Although the hospital is B”H (Thank G-D) only 4 miles away from home, as I look out the hospital window at the LA downtown skyline, it seems like we are hundreds of miles away from home. My girls are off to sleep away camp tonight, and I am not there to kiss them goodbye. My boys are off to day camp in the morning, and I am not there to wish them an amazing day and kiss them too!
I have not been able to write these past few days, not for lack of trying. We are back in the hospital this week for round 4 of chemo. Unfortunately, Benny is hooked up to chemo for 72 hours straight. It has been quite challenging and exhausting keeping him entertained throughout the day and evenings. All he wants to do is run to the elevators and leave. In previous hospital visits he was given a break and was able to run free in the playground outside. This treatment doesn’t allow him that freedom. Thank G-D so far he seems to be holding up as well as expected. We are so thankful for all your prayers and zechusim (merits) being performed around the clock. By the time I am able to open my computer the hour is late and I am too tired to update Benny’s progress.
There is one particular email I would like to share with you. It was written by a dear friend of mine. We met about 10 years ago through business. This friend started out as one of my best customers in hair accessories and tees and turned into a very close friend.
“So my dear. I won’t even ask how you are as I am sure that there are a range of emotions that are beyond description. I just wanted to share for a moment.
First I want you to know that Benny is in my prayers every night for a full and complete recovery. But equally important I want to let you know that I have made Benny a very important part of my morning. Over a year ago I was at a healing circle for a very dear friend of mine the week before she was about to have a bone marrow transplant. A lovely woman there talked to us all about the power of the healing light that is within us all. She had us all close our eyes and imagine our friend Charisse many years down the road as an old woman, who had gone on to live a wonderful and healthy life. As this old woman, surrounded by her family she would sit and tell the stories of all the love, prayers and strength she received during the journey to complete recovery. A week later she started her treatments and I was one of a number of very close friends that spent many a night in the hospital with her. NIghts that were so scary and hard, but nights that she made it through. I’m happy to say that for the first time since Charisse was diagnosed she has hit her first full year with no sign of her cancer. She is strong, happy, living her life and loving it.
Since the day of that healing circle, I have woken up EVERY morning and closed my eyes and gone into my heart to find the healing light I have within. I have visualized that light going out to all of the people that I love that need it. The morning after you called and told me about Benny I added him to this moment. I close my eyes and I see Benny as a very healthy old man…of 120 years… with no memories of how sick he was as a child. Only the joys of all of the stories he was told about the many, many people who prayed for him and sent he and his family love and strength…combined with all of the amazing memories of the happy and healthy lives he and his family all went on to lead.
I know that this is different than the Jewish prayers that are the backbone of who we are, and as I said, I pray to G-d every night, but I find such peace and strength in the addition of closing my eyes every morning and sending out positive thoughts to those that I love…and I wanted you to know that Benny is with me every night and every morning.
On another note I want to share the impact one of your blogs has had on my life. The day after I read your story about the nail you removed from the street I was out running on a near by track. As I went around the track I noticed a lot of broken glass in one area. I assumed that the town would have someone come and remove it as there was quite a bit of it. The next morning the glass was still there and as I ran I thought about your story of the nail and how other people and animals might get hurt on this glass. So I stopped running and started moving the glass with my foot. As I was doing this two other people came over to help me. While we were clearing it I told them the story of the nail, of Benny and that I was performing this Mitzvah for him. All three of us became better people at that track…and that was because of you.
I love you and send a huge hug to you all.
Amazingly, this email came hours after we had a meeting the previous night with Rabbi Goldberg from Kids Kicking Cancer. During the meeting Rabbi Goldberg mentioned countless times how important it is to breathe in the light and out the darkness. He explained the levels of how the light enters our body to cleanse our Neshama (soul).
At first, you don’t feel it. as you continue to breathe in the light you feel it a little. Sense the light, then it spreads throughout your body. The light gets to the point where its bursting out of your body. Then you reach the point where you can shine the light on others.
This concept is the essence of our existence. To tap into our Neshama, to connect with Hashem and spread His powerful and extraordinary light throughout the world.
Your Teffilos (prayers), Zechusim (merits), acts of kindness, good deeds etc. are that light. They are reaching Benny and giving him the strength every minute of the day and night. Maybe that explains why he has so much energy. Please don’t stop, however, please have us in mind for some of that light, so we have the energy to keep up with his chase.
It was over ten years ago that we first met Rabbi Goldberg and got involved in Kids Kicking Cancer. Around the same time we met Shelley. At the time I designed a line of tee shirts pertaining to KKC and hand painted each one. “Life”, “Love”, “Peace”, “Energy” all with symbols. Shelley was our best customer and sold the most of these tee shirts. It’s truly amazing how a decade later, we are all connected again through the light that permeates Benny.