A Year Ago today I Was Racing to the Hospital
First thing this morning, Rosh Chodesh Nissan, I made sure my kids were wearing white shirts, took my three youngest to school and gan, bought some fruits and vegetables on the way home, and then recited the blessing over the trees together with my husband over our neighbor’s blossoming fruit trees.
“I think saying the blessing over the trees together should be our new annual Rosh Chodesh Nissan tradition, OK? I like this one better than spending Rosh Chodesh Nissan racing to the emergency room.” My husband just smiled and nodded.
Last year, on the morning of Rosh Chodesh Nissan, one of our family members collapsed and was rushed to the hospital, their life in danger.
The next two weeks, my family member was mostly in the hospital. The doctors could not figure out what was wrong. And the situation was equal parts mysterious and dangerous.
During those two weeks, I remember waking up in the middle of the night, walking over to my family member’s empty bed, and crying. What if I would have to live the rest of my life without them?
And that was how I spent the two weeks before Passover. Dividing my time between the hospital and home, overseeing the final pre-Pesach cleaning, shopping, cooking. The day of bedikat chametz, the day before the Seder, I was waiting outside of the surgery ward, reading Psalms and giving my daughters instructions over the phone about how to prepare the seder meal, “Put the chopped onions into the oil,” “Pour the whole bag of potatoes into the water,” “Crack 16 eggs and add the entire bag of matzo meal. Yes, I said 16!”
Afterwards, when my family member’s surgeon came out to talk with us, he explained that he had finally discovered the problem and had fixed it. By coincidence, this master surgeon, one of the top in Israel, happened to be the staff surgeon on duty to perform the surgery on my family member. “Coincidence” in Hebrew is spelled Mem Koof Resh Heh, which, if rearranged, spells “Only from Hashem.”
B”H, the surgery completely solved the problem. My family member was home in time to join us for burning the chametz and, of course, seder night.
At their 6-month check-up with their doctor this week, the doctor confirmed that my family member is, today, in perfect health.
And literally every single morning since last Passover I have thanked Hashem that this family member is, today, physically thriving.
In Jewish mysticism, Rosh Chodesh Nissan is known as a day of chidush or personal renewal. And the weird thing about my family member’s hospitalization was that it left me shaken up, but even more so, it left me feeling renewed.
SO thankful that I have this husband and these children in my life.
Reminded that this is NOT something I, or any human being, can take for granted. At all.