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Continuing with my walk, I realized that I indeed had help: my roommate’s concern. Returning to bed and falling back asleep, I was jarred awake by another dose of his radio once again blaring torturous sounds and profane language at a very high volume. My request to lower the volume was well received. I felt joy at the human connection we’d made. I asked him nicely and he complied.

Although my condition precluded me from lighting Chanukah candles that week, I felt I had lit my own special candle in that room and that my roommate and I benefited from it.

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Two mornings later, when my roommate left after mutual respect was fashioned, we wished each other well. I told him that I would include him in my prayers. His thanks were heartfelt.

Connecting with him was an important part of my full recovery.

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