Miracle #10: Just before Shabbos my daughter-in-law’s mother, Malka, appeared with a jar of cooked vegetables and another with cooked fruits. I insisted that she take them home, since I wasn’t allowed to eat and didn’t want the food to spoil. My nine-year-old granddaughter, who had just arrived with my daughter, told Malka not to listen to me. She quickly found a piece of paper and wrote my name on the bag and placed it in the refrigerator near the nurse’s station. Little did I realize how important this would be.
Miracle #11: I asked my son to leave a message on my home answering machine to call me in the hospital – but he left the message on my American line instead of my Israel line. So I had no phone calls and was able to rest (until I arrived home on Saturday night and found 30 messages).
Miracle #12: On Shabbos morning, a doctor told me that I did not have blood clots, just a bout of gastroenteritis. So I was disconnected from all the infusions, given antibiotics by mouth and told that I could eat. I was starving after three days without food and eagerly awaited the food tray. I had told the dietician that I am gluten-sensitive and do not eat white flour or white sugar. Thus, I was shocked to see the tray, which consisted of jello, chocolate milk, white cheese and white bread! Later on, I was served chicken soup made from more chemicals. When I protested to the head nurse, she said, “This is what people with sensitive stomachs need to eat.” Baruch Hashem, I was able to eat Malka’s healthy food.
Miracle #13: Since I was freed from all the tubes, I was able to take long walks around the hospital grounds and revel in the freedom to move without worrying that I might die. As I was going back up the stairs to my room, I overheard two men talking. A man named Straus said he was looking for a plot in the Beit Shemesh cemetery. I told him I had just such a plot that I didn’t need (I bought it before I knew that Israeli citizens get free plots). Not wanting to talk business on Shabbos I didn’t go into details, but said that I have such a plot and asked for his e-mail address. Even though the e-mail I sent him was returned when I wrote to him, I still count it as a miracle that I heard those words just at the moment I was walking up the stairs.
Miracle #14: Most of the nurses were very nice, especially one Arab nurse named Madi, who permitted me to go home on Motzaei Shabbos even though I was supposed to stay until Sunday morning. I got a different view of Arabs from that hospital stay.
Miracle #15: As I didn’t want to bother my son, although he had offered to pick me up, I got into a cab. Most Israeli cab drivers are quite pleasant, but this one was not typical. When I asked to see the meter, he angrily replied, “You Americans! All you care about is money. What does it matter if it’s one shekel more or less?” When I calmly stated that I had the right to see the meter, he retorted, “You’re an old lady! What do you care?” I calmly insisted that I wanted to see the meter, which got him even more incensed. “What a nudnik, such a kartzia [a blood-sucking flea]! If your husband hasn’t already thrown you out of the house, he should!”
Now, here’s the miracle. In the midst of all this, I was aware that Hashem sent this man as a gift. After all, it’s written in Rosh Hashanah 17a that one who is insulted and doesn’t insult back has his sins wiped away. So here is Hashem, wiping my slate clean just days before Rosh Hashanah. I could only feel gratitude and love!
Miracle #16: The next day my son, who lives in New York, called to see how I was feeling. He’s 30 years old and I’ve been praying since he was a teen that he stop smoking. So I was thrilled when he said, “Mom, I was so worried that you might die, chas v’shalom, and I was thinking that I’m not taking my own life seriously if I still smoke. So I asked myself, ‘What can I take on for my mother’s recovery?’ And I decided to stop smoking.” Nothing could have made me happier! If I had not been misdiagnosed with blood clots and had not told him that my life was in danger, he might not have taken that step. It was the misdiagnosis that got him to make the decision to stop smoking. If I had to go through all that pain just for this, it was well worth it!