What the Old Woman Told the Young Woman with Morning Sickness
This morning I noticed a pretty young woman bent over at a right angle and throwing up on the sidewalk.
Oy, morning sickness. What misery…And this looks like her first time going through it. Poor girl.
And then an older woman, a grandmother in a shoulder-length brown sheitl, walked up beside the pregnant woman and with kind concern asked if she needed any help. The pregnant woman thanked her and shook her head, and as the grandmother walked on past I watched her face morph from the look of concern she had shown the vomiting woman to a beaming “mazal-tov!” smile, probably similar to the one that had been on her lips at the bris of her newest grandson.
And I thought of Rebbetzin Chipa, who ran a support group for young mothers that I attended when I had three daughters under the age of 4 and a half, and was as close to having a nervous breakdown as I have ever been.
We were a motley crew of JewishMOMs—depressed, anxious, in way over our heads.
And every week Rebbetzin Chipa, the mother and grandmother of a large brood, would allow us to vent and gave us chizuk to keep us going until the following Monday at 9 AM.
Sadly, about a year into our group, Rebbetzin Chipa z”l died after a long battle with cancer. But I will never forget the great kindness she did for me by providing me with some personal Mommy Peptalks when I needed them most.
And I will also never forget what she said one morning when I told her that I was overwhelmed about one thing or another.
Rebbetzin Chipa told me, “Chana, when things feel difficult, just imagine you are looking at the photo album you will have one day. You and your husband are in the center, and you are standing in a crowd of grown children and grandchildren, IY”H. Can you imagine that, Chana?”
Truth was, it was very hard for me to imagine. It felt so impossible that my three baby girls would grow up one day, even have children of their own!
But Chipa’s eyes, like the eyes of the grandmother I saw this morning, had seen enough struggle and hardship and pain to know that when things are very tough, you should just keep on going. There’s bound to be a curve coming up in the road ahead, please G-d.