Today, was the first day since we left the hospital that Benny had enough strength to pick out which shoes he wanted to wear for the day, put them on and head outside for a walk down the block. He chose his Shabbos shoes. I didn’t protest. Just maybe that was his way of celebrating he was finally feeling better and wanted to put his best foot forward.
It reminds me of a story of my beloved Zaida Ben ZT”L. I remember going shopping with my Zaida for shoes. He needed dressy shoes for his grandchildren’s and great grandchildren’s weddings. He always took such pride in the way he looked, not in a showy way, but as a Tzelem Elokim. He would shine his shoes every Erev Shabbos and before weddings. When he wore his shoes, even after five years, he would feel as if they were brand new and remind me if I was around that I picked them out for him. He had a way of making me feel so special. This morning, as I watched Benny take his Shabbos shoes out of his closet, he had that very same twinkle in his eye of his great name sake O”H. IY”H may he also be Zoche to wear his shiny shoes to his great grandchildren’s weddings.
Benny spent a good portion of the late morning either walking or riding in the stroller around the neighborhood. We were told by the doctors we cannot go to any crowded indoor places and to avoid contact with children for fear of germs. We took a detour to three different locations. One stop being the bakery where Benny chose a cookie out of the cookie case. As Zaida Ben ZT”L would say, ” I dare you to eat one!” Well, Benny past the test and picked one cookie, the extra large one too!
While visiting the other two stores on our “outing,” I struck a friendly conversation with the store owners and was surprised by the one question both store owners asked me, “what is Benny’s prognosis?” A bit surprised and not quite sure how to answer that, I said ,”It’s up to Hakodosh Baruch Ho (G-D), but IY”H (G-D Willing) it will be good.” How is one to know the answer to one’s future? We can only Daven and hope that we all live a long and healthy and productive life. It wasn’t until later this evening in two separate instances that Hashem validated my answer, and boy was it clear!
Earlier this evening Ari mentioned to me that the Baba Sali’s grandson is in Los Angeles this week and thought about going to him for a Bracha (blessing). I did not think too much into it until I got up to a page in a book that I have been reading (tonight) called, “As Long as I Live,” by Aharon Margalit. Basically, this holy man is faced with a medical crisis that will affect the rest of his life. Lo and behold, Mr. Margalit goes on a long journey to Nahariya (northern Israel), to get a Bracha from the holy Rav David Chai Abuchatzeira, shlita, grandson of the Baba Sali and son of the Bab Meir, ZY”A. Please read an excerpt of the book of the Rabbi’s Bracha;
After reading this page, I quickly called Ari and told him to please set up an appointment to meet with the grandson of the Baba Sali for a Bracha. After I showed Ari the book, he told me it is not the same grandson, but will set up an appointment regardless. This Bracha really struck a cord as well, being that Benny just underwent a Stem Cell Transplant. Giving Benny a brand “new and healthy” Binyomin Chaim Ben Faigie Sarah IY”H.
The second “coincidence” (no such thing!) was an email I received tonight from my sister. It was a video of Yaakov Shewky singing “Cry no More.” I guess she hadn’t seen it when it came out last February 2012. The message in this video is so much greater than the first time I saw it in February. Not only because of the war that just took place in Eretz Yisroel, but if you look closely, you will see a sick child without any hair on his head. At the end of the video this young child walks to greet his father by the Kotel with a head full of hair! How remarkable is that! When I first viewed this video in February, it was a couple months before Benny was diagnosed. Now after seeing it again tonight, the message hit home. Listen and see for yourself. It’s truly inspirational and quite emotional!
The next time someone were to ask me “what is Benny’s prognosis?” I will answer, “‘LIFE’ which leads to ‘HOPE’ which leads to ‘PRAYER’ and ultimately a long and healthy ‘LIFE’, with the help of HASHEM.”
B”H the afternoon appointment at the hospital went well. Benny’s cells have become engrafted, which means they are beginning to produce on their own and he did not need any transfusions today.
After we got home, we enjoyed a delicious dinner cooked by Racheli. Thank you! It was really special to sit down to dinner with all of our children and hear stories about their day in and out of school. Benny sat on a “big person” chair and babbled a few questions of his own that he had for his siblings. Yehoshua even managed to get Benny to eat a few bites! We look forward to making many new memories as a family once again IY”H!