| LifeTakes |

Dear Chaya Bruchy   

     I remember feeling very scared about the pregnancy. I wasn’t at peace. I decided to do more

I remember finding out that you were on the way; it was very overwhelming. You were my fourth, after three little girls. I remember feeling terribly nauseous. I didn’t know where to place myself. I couldn’t soothe myself.

I remember feeling very scared about the pregnancy. I wasn’t at peace. I decided to do more — I accepted numerous kabbalos as a zechus for myself and you. I started davening Minchah as a zechus for your safe arrival, and I continued until way after your birth.

I remember how the doctors scared me with an irregularity that came up on a sonogram, saying you might be born early and small. You weren’t; you were four days overdue, and a hefty almost-nine pounds.

I remember your arrival. It was a long, 12-hour labor before you were born. You cried so loudly, even the nurses kept watching you.

You were born at 5:14 p.m., and I remember davening Minchah when you were just a few minutes old, not wanting to miss the opportunity to thank Hashem that we were both safe.

I remember going nuts over you. You had that perfect round face, with chubby cheeks just ripe to pinch.

You stole my heart right away, in a way I can’t describe in words.

You only nursed, laughing at me every time I tried giving you a bottle.

You weren’t my first girl; you were my fourth. But I went on a shopping spree, buying the most expensive clothes I could. I remember thinking, Now I can understand Yaakov Avinu and Yosef Hatzaddik with the kesones pasim. I had this feeling that you needed to be dressed well, in the finest clothing I could possibly give you.

You were my princess.

I had this deep connection to you I can’t describe. I remember kissing you up and yelling, “You are my lechtigkeit!” You looked at me with those clear blue eyes and gave me that sparkling smile.

I remember wanting to go to Eretz Yisrael for a relative’s wedding. I didn’t see how it would all work out. We hadn’t been there in five years.

I remember telling Hashem: If You want me to be there, You’ll make it work.

He did.

We left three weeks before Purim, to be mesameiach chassan v’kallah. We went to visit Elter Bobby, and you gave her your lechtige smile.

I remember all your cousins going crazy over you; they kept asking me for a turn to hold you.

We went to the Kosel, to Kever Rochel, and many other mekomos kedoshim. I remember thinking while on the way to Mama Rochel that I wanted you to cry, to evoke rachamim. And you did, but you also smiled.

We went to the Old City in Tzfas, and the tour guide showed us the Bas Ayin’s shul, telling us it’s very hard to get in there. But the gabbai from the shul was standing at the door just then, and he let us in.

We sang and danced together. We even blew a huge shofar there.

You watched the sunrise on a mountain in the Golan Heights. You saw magnificent views.

I remember your last Erev Shabbos bath. It was longer than usual. You were so happy, giving me your biggest smiles and giggles. I didn’t know it was the last Erev Shabbos bath I would give you.

I remember how the cleaning lady came to tell me that you didn’t look okay. I came running. You looked lifeless.

I remember Hatzolah trying to get your pulse back, unsuccessfully.

I remember arriving at the hospital, where they tried reviving you.

They did. They got a pulse.

I remember thinking it would be the best Purim story — v’nahafoch hu. Purim would come the next day, and we would dance with you in your doll costume.

I remember davening and crying nonstop at your bedside. We kept singing, “Keili Keili lamah….”

The whole community stopped their Erev Purim preparation to daven. We finished Tehillim countless times.

I remember hearing how many people took upon themselves kabbalos in your zechus. How many people experienced a Taanis Esther like none before.

And then it was Minchah time… and your neshamah went to the Olam HaEmes.

I remember telling you before the levayah that Mordechai Hatzaddik and Esther Hamalkah are waiting for you up there. You left us, your parents and siblings, on the holiest day of the year, Purim.

You were a lechtige neshamah, given to me for five months.

We don’t understand Hashem’s ways. We’re not here to ask any questions. We know He is a loving Father, the biggest baal rachamim.

But I miss you so much.


(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 885)

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