Dear Mrs. Bluth,
A few years ago, soon after I began dating, I met and married the most wonderful man. All my friends were a little jealous at how quickly it happened. Our wedding was one of the most beautiful affairs and we started our married life in a warm little apartment in anticipation of a wonderful future.
I got pregnant right away and our joy was boundless when our little one was born just before we celebrated our first wedding anniversary. Both grandmothers were there to help in any way they could, which was helpful as I was constantly tired and lethargic – perfectly normal. Yet, months went by and, if anything, I felt worse and less energetic than before – I was also pregnant again and could barely drag myself out of bed in the mornings. My mother insisted I go see a specialist, which is when we discovered that I have a debilitating neurological disease that would get progressively worse with time and for which there was no cure. I would lose mobility and the ability to even eat, swallow and speak. For now, I was put on a regimen of medications that would hopefully, delay, slow down or stabilize my condition.
My husband, malach that he is, swore that he would never abandon me and that he would do everything to keep our family together. My parents have been doing everything they can to alleviate the stress and fatigue and to give my husband respite.
My in-laws, on the other hand, have begun telling him that perhaps he should consider giving me a get and putting me into a home, so that he could give our children a normal life. They said he was still very young and would be able to find someone who could be a healthy life partner and give him more children and companionship. They even went so far as to try and convince me that it is selfish of me to hold onto him. I was shocked at their callousness, but I could see how they wanted the best for their son, even though they figuratively had me dead and buried without any hope.
At this writing, my body seems to be responding to the medicine and the intensive physical therapy I am receiving and the loving, encouraging presence of my devoted husband. He has ignored all that his parents have said, in fact, he has cut all ties with them.
I am working hard to stay the illness and he is at my side to encourage my sometimes-lagging emunah and bitachon in Hakodosh Boruch Hu. I just wish there was a way to make things okay with his parents so we could all have some peace.
My heart goes out to you and your wonderful husband, and I must say how impressed I am at how you have both approached the challenges you face. I have seen the simplest problems grow out of proportion because of neglect and I have witnessed the most severe, life threatening and dark situation summon up miracles. What made the difference was intense love, support and encouragement of close family members and an extraordinary, unshakable belief in the Ribbono Shel Olam. You and your husband are such people and, therefore, I feel safe in saying that for you the impossible is possible in spite of what the doctors predict. I will have you in my thoughts and prayers, as will, I’m sure everyone else reading your letter.
As for how to get through to your in-laws, I really wouldn’t expend too much energy. Hopefully, you and your husband will show them, by your exemplary acts of love and devotion for each other, that love is the greatest healer, that courage can lift mountains and that Hakodosh Boruch Hu will reward those with infinite emunah and bitachon in Him. Just keep doing what you’re doing! Hatzlacha and refuah shleimah bekarov!