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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

My Chanukah Miracle

"She's probably not going to make it through the night."
That's what the doctors told my little sister on Thursday night. (This is very hard to write.) They had to tell her because, neither, my mom or my dad was at home. My mom was at work, and my dad was at bingo as part of my sister's school program.
"The family should get here right away. You might want to get her affairs in order."
My sister calls me up, very calm which surprised me, and tells me what's going on and then says that she's about to freak out because she can't get a hold of my father.

This is how I would describe my Chanukah miracle. My grand-mother is admitted to the hospital with pneumonia, and, at first, everything seems OK. Then, things take a turn for the worst. She's dehydrated and can't breathe. She can't seem to disseminate the fluid collecting in her lungs. She's drowning in her own fluids. Multiple tubes are stuck down her throat. Multiple IVs are connected to her arms. She's immediately moved to the ICU ward where the doctors call my family with the dreaded words:
"She's probably not going to make it through the night."
They have the audacity to start talking to my father and Uncle about what "measures" they would like the doctors to take in case her situation takes a turn for the fatal. They can't understand how my father and Uncle could tell them to take all possible measures to save her considering she's 97 years old. The only answer to give these products of American health care:
"You don't know this woman. You don't know what kind of person she is when she doesn't have tubes connected every-where."

My grand-mother is a fighter. Like the Maccabees before her, she a fighter. She may be 97, but she has the will and the spirit of some-one my age. Actually, she's a hell of a lot tougher than any 20 something I know. She could have taken Ali. She's going to decide when it's time for her to go. So, she fought through it all, and Friday morning came along. And, boy were those doctors surprised to see that she had made it through and had actually improved a little bit.

My grand-mother decided that this Chanukah, she had something to stick around for. My grand-mother epitomizes everything that is good and right and just about being Jewish. She also epitomizes the "tough necked" attitude of the Jews. Nobody's going to tell her when she's going to die. Only her and G-d are going to decide that. That's my miracle, and I'm so amazed to be realizing this only now. It's not just that she made it through the night and defied the doctors' dire predictions. No. The miracle is that we, my family, have been so honored and blessed to have this woman in our lives and for so long. We call her Miss Hollywood, and she wears that name proudly. She is our miracle. She is my miracle. She is the world's miracle. She is truly a gift from G-d. I absolutely believe that the world would not be the same without having her in it. She has changed me. She has helped mold me into the type or person, the type of woman, the type of Jew I am today and continue to hope to be. If I'm lucky enough to be even a small percentage of what that woman is, I will consider myself a great person.

Bubby Becky, you are our miracle. On this Chanukah, I light my candles for you. You are always on my mind and in my heart. And, even-though Chanukah is not over yet, every night you shove your existence in those doctors' faces is yet another night's worth of miracles. Get well soon. I know you will out live us all. I love you so much.


At 2:40 AM, Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

This is so beautiful! I can just picture your grandmother! Refuah sheleimah to her and I hope she's with you for a very long time yet!

At 7:34 PM, Blogger aliyah06 said...

Like Treppenwitz, you need to post hankie-warnings if you're going to write like this and make me all misty-eyed.

This is a beautiful tribute to a wonderful woman.

At 8:45 PM, Blogger Eitan Ha'ahzari said...

Olah: this is great news! I read your previous post and thought that G-d forbid I might have to read about your gradmother's deteriorating condition. And here's (another) Hanukkah miracle! Hope for more to come in your family and all Israel,


At 6:09 AM, Blogger Ari Kinsberg said...

my grandmother just celebrated her 97th bday. (or so she claims; we suspect she's year older.) she could be better, but she's a fighter too. i don't think they make them like that anymore.

i'm happy to read about your gmother's recovery. may both our gmothers live to 120.

happy chanukah.

At 1:13 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Thank you all so much for your kind words. They mean so much to me, and given how I am right now, I cried reading all of them. Thank you. To many more Chanukah miracles.

At 1:03 PM, Blogger Eitan Ha'ahzari said...

olah: thank you for letting us know. I, for one, would like to feel "part of the family." We've known one another over the blogosphere for such a long time that I really feel for you and Oleh when you're in times of trouble.


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