Friday, November 8, 2013

First of Many Parties

Today we had a Mesibat Hodaya- a party of thanks to G-d. G-d willing, we will be able to have one after each surgery. 

This is the speech that my husband gave, that I would like to share:

Thank you to all of you that came to this Mesibat Hodayah.  This is not a party for us, and not even really a party for Tehilla.  This party, really is, only about G-d.  

As all of you know, and now know, Shoshana and I, have been through quite a year.  Individually and as a couple, we have experienced life's bumpy roads- but this, this was more of an earthquake, in comparison. And it has changed our lives forever.

We were just 15 weeks into the pregnancy, when we learned that something was wrong.  And what came afterwards was a series of terrifying doctor appointments. At 17 weeks, we went to Modiin for the first of many fetal echocardiograms.  There, a cardiologist gave us the diagnosis of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.  We were briefly explained about the 3 surgeries. His words were:  you will have to make a decision. Many terminate the pregnancy and some, lift their hands up to G-d and hope for the best.  

We came home from that appointment devastated. We cried and reflected, discussed and cried some more.  My wife then went into our bedroom, sat down on her bed and called my mother to recount the appointment and explain the diagnosis. While talking, my wife noticed a large grasshopper on her pillow. She calmly told my mother, "There's a large bug on my pillow, I need to go", hung up the phone and screamed for me. 

Later that night, when we had finished updating the various family members, Shoshana and I were sitting at the table, tearfully discussing our options. She suddenly sat up, and said to me, "Why was there a grasshopper on my bed?" I looked at her and said, "What?" She said, "Why was there a grasshopper on my bed?" I said, "Sho, I have no idea. Are you okay?" 

Shoshana looked at me and said, "I'm serious. Why was there a grasshopper on my bed? We have screens on our windows and we had the apartment exterminated. Why was there a grasshopper on MY bed- on MY pillow? Right at THAT moment- after the appointment, when I was telling your mother?"  

She got up from her chair and went over to the bookshelf.  She said, "I learned that every creature we see, is there to teach us something or give us a message. I want to know what the message of the grasshopper is."  She pulled out a Perek Shira and opened to the page about the grasshopper and then she started crying.  Through sobs, she said, "The message of the grasshopper is: 

אשה עיני אל ההרים, מאין יבא עזרי"
I lift my eyes to the mountains, from where shall my help come?"

This passuk ends with:
עזרי מעם ה' עושה שמים וארץ.
My help is from G-d, maker of heaven and earth.

We both looked at each other and said something along the lines of, "Holy Cow." We determined right there, that this situation was completely out of our hands.  This was in G-d's hands and whatever happened, it was not in our control.

Of course, my wife then turned to me and said, "Oh my G-d, did you crush G-d's messenger?"

I can assure you, that story really did happen.  As unbelievable as it is.  This entire journey, thus far has been unbelievable. G-d has led us through a path with many highs and lows. But the most unbelievable thing of all, is that at my home, right now, is my little daughter, with only half a heart- alive and progressing. 

We named her Tehilla and made a deal of sorts with G-d:  It's up to you, Hashem.  If she survives, she can be a tool for you.  People will see a little girl, with only half a heart and will praise you.

That is what this party is about.  Offering thanks to G-d.  So, thank you G-d, for bringing us the right doctors and giving them the know-how.  Thank you, G-d, for keeping our baby alive.

Thank you, as well, to those that joined us in praying, that helped us fulfill our wishes of creating a Kiddush Hashem, a sanctification of G-d's name. My wife started her blog, at first to help her cope with the situation, and then, to keep our friends and family updated with Tehilla's situation.  It has had over 55,000 views and we have been told about tehillim groups happening worldwide.  This has given us so much hope and strength.

Thank you also, to my in-laws and wife's siblings, who have helped us around the clock, in more ways than I could explain.  Thank you to my mom and Avrum for helping out with the kids.  Thank you to our amazing group of friends, for providing us with so much love and support, helping us last minute with many different errands, and organizing meals for us.

With G-d's help, we will once again have a Mesibat Hodaya, after Tehilla's next surgery- and she will be able to join us.

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