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Hurt, But Not Broken

Hurt, But Not Broken


Dear Master of the Universe,

Today, You broke me.
My heart (and my back).
Today, G‑d, You outdid yourself.
You have given me Sheina,
(a special needs child),
Thank You very much.
Did I ever complain to You?
Did I ever say “take her back”?
You have tested me and You have tested me.
I think I passed, maybe not with flying colors -
but passed nonetheless.
It's her seizures
that I would like to discuss with you today.
They are always frightening.
Unfortunately, I think I have sort of become accustomed to them.
Any loud "bang" -
Uh oh, Sheina.
I run,
she is on the floor blue and shaking...
But Master of the Universe!
What happened??
What did You do today?
The regular seizures,
weren't good enough to break me???
Not enough that You once gave her a seizure while I was washing her in the shower??
Not enough that during her recent seizure she fell flat on her face and lost a tooth???
(Which by the way, we are still going for appointments to take care of,
And You know how much I hate appointments.)
Yes, I must admit You were always kind enough to at least make sure someone else was home with us.
Whether it was to pass her a pillow, to time the length of it,
or to lift her out of the bath.
Someone to help me carry her into bed.
Or just someone to be with me, to stop my shaking...
Do I thank You for this consideration?
I guess so. I Thank You, G‑d.
Oh, I would also like to thank You for the time that You made me look at her
at the exact second I did,
and so managed to catch her in mid-air.
That was something!
I never kvetch to You about her.
(Okay, maybe I do, once in while…)
But I take it.
I call it a "G‑d-made Problem."
Those problems, we just take.
We don't have a choice.
But today, G‑d Almighty, You broke me!
Not only was I home alone,
(yes, the two-and-a-half year old was home, You try getting her to help...)
But Master of the Universe,
Such a WHAM?!
I hear the scratch of the chair -
run to the room...
find her flat on her face, in a pool of blood,
blue and shaking....
I know not to move her,
but hey, I've got to see where she is bleeding from.
Forget timing her,
(if she convulses for too long we need to call 911.)
I grab a towel, put it under her face.
Her hair is in blood, I think I should tie it back.
While trying to support her head, so she doesn't hurt herself more,
I ask, beg, cajole and finally yell for Two-and-a-Half-year-old to please get me
a ponytail holder.
Two-and-a-Half-year-old: "Why is it red? Where does Sheina have a boo-boo?"
The more I yelled, the slower she went.
Then, knock, knock, knock, knock....
I'm thinking, "Yes, maybe someone came home to help me."
For by now Sheina is very agitated.
I'm nervous.
I don't want her choking on the blood.
Knock, knock, knock, knock...
I cannot get up to get the door, for I'm supporting her head,
watching her, trying to get her out of the blood,
cleaning her as much as I can...
and trying to answer Two-and-a-Half-year-old's ninety-nine questions as calmly as possible.
(She is traumatized as it is.)
Between clenched teeth I asked Two-and-a-Half-year-old to answer the door.
"No," she says.
Gritting my teeth,
"You must answer the door...."
She starts to go... then comes back...
"I scared."
It's the neighbor's kid, he left his ball here earlier.
Now Sheina wants to get up, to go to bed.
She needs support; otherwise she will fall again and hurt herself.
But, You see, Master Planner,
I don't really have the strength to lift her by myself...
I guess You wanted to show me that I do,
but did You forget it's so hard on my back?...
Painstakingly, I managed to clean her, change her clothes,
support her up, walk her to bed, change her diaper...
Oh no, Sheina is about to fall again,
Wham! half on, half off the bed.
All the while, mind You,
Two-and-a-Half-year-old barraging me with her string of questions...
Swollen lip,
deformed cheek,
bloody nose.
Only You, G‑d, know the extent of the damage inside
her mouth.
And only You G‑d, know the extent of the damage inside
my heart.
Today You have broken me.
Thank you.
Yours truly,
Your faithful soldier.

P.S. Tonight before I went to sleep, as usual I began my "Prayer Before Retiring at Night," thinking of anyone I might need to forgive.

As usual, I began, "Master of the universe! I hereby forgive anyone who has angered or vexed me, or sinned against me, either physically or financially, against my honor or anything else that is mine...." etc, etc.

I then stopped in mid-sentence. I thought about today's harrowing experience and started again.

Master of the Universe, I hereby forgive. (Period.)

You build my character.

You make me stronger.

Thank you.


Your loyal servant.


Sheina had her next seizure in bed. The perfect place to have it.

Thank you.

Devorah Leah Mishulovin is a Domestic Engineer living in Los Angeles, CA.
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M H Brooklyn, NY United States July 12, 2010

wow! Reply

Anonymous Bowie, MD January 26, 2010

Thank you I sit here with tears streaming down my face - for months now the nights have been consumed with anxiety and fear - Iast night I collapsed on the floor praying for the strength my son needs from me and feeling guilty because sometimes I think I'm not strong enough - guilty because I just want him to have joy - to rest his head without fear - thank you for writing this - I finally felt someone knows how I feel. Each day I get up believing that G-d has given me the strength to carry on - but these seizures, the fear in my son's eyes I feel so weak.... yet I know G-d has given me the strength and wisdom to advocate for my child and most importantly love and courage. Reply

Chana Silberstein Brooklyn, NY January 25, 2010

An Inspiration Thank you, Devorah Leah, for a beautiful and moving account. . . . May Hashem grant you the strength to continue to parent with love and courage, faith and good humor. Reply

Friendship Circle is today's fastest growing Jewish organization for children with special needs. With over 76 locations worldwide Friendship Circle has cultivated friendships between 5,000 special children and close to 11,000 teen volunteers.

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Devorah Leah Mishulovin is a Domestic Engineer, living in Los Angeles, CA.
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