Monday, September 17, 2012
Ari has a blazer and khakis and a button-down shirt and a knock-off Burberry tie and little navy blue loafers. But he's not at Rosh Hashanah services today. None of us are. Matt is with Ari at the clinic (he gets no medication passes... even for the high holy days) and I'm home with the baby. Today Ari starts a new chemo drug that is administered weekly for 45 weeks (and it's a shot in his leg muscle. ouch.). 45! That's basically a year...or in other words, no more shots by Rosh Hashanah 2013.
So as I sit here eating leftover challah and brisket, I rely on all my fellow Jews out there to pray on behalf of my family in synagogue today. And I will write and recite my own prayers since I have no machzor and only memories (and google) to remind me of the Rosh Hashanah prayers.
In my own sanctuary (consisting of sofa and baby swing), I remember the acts of loving kindness friends, relatives, neighbors, and even strangers showed us throughout the past few months. I thank God for giving us this support system. And I thank God for medical advances, for research, for protocols, for statistics in our favor, for Dr. Hong and Dr. Silverman, for amazing nurses, for great toys, tons of free food and candy, and an incredible hospital and clinic.
I thank God for Ari's spunk and personality and humor and joie de vivre. I thank God for his beaming smile and happy-go-lucky attitude. And I thank God that Ari is too young to understand. And too young to remember.
I thank God that the medicine is working.
I thank God for a caring, loving, supportive husband who deserves to win Dad of the Year. And for family members who have put all else aside to be by our sides. And for a healthy new baby who reminds us of the joy and wonder of new life.
On this Rosh Hashanah, I acknowledge the power and sovereignty of God and feel blessed to be me.
Avinu Malkeinu. Hear my voice.
Avinu Malkeinu. We have sinned against you.
Avinu Malkeinu. Have compassion on me, on Matt, and most of all on sweet baby Alison and her big brother Ari.
Avinu Malkeinu. Bring an end to suffering, to hunger, and to war.
Avinu Malkeinu. Bring an end to sickness, to disease, and to all health problems.
Avinu Malkeinu. Bring an end to needles, to nausea, to oral medications, to hair falling out, to low blood counts, to infections, to complications, to port accesses, to NPO after midnight, to lumbar punctures, to bone marrow biopsies, to radiation, and to steroids.
Avinu Malkeinu. Bring an end to Cancer.
Avinu Malkeinu. Keep Ari in remission and inscribe him in the Book of Life.
Avinu Malkeinu. Inscribe our whole family in the Book of Life.
Avinu Malkeinu. Let the new year be a very good year for us.
I may not have a shofar, but I do have a 9 day-old crying. Let her cries be like the shofar at Mt. Sinai, announcing God's presence. And as she cries, I am reminded of our people's cries and our people's triumphs throughout history. May Ari, Matt, and I follow in the footsteps of our ancestors, overcoming this struggle. And, may Alison's long powerful tekiah gedolah be the signal of the new year, a great year, for our family.
(I should probably go feed her.)