B”H Benny so far has responded well to the chemo this week. We hope with Hashem’s help he will feel well enough to go home for Shabbos.
Benny’s counts were low today, so he is in the process of getting a blood transfusion as he is sleeping by my side. We pray that the blood be a good match with no side effects I”H. The reason I am sharing this information is because we want to thank the donor for his/her blood and bless them with good health for 120 years and Bracha (blessings). As I mentioned in earlier emails, Benny’s blood type is B+ and that is exactly his attitude throughout this whole journey.
Today was an emotional day on a few fronts. This is only our third inpatient experience, but unfortunately, for others its much longer. You begin to get know some of the families especially the ones the same age as Benny. So when we checked in this week and learned that one of those kids were no longer with us it gets quite emotional. Today, however, was a new beginning when we met a new friend. This room next to ours is occupied by a precious young boy around 11 years old. His mother had stepped out for a couple of hours and he kept himself busy playing with some digital games. I felt bad he was alone and so I asked the nurse if Benny and I could visit. We were told we can only speak to him from the doorway. That was fine. Before we approached him, I asked myself what would my Zaida Ben O”H say to cheer this boy up. B”H, Hashem put the right words in my mouth and we, including Benny had a wonderful dialogue and even made the boy smile. I asked him what his favorite food or drink was. Within a couple of hours Ari was able to deliver him his favorite Coke slurppie. My Zaida O”H used to visit sick children in Seattle hospitals all the time. His favorite game was to have races with the kids up and down the halls. This got the kids out of bed and gave them more energy. After the precious young boy from next door told me he didn’t have energy I said to him, maybe you can have a race with Benny, he loves to run.
This brings me to my next Zaida Ben story. When my Zaida O”H was living in Seattle at the age of 80 he was spending his days visiting my Bubbie O”H in the hospital. During those visits he always made sure to visit other Cholim as well. Over the course of several weeks he became close to a family from Israel that came in for treatments for their 9 year old daughter. The family needed to stay in Seattle for several months on an outpatient basis and needed a place to live. My Zaida offered his home for this family for several months and provided all their needs.
Fast forward 14 years to the Tamer Assisted Living Facility in Jerusalem. This precious 9 year old girl was now a young woman of 24 and getting married at the Tamir Wedding Hall. This family stayed in touch with my Zaida throughout the 14 + years and would visit my Zaida often in the Tamir, where he moved to after my Bubbie passed away. After the wedding ceremony the bride called for my Zaida to join her and her Chosen(Groom) in the Yichud (private) Room. The bride told my Zaida the following, ” Before I left Seattle to go back to Israel you told me three things: #1. I was going to grow up, #2. I was going to get married, #3. You were going to dance at my wedding. So please fulfill your third Blessing and dance with my Chosen (Groom). My Zaida got out of his wheelchair and danced with her Chosen with tears streaming down his eyes. Three weeks later my Zaida was Niftar (passed away) and this new bride came to Shiva with pictures of my Zaida dancing at her wedding. It was an honor to meet this young woman. I said perhaps if you were to have gotten married at a younger age my Zaida would have fulfilled his blessing and may have departed earlier than 96. So I thanked her for the extra years she was Zoche to give my Zaida.
Today, as Benny and I were able to be M’kayim the Mitzvah of Bikur Cholim (visiting the sick), it brought back memories of this story. I”H may these precious boys of ours grow up to celebrate their Bar Mitzvahs, Weddings, children’s, grandchildren’s and great grandchildren’s weddings.
There is not a day that goes without my Zaida in my heart, mind and soul. B”H we are so fortunate to have his namesake and my Zaida’s characteristics in our delicious Bennylicious! I”H may he be Zoche to meet you all in person and bless you too and dance at your Simchas (celebrations). He’s quite a dancer too!