Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My mom, my little one, and myself

My mother now can talk. She is able to eat real food. Not only that, she is beginning the long and painful process of moving her body, sitting up, hanging legs off the side of the bed, possibly even standing, but that won't be for a while.

Now I *really*want to go back to the US to visit her. I won't, though. It's not the right time. It will happen, b'ezrat Hashem (with Gd's help), but not now. My place is here.

While the miracle continues, I am amazed and grateful to Gd. That emotion though is mixed up with something else. It has taken me a while to understand what that something else is. Why do I still cry tears of sorrow when I know she is miraculously getting better? I actually spoke to her for the first time last night; the first time in over two months. I heard her slow, murky voice, and she for sure recognized me. I should be overjoyed! In fact, I was. I cried tears of joy right afterward. I told her she was my hero, but I'm not sure how much she heard because we got cut off. Shortly thereafter a deep sadness settled in with me.

I realize that two things are happening: one is that our prayers are being answered and she can breathe without machines. She is improving against all odds. The second thing however, is (and it feels selfish to admit this) that I am mourning not having a mom. I am not talking about life and death, Gd forbid. I am talking about getting on the phone and chatting for an hour. I am talking about how sad I get when I see a mother & grown daughter going around together. (It's the kind of sad I used to get when I saw a pregnant woman.)
I am mourning the fact that the mothering I used to receive is gone. I pray it will return, but deep down I know that she will need the rest of her life to recover from this. I know it seems selfish, but at the same time of celebrating her life, I am mourning her mothering.

I keep praying hard for her to FULLY recover. בריאות הנפש, בריאות הגוף. This is the way we (Jews) pray for health for someone; it means for a healthy soul, and a healthy body. I always love that soul is written first. We must remember that it isn't full recovery until we have a healthy soul. *That* is my prayer for my mother.


On a lighter note, I have to share with you a little vignette of life through Azriel's eyes (remember he's 6):

He lost his first tooth, that is the context.
(Facebook readers, you may have already seen this)

My 6-year-old *really* believes in the tooth fairy. Since his first  tooth fell out (significant milestone!), it got lost from under his pillow. Must have been when the house cleaner changed all the sheets. In it's place, he made a picture of a tooth and put it under his pillow. 
This is the picture of the tooth. He did it in light blue pencil, so it's pretty light.
Robert wrote under it "Azriel's tooth", then after that "השן של עזראל ". 

He has a whole theory about tooth fairies: they live in deep holes under houses, and come to give money when appropriate. They don't work on Shabbat. When they give shiny coins the kid is supposed to save them and not spend them. And the reason we never see them is because they are intangible. Yes, he used that word all by himself; where he got it I don't know. This kid... this kid... he's amazing. I want his innocence to never be shattered. How do I do that?



So.... what about me?
Well, I continue to be on the path of recovery, but it is  v e r y  slow. I finally got back into the pool at the health club after a three month hiatus.
(They were very nice about freezing the account for part of the time). 
I realized that I don't have the range of movement I used to have before the surgery. Even when the hip had the before surgery problems with pain, it was better than where I am at presently. I can't do the open "frog" kick for breast stroke, it hurts too much. I used to do breast stroke a lot before the surgery. I keep saying to myself what Dr. Rath said, 3-6 month recovery. In one week's time, I will be at the three month mark. I use one crutch usually, and continue to do physical therapy. It still takes me a long time to get in the car (but I have no trouble driving short distances). I have medium-style pain still, but when I think about the fact that I wear the patches of Fentanyl, I wonder what it would be like without!

Tomorrow is the three-month follow-up, in Tel Aviv. Since I am feeling a little sick today, I hope I'll get there, but theoretically that is the appointment. I am very interested to know what he thinks of the progress. I have a feeling he'll say 'yup, looks fine. Carry on like that.' 
Though every time I think I know what a doctor will say, I am usually wrong. So, I'll let y'all know. Of course.

I am going to take a nap now- I am unusually tired and not feeling well.

Everyone enjoy Israel Independence day coming up on Wednesday! That was also a miracle... just to be able to live in an independent Israel. There is a lot to be grateful for!


  1. The story about your mother's recovery or beginning of it, is nothing short of amazing, astounding, wow. May we continue to hear good news from your corner of the world!!!

  2. wow - that's wonderful news - bsorot tovot!

  3. What a blessing you have Sarah. cherish the fact that your mother is still here to tell her you love her, and to hear it back. You had a taste of not hearing it back it is one of the most painful moments in a child's (adult child) life to never hear it again!! Send my regards I know your father is grinning ear to ear!!
    Danielle Cohen Halper

  4. May you continue to have bsorot tovot!
    Leiah Elbaum

  5. Haven't written for awhile, friend, but I've been thinking a lot about you, and about your mother's crisis and miraculous turn-around. Maybe I'm being totally off the wall, and if so, please forgive me. But it occurs to me that your response to your mom's situation goes even deeper than you've shared. Your mother is going through much the same thing that you went through. You both were felled by insidious but raging infections. Both of you were near death, both of you had/have incomparable teams of doctors, family, and friends to treat, support, and pray for you. And both of you have come through The Valley of the Shadow of Death and are, Be"H/BH, beginning to heal. It would be inconceivable to me that you're not totally jolted by it all. You talk in your blog about the mourning that is accompanying your gratitude. What could be more normal? You know how your mother's illness is affecting you, your father, other family members; it's not a great leap to think (still/again) about how your own siege has affected the people dearest to you. Sympathy, empathy, sadness that everyone has had to go through it all--could your reaction be any more normal or understandable? Absolutely not! You're experiencing the same range of emotions from different perspectives--daughter, wife, mother--and it can't help but be painful. You also have some idea of how difficult her recovery may be, which also can't help but distress you. I hope and pray that her recovery is fast and complete and that you'll be able to spend as much time as the Almighty gives you loving and enjoying each other in good health and happiness. And I pray that the mourning and grief will subside, leaving you with only love, hope, and gratitude both to G-d and to your family and friends.

    Mardi Zeiger

  6. amazing news about your mothers recovery. may she be able to come back soon to Israel in excellent health with your dad. chag samaech, rochel.