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Perhaps because my vision of their birth and death one hour later is forever seared in my memory, I never saw them as aging, until this last year. It was a sudden realization that the next two years were going to be very different. I suddenly realized that my wife and I would have been in the process of planning our daughter’s Bas Mitzvah had she survived. To compound the pain, the day after her Bas Mitzvah celebration we would have started planning for our son’s Bar Mitzvah. Two years of planning and celebration that will never be, two years of joy and happiness ripped from our lives forever.
It is important for me to tell the entire story, from the demeaning infertility process, to the exuberance at hearing the greatest news possible, to the prayers for a miracle and the sudden devastating realization that all is lost and that we are powerless to stop it.
I understand that this series will touch on some very emotional issues, and I understand that the process of telling this story will force me to revisit the darkest moments any person can ever experience in excruciating detail, but I feel compelled to give my son and daughter a voice. My son and daughter never had the chance to create their own legacy, and I need to try to provide one for them.
Several people contacted me following my series about my college experience to tell me that I was really telling their story. They felt that I was giving voice to things they had long felt, but were unable to express.
I am under no illusions that I will be able to provide any comfort to those parents in Newtown anytime in the near future, but if I can provide some sense of comfort or meaning, no matter how ephemeral, to grieving parents who know that the pain will never go away, I can at least feel that I have done something positive in the memory of my beloved children, Asher and Devorah.
About the Author: Chaim Shapiro, M.Ed is a freelance writer, public speaker and social media consultant. He is currently working on a book about his collegiate experience. He welcomes comments and feedback at email@example.com or on his website: http://chaimshapiro.com/
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What better proof do we need than the recent war with Hamas in Gaza, dubbed “Operation Protective Edge,” that transformed the pain and suffering of three families into a sense of unparalleled unity and outpouring of love of the entire nation of Israel?
So many families are mourning, and all along we mourned with them.
In addition to his great erudition, Rabi Akiva was known for his optimism.
What can we do to help him stop feeling so sad all the time?
Children with dyslexia or dysgraphia frequently have problems in social relationships.
Israel’s neighbors engaged in hostilities from the onset. The War of Independence was a hard-won battle. Aggression and enmity has followed for 66 years.
The contest will include student-created sculpture, computer graphic design, collage, videography, PowerPoint and painting.
David, an 8-year-old boy on the autism spectrum, recently attended a Friendship Circle event. As he entered he told his Dad, “I love coming to the FC programs ‘cause everyone loves each other.”
Goldsmith himself went on his own “voyage of discovery” to the places where his grandfather and uncle landed and were sent.
Frank proclaimed himself Zvi’s successor and the reincarnation of King David.
Almost immediately the audience began singing and clapping and continued almost without stop throughout the rest of the concert.
As of late, vintage has definitely been in vogue in the Orthodox community.
Just a few months ago, I was having a difficult time getting a refund for a missing product processed via the customer service call center at a major retailer. After spending hours on hold and having my request denied, I sent a Tweet to the company’s Twitter account.
We had suffered through an experience I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. My wife had to go through labor and deliver our children to their deaths, and I was unable to save them or even give them a little warmth while they died.
Special Note: It is an unusual phenomenon that many bereaved parents share. We can almost see our age-adjusted children in our sukkah or running up to us during a family simcha. As quickly as they come, those visions seem to disappear as we go through the life cycle. They are hard moments made harder by the thoughts of not only what could have been, but what should have been.
I had to believe that things were going to be ok. They just had to be ok. We had gone through so much, had sacrificed so much and were doing everything the doctors told us to do. I remember speaking to a hesitant professor in my Ph.D. program about getting an incomplete in her class. The conversation stands out in my mind because, looking back, I can see how odd it must have seemed as I matter-of-factly told her I was too busy for coursework because my twins’ amniotic sack was bulging through my wife’s cervix.
On our first day in the antepartum unit, one of the nurses mentioned how critical every moment of pregnancy really was. “One minute in is worth two minutes out (in an incubator).” We weren’t really expecting a premature birth, but her comment put a fine point on the importance of the care my wife was receiving.
The best way to describe our emotions the morning of our major ultrasound was nervous excitement. We had survived a serious scare with a threatened miscarriage a few weeks prior. My wife was on bed rest at home, but we had no real reason to assume there would be any new problems.
It was only after we celebrated the great news that we were expecting twins that we saw the first sign of problems. First of all, my wife was losing, not gaining weight, even as the babies continued to grow normally. Soon after, routine blood work revealed that my wife was suffering from gestational diabetes.
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