. It can take up to a year or more for total healing to happen.
A few months later, in February, our third son got married – which was a wonderful and exciting event. The day before that, I broke my ankle. You can read all about how I coped with that, as well as lessons that I learned in the process. And now, after three surgeries, a serious bone infection of osteo-myelitis and lots of physical therapy, not to mention 6 months being laid up in bed, I am so deeply appreciative of every step I can take. Limping. Waddling somewhat…but who cares? I’m walking. Little by little and step by step, I’m regaining my strength. I also am appreciative of all the help I got from friends, relatives and acquaintances.
And then throughout my period of being with my casts, splints and not being allowed to weight bear (i.e. “stand on my feet!”), my father was sick with end-stage Parkinson’s Disease, which he had had for 14 years, and suffered most debility the last year. I could not visit my father who lived in NY, because I was not allowed to travel. I could barely speak on the phone with him, because his voice was very weak.
And as many of you know, my dear father passed away at his home at the end of September. Fortunately, I was already able to walk when my father passed, (with crutches and a walker), and so I “hopped” on a plane together with my dear husband as soon as we got the call, and flew to New York from Los Angeles where we live to be at the funeral the following day. Then, I sat shiva with my mom, aunt and siblings and flew back to LA after that.
One month later, I flew back to New York for the Shloshim event, which is the memorial our family organized for the 30th day after my father’s death.
It’s been a whirlwind.
But here we are, celebrating little Baby Hendeles’s birth….
Good times a-coming. Which reminds me: I better get to cooking for Shabbat. Everyone is coming for dinner tonight!