web analytics
July 23, 2014 / 25 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



What Comes Around… Goes Around (Part One)

(Names and circumstances changed)


 


         The topic of discussion of the support group was our children. How do the children of the chronically ill cope? One parent is sick and needs constant care, while the other is doing double and triple duty to provide that care, bring in an income, bring up the children (most often as a single parent), and still find some moments for him/herself. The well spouse is doing triple duty just to get through the day.

 

         The people in the support group felt that no matter how hard we try our children get cheated. They get less attention, have more responsibility, and often have chronic sadness that comes with living with constant illness in the home. As a result, the children of the chronically ill may act out more and may have a bit of trouble concentrating in school.

 

         Our hope is that our communities, our schools and youth groups would understand our children’s needs and help out. We hope that seeing their life, they will empathize and give our children an added bit of attention, a bit of praise when deserved, an opportunity for an outing that the illness has stolen. Perhaps a time to be with “normal” families and just have fun.

 

         The reality is quite different, even regarding friends. And so our children are often treated in a manner that causes us to be angry and frustrated. Perhaps because of the pain we feel when our children are rejected or mistreated, we wish others would just understand our life. We wish they would just be put in a situation to feel as we feel, hurt for our kids as we hurt. But that wish can be something we live to regret.

 

         Chaya Leah told me that despite her husband’s chronic illness and her own overloaded life, she felt for her friend’s son (I’ll call him Moishe) age nine, who was going to stay at the shiva house every day, while his mother was sitting shiva for her father. No one had offered to take the boy after school, and so she offered to pick Moishe up from school with her own son each day of the shiva. The boys would do homework and play together. Chaya Leah would give them supper and let them stay up late until Moishe’s mother could take him home to sleep. Moishe’s mother could not find the words to express her thanks and gratitude. She said she would never forget the kindness.

 

         A year later, Chaya Leah’s son (I’ll call him Dovid), Moishe and a third friend (Ari) were all to go to summer camp together. As the camp was quite far, the three boys were to fly together and be picked up by the camp at the airport. Chaya Leah was thrilled not to have the worry of her child travelling alone on a plane. She was hoping the three weeks at camp would give her son respite from living with his father’s illness and a break from responsibility. Going with two boys he knew helped ease any fear Dovid had of the new experience.

 

         Just before making the final flight arrangements, Moishe’s mother called. It seemed she had a married daughter in the same city as the summer camp. She had decided to take her son and Ari to visit her daughter a week before camp. There, they would get to tour the city and have fun before camp started. She told Chaya Leah that her daughter’s place wasn’t large enough to accommodate three boys, so they weren’t able to take Dovid along with them.

 

         Chaya Leah cried as she put her frightened son on a plane to travel alone to camp. It had taken quite a bit of convincing to get him to even go to camp, and since he was flying alone, he was frightened. She did not know what to tell him when he asked her why he couldn’t go with his two friends to Moishe’s sister house.

 

         She had heard through the local gossips that Moishe’s mother thought Dovid was a little too active to take along on the extra trip. Chaya Leah wondered why Moishe’s mother hadn’t found Dovid “too active” for her son to spend the week of shiva at her home. Nor had he been “too active” the many times during the year when Moishe had asked to come over to play with Dovid after school.

 

         Chaya Leah kept hearing Moishe’s mother’s words after the shiva week telling her how she would “never forget Chaya Leah’s kindness in taking her son every day of the shiva.” She kept hearing her say she’d find a way to reciprocate. And she couldn’t help but think of the expression “No good deed goes unpunished.”

 

         Chaya Leah remembered that the tears of widows and orphans have a special place with Hashem. She remembered learning that this group’s special place came because they didn’t have security. They had no one to take care of them and they came with broken hearts. She wondered if well spouses were included in this group. They certainly fit the criteria. Did Hashem hear her tears? She hoped that someday Moishe’s mother would know how it felt to have her child rejected. She hoped that someday she too would feel this terrible pain.

