Epilogue to Esther’s Story (Part 5)
The following letter was written by Esther on Erev Rosh Chodesh Adar, a day before she boarded her flight and left America to settle in the Holy Land…
My Dear, Dear Angel of Life, Rachel,
I started answering you early this morning (5:00 a.m.). I could not sleep. Aryeh will be here around 3:00 p.m. and I will be occupied with last-minute things. So, I decided to sit and write my last e-mail to you before I leave the USA.
Rachel, the video has been replaying in my head all night – in reverse. I see the years that have passed by, my anguish, depression and torment. But I try to set that aside and to focus more clearly on the scenes and images that have run past ever since my first letter to you, when I was desperate, broken, and unwilling to go on. You read, you understood and you responded.
Your words were like the cool waters on a tired soul and the soft balm on a sun-scorched skin. They actually lifted me from the deep pit of despair I was laying in. You drew out of my pained soul the bitterness, the desperation, and the will to die. In words as wise as King Solomon, you were able to transform the taste of death in my mouth into a tremendous shot of life’s adrenalin and the will to live, to do and to accomplish.
The fat “shopping-bag lady” I had become has metamorphosed back to the almost original self, both bodily and in a healthier soul. Your support and encouragement peeled off the skin of emotional disaster I had been wallowing in for so long. The kind words and wise advice you showered me with enabled a suicidal woman to seek out the “light at the end of the tunnel” – and what light there was, there is!
Hashem sent you as the redeeming messenger to bring me back from the living dead; the letter you printed brought my son back to me and thrust me into the warm embrace of a loving family I would have otherwise never known to exist. No amount of gratitude can ever say what lies in my heart for you.
And last but never the least – Aryeh!!! To think that had Hashem not given me the thought to finally, desperately, reach out for possible help The thought of Aryeh, the crowning jewel of my return to life and the wonderful breath of hope he has brought me this all, my dear Rachel, will forever be marked in Heaven to your credit.
I know you would have liked to see me, to hear my voice to assure yourself that I am real and you are not dreaming, but I cannot yet do that. Not yet, my dear Angel of Life, who has been there for me, with me, every step of the way to my rehabilitation. Perhaps someday in the future perhaps when I am quite old perhaps
And yes, I am real. I am alive, and I am forever thankful that you came into my life.
Stay well, my Dear Rachel. May Hashem shower you with requited love as you have done for me. Do print my entire story, if you wish. Perhaps someone, somewhere out there in our world, will be helped by reading my story, and it will have been worth it.
Shalom, Rachel, and may Hashem be with you forever and ever.
My Dear Esther,
I do not cry easily, but your heartfelt parting words have moved me to tears.
How apropos that you chose “Esther” by which to disguise your identity – a name that means “hidden.” How appropriate that the date of your departure falls on the day that heralds the month of Adar – a month that celebrates simcha, joy, at G-d’s miracles. And how utterly befitting for you to be crowned Queen by your Prince just as we prepare to commemorate our own Queen Esther.
The happiness I feel for you at this glorious turn in your life is indescribable. You are young yet and full of hope and promise for a beautiful future with a special someone at your side, one who is fortunate to recognize your beauty inside and out. Chasdei Hashem!
At this time, I must beg your forgiveness for anything I ever said in our correspondence that may have hurt you. My intention was only to drag you out of the bottomless, useless and dingy pit you were mired in.
Your praise is too profuse… I take no credit for your transformation. It was G-d’s plan, but I am nonetheless immensely touched and grateful that He allowed me to play a part in it.
From the depths of my being I wish you hatzlachah and a wonderful life filled with endless nachas, joy and fulfillment.
I understand your need for privacy, especially in light of having led a secluded existence for so long, yet I do hope we will one day meet. And who knows… maybe we knew each other in another lifetime…
Please give my best to your adoring son who has my deepest admiration for all that he has done – his kibud eim will stand him well both in this world and the next. He has proven himself to be a model son. (And a model shadchan. Clever and considerate in his strategy, he had you and Aryeh encounter one another without ceremony, keeping his motive to himself – in order to avert discomfort for either of you should nothing have come of your initial meeting.) May G-d repay his tremendous compassion as he goes on to reap much nachas from his beautiful mishpachah for many, many healthy years to come.
Wishing you and all of our readers a sweet, inspirational and meaningful Pesach. Yours, my dear Esther, is sure to be a most memorable one. I’ll be thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers…
L’Shanah Haba’ah b’Yerushalayim!