The second we are born we begin our journey of climbing a mountain, many mountains in fact. Some have more peaks and valleys than others, but all mountains. Along the way we are challenged with treacherous conditions, sometimes with no visibility. Worries and fears consume our thoughts fairly quickly. Then, there are paths that have magnificent views, too beautiful for words, and can only be seen once you conquered the difficult slope. Many times these views are only visible if you embark on the most difficult path of all.
Mt. Everest, peaks at 29,002 ft. If climbed on its standard route, it does not pose too many technical challenges, however, it does pose dangers with altitude sickness, weather and wind. Why the fascination with this mountain or any other famous mountain that we hear about? The fascination is about the journey and the map leading to the top.
There are many mountains we climb throughout our life time. The mountain of school, climbing up the ladder of grades. The mountain of finding ones soul mate, quite a few peaks and unfortunately valleys too, along the way. The mountain of Parnassah (livelihood), which is definitely bumpy and frightening at times. Then, there is Mt. Everest, which I pray from the bottom of my heart that no one should ever have to climb, the mountain of illness.
Standing before Mt. Everest, looking towards the top, the peak extends beyond what the eye can see. You have a map in your hands that lists the equipment and provisions you will need to climb to the top. The map also gives an estimate to the amount of time it will take to reach your destination, broken down by stops along the way. On the back of the map, there is a list of organizations that can help you along the way, whether it be in the food department, emotional support, moral support and sometimes physical support. And last, the map has tips on how to breathe and take one step at a time.
8 months ago our family was picked up and placed on the bottom of Mt. Everest. There was no advance warning or preparation. We basically had the shirts on our backs and a map of the mountain. At first, it took a few days to even open the map. Once we did, it took another few days to understand the language of the map (still being interpreted). Some of the directions were in a different language. Once we mustered up the courage to survey the area we found several tour guides available and willing to lead us on the journey up.
The road we are on, is not new B”H. Fortunately, or unfortunately it has been traveled before. Unfortunately, it is a very difficult road, but fortunately, there is a map. Unfortunately, there are many steep peaks and deep valleys to cross, but fortunately, there are the most incredible and breath taking views along the way. We just have to be brave enough to open our eyes to see them (not easy if you have a fear of heights!).
We B”H are more than half way to the top. It’s hard to believe! I will never forget the first hour, the first day, the first week, the first month. Actually, you lose track of time, in a way there is no sense of time at all. Most people look forward to holidays and vacations. Our world is centered around completing rounds of treatments and moving on to the next.
Throughout our journey thus far, we have encountered incredible tour guides, and have been Zoche to witness indescribable views of Chessed (kindness).
Last week as we embarked on our new journey of radiation, we received a SOS call from the bottom of the mountain. It was adorable little Elimelech Ben Basya calling for a map and tour guide of Mt. Everest. It is up to all of us, to once again to do our part in helping Elimelech climb the mountain and reach the top with as few bumps in the road as possible.
Just think of it, as any act of Chessed done, is removing the rocks from the path, enabling a smooth and safe and easy journey to the peak. Remember no act is too small!