I can't explain what possessed me. But a few months ago I got this overwhelming desire to travel from my home in Jerusalem to America with my mother and my twenty-two month old son. It wasn't a wedding calling me, or a need for a vacation per se. It's that I had a vision of the three of us floating in a lake in northern California.

I saw the picture so clearly. We would go camping, the three of us, in the same camp grounds, in the same lake my mother used to take me to as a child. It was such a crazy thought. I don't even like camping, and this would require taking an almost two year old on a fifteen hour plane trip, not to mention leaving my husband home so we could have a ladies trip! Everything about it seemed so strange. I tried to deny the vision. I tried to re-work it in my head, pick a place closer to home, resign myself to simply staying put, but the feeling kept nagging at me.

I got off the phone flabbergasted. Was she serious?I decided to ask for Divine guidance: "Master of the Universe, if you want me to go to California please send me the plane tickets." I knew I was pushing it but I assumed the tickets wouldn't come and I would be off the hook.

Then after a week of trying to push my bizarre feelings away, the phone rang. "What is this I hear about you wanting to come to the States?" My friend's voice asked on the other line. "It's nothing (I'd written to her in an e-mail that I forgot I had even sent.) "I ran the numbers and it doesn't seem feasible. I don't know what it is...I just got this weird desire to take mom and the baby camping. It's crazy, I will get over it."

On the other end of the phone I heard silence, then a cough and then she began to speak. "You should come, I miss you." "I miss you too" I replied, "but it just doesn't make sense right now." "You don't understand," she continued, "You're coming. I'm putting the money in your account tomorrow. Go buy tickets."

To say I got off the phone flabbergasted is an understatement. Was she serious? How could I even accept such a generous gift? It was beyond my wildest dreams but the next day when I checked my account the money was there. It was such a huge shock I didn't even know how to accept it. I called a friend to process. She said, When you ask for a gift and you don't receive it graciously you are giving G‑d mixed messages. Say thank you already.

And thus I bought the tickets and practiced being open to receiving. It was interesting for me to see how uncomfortable I felt with it and how much I had to work on myself to allow myself to be open to such a generous gift.

I made the reservations at the campsite, bought plane tickets and arranged to take the time off from my work as a writing teacher. Everything was going beautifully and I just couldn't wait until I could be in California watching my vision come to life.

We had a wonderful plane ride. Both mom and the baby slept the whole way, everything was perfect. We arrived and our sweet friend had arranged for us to stay at a beautiful hotel. The plan was to spend a week with her and then go on our camping trip. The week was lovely. We toured California and all seemed to be going without a hitch. After a perfect week, we prepared to leave the next morning on our way to the lake.

I woke ready for a great trip and went to check on my mom. "I'm sick" was all she could say. It wasn't the first time she had ever had stomach trouble so I attributed it to too much dessert the night before and checked on her in another hour. "It's worse" she said when I returned. "Can you go to the store and get me something for the pain?" I went right away and was back hoping she would feel better, but she didn't. But again I'd seen this so many times before I wasn't worried. Though I knew our camping trip would have to be postponed till the next day.

A few hours passed and the friend we were staying with asked if she wanted to be seen by a nurse. She had a friend coming over anyway who she said was a wonderful diagnostician. My mother agreed. When the nurse arrived she took a history and advised that she go straight to the emergency room. She had a temperature of 101.5 and had blacked out earlier in the morning after vomiting. I'm not proud to admit it but I still wasn't convinced. I'd seen her much more sick many times before and wasn't sure why she needed to go sit in an emergency room to be told she had an upset stomach and to take an antacid.

They gave her a C.A.T. scan and moments later announced she was going into surgery for an emergency appendectomyThe nurse insisted. When she arrived at the emergency room she had a white blood cell count of 2700. 1100 being normal. They gave her a C.A.T. scan and moments later announced she was going into surgery for an emergency appendectomy. By 7:00 am she was out of surgery. When she spoke to the doctor later that day he explained, "It's lucky we caught it so early. If it wasn't that early it would have ruptured in three to four hours. You're a lucky woman."

I can't thank G‑d enough for how lucky my mother was. How lucky we were to be in the right place at the right time. If we had been camping we wouldn't have made it to a hospital in time. If we had been in Jerusalem we wouldn't have had a nurse push us to go to the emergency room. We would have down played it, trying to avoid a hospital, chalking it up to indigestion and honestly I don't know what would have happened.

We never got to go on our camping trip, and the vision that drew me to America wasn't ever actualized. But it was that vision that brought us to where we needed to be in exactly the right moment for G‑d to save my mother's life, and for that I am forever grateful.