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Simply Special

G-d Is Holding My Hand

November 28, 2016 11:34 AM

I’m sitting here in pre-op.

Chaim Boruch is by my side as we sit snuggled up together on the hospital bed.

I try to forget

I wonder how he became so small and fragile when only hours ago in the warmth of our home, he seemed so incredibly big and strong.

I try not think back to almost a year ago, when we swam through the ocean of surgery for his feeding-tube placement.

I try not recall feelings and emotions I’d rather forget.

I try.

But I can’t.

It’s all too present and alive within me and I wonder if there will ever be a day I can’t remember images that filter into my nightmares as I sleep and on the rare occasions, the daydreams I dream.

We are here for dental cleaning.

Just another “side affect” of having a tube-fed child is the tooth decay that occurs from a lack of eating by mouth.

I sign a consent form that allows the dentist to do more than just a cleaning once they have put
Chaim Boruch to sleep and have taken adequate X-rays.

My hand maneuvers my signature while my heart tries to pull me away.

I am nervous and worried because in truth, I have a feeling that there is more to be done other than just a “standard cleaning.”

I look at Chaim Boruch, and he looks scared and nostalgic of the last time we were here.

I ask him if he is nervous.

He doesn’t nod or move, but his eyes tell me more than words ever could.

I tell him that he will be OK, and we will get through this together.

It’s now two hours since we have arrived and 16 hours since he last ate.

We have just been told that there are delays, and our turn will be in about another hour.

My husband and I juggle our 8-month-old, who thankfully is playing in the portable crib we brought.

I beg my little one not to toss too many toys onto the floor and then think how many hours my children will be in therapy for their germ freak of a mother.

I sigh.

Chaim Boruch is now pulling the hospital bracelets off his wrist and grabbing his bag of clothes that have been replaced with a sterile, green hospital gown, which hangs off his little shoulders.

He is done and wants to go home.

My nerves are already spent, and I am now using every ounce of energy and strength to calm, soothe and distract a very determined 10-year-old.

The next hour is not fun as we pretend we have it all together in Room 19 in pre-op.

“Having it all together” . . . I briefly think about this idea and wonder if indeed it exists and what does it actually look like in real life.

With not too much time to indulge in a thought, we are finally met with the anesthesiologist team.

“We are ready for Chaim!” they pronounce, and at this point, Chaim Boruch is having a full-blown meltdown on the floor of Room 19.

So much for germs. And so much for having it together.

Well, I am the one who does the “anesthetic shift” to take Chaim Boruch into the operating room and hold him while he is put to sleep.

However, there is no way I can even get him off the floor, never mind down a long hallway.

I try pull him up but am quickly reminded of my weak ankle from a bad break only one year ago.

So, it’ll be the two of us.

My husband and myself who will bring Chaim into the operating room.

A sweet nurse appears, almost angelic at this point, who offers to hold my baby while we don the hospital hats and gowns that make us look like oversized bunnies with light-blue berets.

I see the look on my baby’s face and am grateful that he finds us amusing, and not petrifying.

My husband picks up Chaim Boruch, and I whisper to G‑d a prayer of thanks for his strength as I dodge his flying hands and kicking legs.

I hold his hand, and we are finally seated near way too many machines and medical paraphernalia.

I cradle his head while he sits on my husband’s lap and tell him I love him with huge big tears in my eyes.

He does not like the gas mask over his nose and mouth, and at this point, I think my heart will actually break.

“I can’t do this,” I whisper to myself.

But I do.

And with that, we leave our little one.

We toss our hospital gowns into the garbage and head to the waiting room.

Both of us silent, flooded with thoughts and emotion.

How incredible it is, the love parents have for a child.

So incredible and overwhelming that as we meet Chaim in the recovery room, my jaw feels sore and swollen.

Too much is happening while he wakes up from his anesthetic.

He is confused and in pain, and what I had feared is projected on the beeping of the monitors he is attached to.

His oxygen stats are going down, and he cannot clear the secretions from his lungs.

The atmosphere is heightened while I lean over him, and beg him to be OK and take a breath.

By now, the color in his face propels meI don't want to do this again to increase the volume in my voice while I tell the nurses to suction him and get oxygen to him quick.

Why is everyone moving so slowly, I wonder?

I see their response to my knowledge of what needed to be done.

I’ve done this before.

And I don’t want to do this again.

It’s a flurry of action, while I step back and dissolve into tears.

