Although, the hour is late, I am choosing to stay up late to update the blog. Last week B”H, we celebrated Benny from graduating from all treatments in the hospital. This past Friday, Ari, Benny and I celebrated the last time Ari will ever have to give his son a shot in the leg IY”H. We reminisced how in the beginning of Benny’s treatments, Benny would point to which leg he wanted the shot in. Then he sat quietly as Ari gave him the shot. Then he went way beyond the call of duty and gave his Daddy a hug and kiss after he got the shot. I am not sure who cried more at that point, his Mommy or Daddy; probably a tie.
As the shots drew near to the end of it’s cycle, Benny no longer pointed to the leg of choice and instead said “no, no as he waved his hands no! no! Once again, we had tears and begged Hashem to please remove the pain he may feel as a result. B”H after a few pats on the leg after he got the shot and bit of comfort I was able to provide, he stopped crying. Usually within a minute.
There have been many things I have been able to overcome over the course of this year, but there is still one thing that remains on the fear block. Shots, it doesn’t matter if it’s me or someone else. The fact that I didn’t pass out after Benny got his is miraculous in itself.
The reason I am staying up so late is to catch you up on the last few days. I feel a level of excitement that I am sure you will feel as well.
This past Thursday, I received a text message from a close friend (she’s actually my nieces age), but never the less, she’s a close friend or “adopted niece”). She asked me if I would like to join her (and the children she was babysitting) on a trip to Disneyland. After a few minutes, I responded yes. Not quite sure why I said yes. I had just opened a new business venture that morning (sample sale-steep discounts of designer clothing). I said yes for a number of reasons, mainly because I wanted to help her out, it was the least I could do after how much she has helped me this past year with my children. Plus my friend was away and I wanted her children to have the best time possible. (okay, so that is the background)
The trip itself was not easy. It was hot, the lines were long, even with the special pass we got because of Benny, and it took us 2 hours to get home, just in time for me to reopen for business. What transpired as a result of going to Disney, really California Adventure, is nothing short of G-D working in His magic. Is that the magic they refer too in Disney?!
I received an email before Shabbos, from someone I have never met nor heard of. I will share some of the correspondence for you to get the full picture.
“This is completely random, but as I was waiting for my children at Fliks bumper cars at California Adventure park, a lovely woman in a gorgeous skirt walks up with her children, I look up from the skirt (because that is what caught my eye!!), and see ball caps, with “Team Benny” printed on them. I was curious, was this the same Benny I had heard about recently?
So I googled, and I found your blog. What a small world it is, as a friend of mine had just shared your story several weeks ago when we were at a Relay for Life 24-hr event. (Her niece has an aggressive form of brain cancer, she is 17)
I do regret not introducing myself yesterday, but I did not want to interrupt what looked like a joyful family outing. I just wanted to tell you that my family and I have been praying for your son since the Relay event, and it was just neat to see him in person yesterday!
Your words are such an inspiration, as is the journey you have been on. We will continue to pray for Benny, for his healing, and for his very long life. I greatly admire your faith and strength.
Thank you for sharing your story. May you all be blessed in wonderous ways, and may the Lord grant Benny complete healing.”
After responding back with a gratitude of thanks and some questions, I received this email.
“heard about your son at our local Relay for Life event (Thursday was also super last minute for us too!). I did a booth for a young lady, Kayla (who needs so many prayers.) who has an aggressive form of brain cancer. They gave her 6 months back in September 2010, and here she is still fighting. She graduated high school a week and a half ago, and she walked that stage! A miracle for sure.
Anyway, Kayla has an aunt who is an oncology nurse and we were discussing cancer and how more children than ever are fighting it. And Benny was mentioned (I don’t believe she actually knows you, just the story), and she was marveling at the faith and tenacity with which your family has handled Benny’s situation. It was just a comment really about the different ways parents deal with childhood cancer, and how your blog is such a beautiful testament to a woman (and family/community) of faith and positive thinking.
While we had added Benny to our prayer list, it wasn’t until I saw your hats I remembered I had still not seen your blog. I’ve since read every entry, and I’m just still in awe of you and your family, and really how many people around the world are touched by your son. I know that we were at that ride right then for a reason to. It’s been a trying time personally for me, and for some reason, seeing you and Benny like that, it was just as if a calmness settled on me. He emits such a light about him, very much a blessing to all around him.
In the meantime, we will continue to pray for Benny and your family. I look forward to seeing his complete healing and watching some major milestones in his life!! Do you mind if I add Benny to the prayer team my church has? We have one big one(about 2,000) and a smaller one that I pray with on Tuesday mornings throughout the year. (Ladies from my bible study group)
I just have to say again, I greatly admire you and your faith. It’s just amazing. I’m all teary-eyed and goosebumps right now! I still am just stunned at the randomness! Well, kind of, I always tend to have things like this happen, perhaps it’s because I am a magnet, or I just notice things? It is always a great blessing, no matter how/why. I don’t question anymore, I’m just thankful.
I look forward to updates!!”
There are so many wonderful things to learn from this email. The power of a “modest skirt”, making a Kiddush Hashem (honoring G-D) in our actions, and the Achdus, the unity we share in Team Benny and more importantly, as a nation of Hashem (G-D).
I would like to ask for everyone reading this post to say a prayer for Kayla and for all those sick with this horrible disease. Let us pray that Kayla will be cured and one day walk down her wedding aisle as well. Let us also pray that Kayla’s mom to have the strength to withstand this enormous test and that one day she will restore her faith in G-D and humanity.
I know have clarity why I went to California Adventure that day. Thank you J. , for reaching out. I look forward to meeting you one day soon.”