Yes, these weeks are hard. Harder than most. I’m sure you know that.
From erev Rosh Hashanah till Sukkos I don’t replay the events as I do on other days, I relive them.
I am back there.
Each day I could tell you exactly what happened, how it felt. The fear.
What each doctor said, what they didn’t say. The shock.
I could tell you about each agonizing day, and even more agonizing night. The guilt.
Hell on Earth. I think this is what they meant.
I could tell you the horrors, the numbers, the waiting, the crying, the machines, the ideas, the failures.
How I recall vividly the words spoken to us, haunting and painful.
But I’m sure you assume all this.
I could tell you how each morning I wake up as if it was that morning, with my heart in a million pieces never to be put back together. It’s excruciating.
How I wake up in a sudden sweats and check my clock.
How there is a point where night-mares and day-mares blend together.
I could tell you about the panic, how it felt impossible to think, painful to breathe. Still is.
I could explain how you can only hold yourself together for so long, then explode.
I struggle to stay in the here, the now. So easy to slip back there…to the agonizing details, to the fear, and sadness, and ache.
I don’t need to tell you any of this. You know.
But there’s another reality of those two weeks I slip back to. I don’t mean to, and I barely realize I’m there till I come stumbling out.
Let me tell you about that.
It doesn’t make sense, not even to me. So bear with me as I try to explain this sensation.
It’s unfamiliar because for an instant my heart doesn’t feel crushed and it doesn’t hurt to breathe.
For a fleeting moment I feel like I’m waiting for something to happen, something that will change things…still begging for a miracle.
Stuck in the twilight zone of hoping for a miracle.
A few months ago when I first realized it, I was driving. It caught me off guard. A sudden ripple of memory passed through me. And I caught myself silently begging. Begging for a miracle. Hopeful.
And then I felt crazy. Hasn’t the time for a miracle passed?
But just like I go back to the moments of pain, and sadness, and horror, I realized that day that I also go back to the begging, and hoping….
You see, two years ago we were really there – sure that a miracle was going to happen. Sitting next to Mendel in the hospital we fantasized about writing books about it, Mendel would give Ted Talks about his miracle, we were sure it would happen. And sometimes I slip back to those times.
Things happened so fast that even when it was over, I was still begging. I so badly don’t want it to be over, don’t want to believe it’s over….that somewhere in the broken pieces of my heart there is a voice that begs, still. Stuck in the twilight zone of hoping for a miracle.
When I stopped the car that day to compose myself, I thought of how Mendel came into the world. And I wrote this:
Remember how quickly Mendel came into this world?
( not to even mention that I became pregnant with him while I was full time nursing a 7 month old!….his soul was in a rush to get here no doubt.)
My labor with Mendel was fast. Intense. Surreal.
I was so sure I would get an epidural when we got to the hospital, because the pain was overwhelming.
Five minutes after arriving at the hospital, Mendel presented himself to the world.
Delivered into the loving arms of his Bubby and his Aunty Shayna.
While his Tatty was parking the car, before the midwife arrived, and while his Mommy still thought she had time….
After he was born I had moments where I caught myself still begging for an epidural.
Stuck in the moments of when I believed I needed something for the pain.
I had to remind myself that my beautiful 9 lb baby boy was already here.
He rushed to get here. Mendel had a lot to do in this world, and he had not a moment to lose.
And ‘do a lot’ he did. For us, for others.
It seems that as quickly and surprisingly as he came into this world, he left it.
Fast. Intense. Surreal.
I was so sure a miracle would happen because the pain was overwhelming.
Since he left, I have moments where I catch myself still begging for a miracle.
Stuck in those moments when I truly believed it could happen.
I have to remind myself my beautiful boy is already there.
Crazy, right? Going back to the memories of sadness and fear is natural, but revisiting the hope and belief in a miracle seems delusional.
We indulge ourselves in the the memories of pain and heartache because it’s ‘natural’.
But is it so terrible to spend a few moments, every now and again, in the ‘unnatural’? In the twilight zone of hoping for a miracle?
Mendel seemed like a great guy, which doesn’t surprise me after meeting the family over many great times in 2016. I wish I could have met him. My prayers go out to him.
Beautiful words, Eta…full of sadness and pain, but also hope. This time of year it is difficult to accept that Mendel is no longer with us, yet he continues to be such a big part of so many lives. Sweet Mendel…his smile, his enthusiasm, his unbridled joy for life…he was a blessing to us all.
Every time I read your entries or watch a video I am balling my eyes out. Eta, you sure do have a way with words. I know you know this, but Mendel knew how much you and your family loved him, he knew how special he was, he experimented and loved and matured into a beautiful, giving old-soul-of-a-teenager… so many people never get to live the kind of life that Mendel did, ever. Some people suffer on the way in and some people suffer on the way out. Thank God that was not the case for Mendel ?♥️?? Our creator’s plan is so huge and purposeful? I love you. I love your family. I love your faith. I love your love.
Dixie your words are so special to us, so so true and so comforting. Thank you…..