I felt fine but noticed a strange enlargement. I wasn’t worried. My brother had survived cancer and I knew what it was like. He had been sick. Really sick. And I felt fine.
I had a long list of things that any busy mother of five can relate to. Trying to get it checked off my list so I can go on with life, I stopped by the doctor on my way to my other errands. . One foot out the door, I waited for him to laugh and say it’s nothing. But he didn’t. Instead he sent me for blood tests. I still thought it was nothing. After all, I felt fine. But when he saw the test results, I was quickly dispatched to the ER.I started to absorb the fact that this was serious. Until now, my life had been calm and routine. Suddenly, the earth was pulled out from beneath my feet.
. You can go crazy from the sense of helplessness, alone, with a million thoughts and fears. That’s when I made my first acquaintance with Ezer Mizion. A representative approached me and. gave me a clarity and an understanding of what was going on. I vividly remember the feeling that she gave me — how she cheered me up and encouraged me. She told me about Oranit, which eventually became a second home — the hotel-like accommodations, the clubs, the trips, the retreats. She said that we should be in touch and, I’ll enjoy everything that Oranit has to offer — and that is really what happened.”
“But Ima promised. For sure shell be back! She told me before she left!!” Shevy’s young heart broke as she tried to absorb the news. She was only eleven, well, almost twelve, too fragile to handle the bitter disappointment. Too small to comprehend the big picture. Not to have her mother at her side for her Bas Mitzvah? To celebrate without Mommy’s support? It was unthinkable. Yet it was happening and Shevy was inconsolable.
Shevy felt a hand on her shoulder. A warm hand, a loving hand. The same lady who had been helping their family since Mommy went to America for treatments. It wasn’t Mommy but it was someone who cared. “Your eyes are such a pretty shade of blue. Let’s go shopping for a Bas Mitzvah dress. Maybe we can find something to match your eyes. Something really pretty. Would you like something with lace?” Bit by bit, the Bas Mitzvah party took shape through the efforts of Ezer Mizion. Yes, there were tears but they were outnumbered by the smiles. A gorgeous dress! Balloons! Gifts! The fanciest sweet table in town! And hugs… and love. Ezer Mizion: We’re there when it hurts.
And even when it hurts us. When our efforts to offer support will tear our own hearts to shreds. When the thought of what we are asked to do leaves us limp and shaky but we know it will help a family who is undergoing a horrendous crisis that no one should ever know of.
When we are asked to transport a little girl from the hospital to her home and back again. Her last trip home. To enable her family to say goodbye. Before she leaves this world. Forever.
Shuki Becker, one of Ezer Mizion’s devoted Ambulance Division members, undertook the assignment. Equipped with an oxygen tank and the paraphernalia to monitor her closely during her stay and armed with a prayer book to give himself the strength to support this precious soul in her last hours, this angel began the trip that meant so much to her family.
Ever so gently, she was brought to her favorite spots in her home. Ever so gently, her family spoke to her, caressed her. Over and over they talked of the funny stories they had shared, her favorite foods she always chose for her birthday supper, the time she won the game three times in a row.
They were scheduled to leave for the hospital at seven o’clock but the family couldn’t let go.
Another memory. Another fun time. Another ounce of love to add to the package she would be taking on her final trip.
Her numbers looked good and so the visit continued. Parents, grandparents, siblings. Each reaching out and giving of themselves. A lifetime of love condensed into a few short hours. And then it was time to say the final goodbyes. Final.
Countless families are living under the horrific tension of dealing with the life-threatening disease that we don’t even like to mention. The occasional relief of tension does wonders for their psyche and revives the spirit enabling it to partner with the body in its battle for life. To provide emotional relief from the tension of cancer, periodic retreats are scheduled where the whole family can re-bond in a convivial, upbeat atmosphere.
“There’s nothing like Ezer Mizion!” These are the words of a grateful employee who…we’ll let her tell her story.
“On Friday afternoon, my niece’s little girl came home from gan with a high fever. She was put to bed but, only a few minutes later, there in the thick of her erev Shabbos (pre-Sabbath) cooking, ‘something’ pushed my niece to check on her. As her mother stood there in the doorway, the child turned blue, then purple, then black. Terrified, my niece ran outside holding her daughter and screaming for help. The end of part one is that the hospital diagnosed it as a genetic reaction to sudden high temperatures. The drama was over but now came the practical questions. If they were released on Shabbos (Sabbath) where would they go? My niece was expecting and traumatized. And, in addition, they would want to be near a hospital just in case. So I dialed the number that is often first on the list of every shaken family member. Within moments, I received a call back. A suite is reserved for her at Oranit, Ezer Mizion’s guest home for families dealing with cancer. A lovely suite with all the trimmings. My niece couldn’t stop thanking them. And me? I couldn’t be more proud to be part of the Ezer Mizion family.
She may be right, you know, when she says there’s nothing like Ezer Mizion. What would she have said had she seen Moriah enter Oranit to put smiles on the faces of young cancer patients. What’s unusual about that, you ask. True, it was Moriah’s regular day to come. She comes every week. But today was… her wedding day. Busy? Certainly. But she’s never miss her weekly visit with Ezer Mizion’s cancer kids.
“What’s in it for me?” the average person asks. A new project…a new suggestion. How will I gain? Some will ask it outright. The more refined will ask only in their thoughts. But the ever—present ego accompanies our every move.
In recent times, family crises abound and our students are directly affected. Due to the tremendous interest expressed by hundreds of principals in practical tools for dealing with the personal challenges of students, principals and Chinuch Atzmai supervisors were invited to a seminar on the influence of the school when a personal situation is threatening to topple the girl’s emotional stability.
The seminar was hosted by Ezer Mizion with the collaboration of the Bnei Brak Municipality and centered on the theme of “Imah Anochi, I am with her,” the sincere wish to be with the struggling student, to share her burden, and ease her way. A vital facet of the seminar was providing the right tools such as the open phone line for consultation with Ezer Mizion experts in every case of a girl struggling in the face of serious illness or death of a family member.Continue reading Helping Our Students Deal with Family Crises