So now we’re back home and following our usual routine. I go to cheder in the mornings and join my father at shul in the evenings. My father runs his kollel and continues to give shiurim. Ima takes cares of Yael and my sister continues to improve with her therapy sessions. The whole court thing is like a nightmare that we finally woke up from. I know it’s not completely behind us, but the lawyer has petitioned the court to deny my biological father custody on the grounds that he is unstable, as evidenced by his aggressive behavior. Every morning I wake up and thank Hashem for His chesed. Having feared that I was doomed to lose everything dear to me, everything is now doubly precious.

On the way home from shul one day, my father and I are discussing a particular thorny question in the Gemara I’m learning when we are surprised to discover the front door open and my little sister Yael nearly hysterical as she waits for us. In the background I hear the strident bleeping of a telephone off the hook. Abba drops his briefcase and rushes to the kitchen with me one step behind him.

Ima is lying on the floor!

“Call Hatzolah!” my father shouts as he drops down beside her. My hands are shaking and my fingers are hard to control as I take Abba’s cell phone. I drop it twice before dialing successfully. We hear the sound of sirens, then pounding footsteps as someone bursts through the door without knocking.

“Here in the kitchen!” my father yells. He turns to me, “Quick! Take Yael out of here!” His face is as white as snow.

I scoop up my little sister and carry her to the living room. She struggles to go back to the kitchen, but I hold her tightly and whisper in her ear until her resistance stops. Yael’s dark brown eyes meet mine. I can feel her rapid heartbeat. “It’s going to be okay,” I promise her, “Ima’s going to be fine.” I’m trying to soothe myself as much as her.

I hear the Hatzolah men in the kitchen, barking orders. Thumping sounds, whooshing sounds, clicks. I hold Yael close, shut my eyes, and daven for my mother. It seems forever until my father joins us in the living room. He stretches his arms wide and I fall into his embrace. “Ima had a shock.” His voice is hoarse. “The sudden shock caused her heart rhythm to become dangerously irregular and she lost consciousness. Her pulse is almost back to normal now. They say she must go to the hospital for evaluation, but it’s going to be all right. Baruch Hashem, she’s conscious and responsive.”

While he’s talking, the Hatzolah volunteers wheel out the stretcher. I hand Yael to my father and run over to my mother. She’s pale but manages a faint smile. “I didn’t mean to scare you,” she apologizes in a weak voice. “Don’t worry. I’m sure everything will be fine.” (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 727)