I look at my husband and nod my head no . . . “I can’t do this . . . ”

But I do.

Because it is G‑d’s will.

I surrender and pray with all my heart.

And Chaim Boruch’s oxygen levels increase.

Yet I myself can’t breathe.

And I thank G‑d for his kindness, his mercy and his miraculous hand holding mine tight.

Every day.

Every night.

Chana is a proud wife and mother living in Mill Valley, California. She is inspired by the colors and textures of everyday life, and loves sharing her creative ideas with her community. Chana writes DIY projects, crafts and recipes celebrating her Jewish life and shlichus on her blog Chana’s Art Room, and is the co-director of Chabad of Mill Valley with her husband, Rabbi Hillel Scop. To read more about Chaim Boruch, and Chana’s journey, take a look at her personal special-needs blog, Life of Blessing.

The Soul of Two Brothers

November 10, 2016 11:37 AM

I caught a glimpse.

Just a tiny little window into the soul of two brothers. A sight that covered an expanse of time and meaningful connection.

I almost missed it, yet the tug of aI almost missed it mother’s heart made me stop and soak up the scene.

It was Simchas Torah afternoon, our guests had left, and yet our dining-room shul still rung loud with the singing and clapping and celebratory chatter from the morning festivities. I must say that while I do prefer an organized neat home, there was something so fulfilling as I took in the scene of the remains of our Yom Tov winds, which blew in some incredulous piles of dishes and clutter.

Amid the disarray was a room that boasts all things “boy.” From baseballs to soccer balls, Yom Tov suits and jackets in hues of blue and gray linen, Jewish texts and religious items to the roof. And that is where I saw with my own eyes the feelings in my heart.

My oldest son, resting on his bed, hands under his head, probably catching his breath from all the dancing with the Torah and hoisting up onto his shoulders each sibling that still could be carried.

And there, next to him was Chaim Boruch, leaning against the side of his big brother’s bed in a proud kind of way, one foot planted on the hardwood floor and one foot crossed over with pointed toes down.

Maybe it was his “super-cool, show off to his big brother” look, or maybe it was simply a testimony to how much he’s grown.

Either way, these two brothers stole my heart.

While I was still unnoticed, passing by his door, I heard my oldest son speak to Chaim Boruch in that incredibly sensitive voice, sharing with him, that in only two days, he will need to return to yeshivah.

And my little Chaim Boruch’s face became serious. His feet were now set firmly on the ground, and his gaze seemed that much more pensive as he took in the message from his big brother. They shared a special moment together. Of love, of deep understanding, of a relationship few in the world are fortunate to have.

My eyes filled with tears as I continued down the hall, placing siddurim back on the shelf, where they belong yet in a blur, not knowing quite where I belonged...

I was thinking, maybe too deeply, as I pondered about life, siblings, relationships. Do our children know what impactDo our children know what impact they have on one another? they have on one another? Do they know how incredible they are as they tap into the meaningful deep reservoir of sensitivity?

Choked with emotion, I swallowed hard and with a prayer on my lips asked Hashem for strength. Strength for all of us—to overcome whatever challenges and hardships we may face, and strength to nurture and care for our relationships with the ones we hold so dear. Strength to know how we impact those around us and the sensitivity to nurture those connections.

And with just a glimpse, a tiny little window into the souls of two brothers, my heart sang.

The songs and melodies of that morning.

The songs and melodies of my children.

Chana is a proud wife and mother living in Mill Valley, California. She is inspired by the colors and textures of everyday life, and loves sharing her creative ideas with her community. Chana writes DIY projects, crafts and recipes celebrating her Jewish life and shlichus on her blog Chana’s Art Room, and is the co-director of Chabad of Mill Valley with her husband, Rabbi Hillel Scop. To read more about Chaim Boruch, and Chana’s journey, take a look at her personal special-needs blog, Life of Blessing.
Chana Scop shares her experiences parenting a child with special needs.
Chana ScopChana is a proud wife and mother living in Mill Valley, California. She is inspired by the colors and textures of everyday life, and loves sharing her creative ideas with her community. Chana writes DIY projects, crafts and recipes celebrating her Jewish life and shlichus on her blog Chana’s Art Room, and is the co-director of Chabad of Mill Valley with her husband, Rabbi Hillel Scop. She also writes about a mother’s journey of raising a special-needs son on her other blog, Life of Blessing. She welcomes you to be a part of her creative and touching journey.
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