 

(To be continued)

 

         You can reach me at annnovick@hotmail.com 

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “What Comes Around… Goes Around (Part One)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Ben Gurion International Airport - nearly empty as the U.S. imposes a ban on flights to Israel, caving to Hamas missile attacks.
Bloomberg Defies FAA, Boards El Al for Tel Aviv as US Caves to Hamas Terror
Latest Sections Stories
book-Family-Frayda

Written entirely through Frayda’s eyes, the reader is drawn by her unassuming personality.

book-I-Kings

Adopting an ancient exegetical approach that is based on midrashic readings of the text, thematic connections that span between various books of the Bible are revealed.

book-Unify-A-Nation

While Lipman comes from an ultra-Orthodox background and is an Orthodox rabbi, he offers a breath of fresh air when he suggests that “polarization caused by extremism and isolationism in the religious community may be the greatest internal threat to the future of the Jewish people”

Schonfeld-logo1

The Joys of Yiddish, Leo Rosten defines a mentch as “someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character.”

Certainly today’s communication via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and the like, including the ubiquitous Whatsapp, has reduced the need to talk with people and communicate at length.

These two special women utilized their incredibly painful experience as an opportunity to assist others.

Maybe we don’t have to lose that growth and unity that we have achieved, especially with the situation in Eretz Yisrael right now.

Sleepily, I watched him kissing Mai’s chubby thighs.

I have always insisted that everything that happens to anyone or anything is min Shamayim.

My teachers like me and they tell my parents that I am a great girl with good middos.

The chicken and waffle nuggets were fabulous and were like chicken in a dessert form.

“Have you forgotten your dreams?” The Hope Merchant asks a defeated and hopeless Lily when she “happens” upon his shop.

The universe was created by God out of nothing; it has not always existed.

He combined intellectual achievement with deep spirituality and religious devotion.

More Articles from Ann Novick

When one is blind one learns to use Braille to read. When one cannot walk, a wheelchair gives mobility. Sign language allows a mute person to speak and ocular implants assist in hearing when one is deaf. These are all compensatory strategies that help a person function despite his disability. But compensatory strategies are not just for physical problems. Understanding our psychological weaknesses and setting up our lives to ensure that we are not tempted to repeat our past mistakes, is as necessary as any aid to the disabled.

Well spouses have often discovered that their friends and relatives, despite their closeness to the situation, often don’t realize the tremendous emotional impact living with chronic illness has on the family. With the best intentions, suggestions, ideas and criticism are offered, based on the non-experience of those with healthy families. Even when the good intentioned get a taste of the difficulties, it is sometimes not enough for them to then identify and understand what the family of the chronically ill must face on a constant basis.

Over the past two weeks I have shared letters from a therapist and a well spouse. Both of the letters gave personal insights into the process of losing hope, how we react when that happens and some ways of coping when test scores, diagnosis and just simple repetitive behavior indicate that change for the better is impossible.

Dear Ann,

I’ve read your last few articles on psycho-neurological testing (Oct.8-22) with interest. As a therapist who has counseled couples dealing with chronic illness, I’d like to give you another perspective.

Dear Ann,

Your articles on the Neuro-Psychological Testing were right on (October 8-22). My husband underwent testing twice and your articles explained it things exactly the way they were. Besides the test, we also tried therapy.

Very often when we can’t face our big hurts or big loses we focus on the little ones. We can discuss those. We can cry over the small loses, be angry at the smaller hurts even though it may look trite and sound ridiculous to others.

Over the last two weeks we have been discussing one way in which well spouses can determine whether behavior displayed by their ill partners is caused by their illness or is a way they have chosen to act. We have focused on Psycho-Neurological testing, what it can tell us, as well as its pros and cons.

Last week I discussed a question that haunts many well spouses: not knowing if the difficult and often inappropriate behavior frequently displayed by their partners are caused by the disease and therefore not-controllable, or if the behavior is a choice the spouse makes and can therefore be changed. This doubt can be the source of much frustration and many marital disagreements. One way of alleviating this doubt is by having a psycho- neurological work up done. But that path is not so simple.

    Latest Poll

    Israel's Iron Dome Anti-Missile System:





    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/what-comes-around-goes-around-part-one/2007/12/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: