We all recognize that Hakadosh Baruch Hu is the ultimate conductor, both of the train that traverses this journey called life, and of the orchestra that figuratively accompanies us throughout our journey. Sometimes we appear to hit the high notes, and at others the low ones, but the Master Maestro never falters; each note, whether a barely audible pianissimo or an eardrum-splitting crescendo, is divinely selected and flawless in its perfection.
I have been going through a period characterized by predominantly low notes of late. My beloved father was recently niftar following a protracted, debilitating illness. The sense of sorrow and loss inevitably colored my universe in various shades of gray; even the perpetually sunny summer skies of Eretz Yisrael seemed somehow unnaturally ominous and overcast.
However, even during this bleak and introspective time, I was blessed with undeniable pinpricks of divine light that pierced the occasional darkness of my moods and thoughts.
Just two weeks after my wonderful father, z”l, departed this world, a new great-grandson made his grand entrance. Even if the rach hanolad would not be zoche to bear his great Zaidy’s illustrious name, the timing of his birth was a propitious and benevolent gift in and of itself, and a very positive omen for the entire mishpacha. How much more of a nechama and zechus that, b’chasdei Hashem, our beloved father and Zaidy had a name a mere three weeks after his petirah.
On a more personal level, I likewise began to perceive my fair share of yeshuos and nechamos to help ease my way back to a life of joy and fulfillment.
My writing has always been therapeutic and cathartic for me, so I did my best to get back into it. But, the results were far from my best, particularly since my signature style has long been defined as light and humorous.
Shortly before Pesach, when my father was hospitalized in the final stages of his illness and our lives revolved around hospital visits and rotations, I merited what I can only refer to as a neis nigleh: I received my first ever acceptance letter for a submission I had sent to my favorite frum magazine.
The yad Hashem was crystal clear in both the timing and circumstances surrounding that long-awaited glowing email.
I had initially chosen a very solemn Pesach-related submission to send to that publication. However, in my cover letter, I confessed that, due to time constraints, I was defying prescribed protocol and submitting the piece to several publications at once.
The next day I received a reply confirming receipt of my article, but stipulating that, “We are unable to consider pieces that have been submitted simultaneously. After you hear back from the other publication(s), if you would still like to submit your piece, we’ll be happy to consider it.”
So much for honesty being the best policy.
With the proverbial clock audibly ticking its countdown to Pesach, I decided to instead forward a short and sweet Pesach-related piece of fluff that I had written just prior to the previous Pesach and had never had the opportunity to send their way.
Viola! You guessed it! That second-fiddle choice was the one they selected to print – after a few years of failed attempts and some three-dozen submissions that they had elected to pass on for one reason or another.
This experience taught me two very valuable lessons: One is that persistence really does pay off in the end. Or as our nursery and kindergarten teachers encouraged us, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Although it can definitely be frustrating and appear futile by the 30-something attempt, buoy yourself with the knowledge that the breakthrough may be just one more try away.