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Breaking Even


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Our oldest daughter recently came to visit us from Eretz Yisrael. We wanted to be sure to give our children a good time together in order to properly mark the special occasion. We decided that it would be fun to take everyone roller-skating after Shabbat at a rink not far from our house. Little did we know that the evening would mark the start of a dramatic change our family life.

Everyone was excited about the plan. After each of us signed the required papers releasing the skating rink from liability in case of injury, the children tied up the long laces on their skates and dashed into the rink. Since I was not an experienced skater, I chose to be the family photographer instead. I was having a wonderful time taking pictures, while watching my husband and the children enjoying themselves.

About midway into the skating session, the lights were turned off and the skaters began exiting from the rink. Suddenly, one of my children rushed over to tell me that my husband had been injured. I rushed over to him as fast as I could and was surprised to see four adults examining his bruised foot.

It seems that my husband and daughter had been skating together and had lost their balance and fallen. Several adults accompanied my husband to the car, and I drove him to a nearby hospital. X-rays in the emergency room showed several fractures to the fibula and tibia of the left leg. Though the doctor in the emergency room wanted to admit my husband for immediate surgery, we decided to return home and carefully consider our treatment options. In the meantime, they gave my husband a heavy splint to support the length of his foot and leg.

That week, all of our children stood by their father’s side, ready to assist in every way. My daughter from Israel especially wanted to do anything possible to help my husband rest more comfortably. My husband was so proud of her desire to give, and the two of them grew closer with each passing day. It was such a heartwarming sight, and it helped to alleviate some of our pain over the terrible situation that my husband was forced to endure.

There are events that occur in the development of a family which leave their mark on the feelings we have towards one another. This child had the integrity to realize that her relationship with her father had met some difficult challenges in the past, and so she now seized the opportunity to rectify the damage. She mentioned more than once how happy she was to have this opportunity to repair the relationship.

May all of us have the wisdom and honesty to correct our mistakes. May we look forward to peace in our homes between family members. Let us remember that one of Hashem’s names is “peace.” Living in peace and harmony with one another, therefore, can be an achievement that serves to bring holiness into our lives. Repair the breaks – you do not even have to go roller-skating to do it.

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