Tuesday was going to be a BIG day! My cousin, Miri, got married and our family was going to host her last sheva brachos! My mother wrote lists and lists of tasks that needed to be checked off. She needed to cook, buy paper goods, order centerpieces and tablecloths, and the list went on and on!
On Monday afternoon, Shuly and I helped our mother peel all the vegetables for the pumpkin soup. She filled the pot with water, sprinkled some spices, closed the lid and opened the flame.
“Okay, soup’s cooking, let’s tackle the potato puffs. Shuly, do you want to help me peel the potatoes?”
Shuly looked at the mountain of potatoes in the middle of the table.
“Uhhh, Ma, I’m not feeling so well. My head hurts and I feel cold.”
Her teeth were chattering.
My mother felt Shuly’s forehead. “You’re hot. Take Tylenol and into bed.”
Shuly didn’t have to be told twice. She shuffled into her bedroom.
“Oh no!” My mother said. “I hope she didn’t catch the flu.”
We were almost finished peeling the potatoes when the front door opened and Donny walked in.
“Donny!” my mother said. “What happened? Why are you home in the middle of the day?”
“Ma, my head is pounding, my eyes are tired and I’m FREEZING!”
My mother felt his forehead. “You’re hot. Take Tylenol and into bed.”
The potato puffs were baking in the oven. I went into the den to do homework. There was a lump under the throw on the couch.
I lifted the fuzzy blanket a bit.
He was sleeping. His face was very pale and his cheeks were very pink.
“Ma! Come quick!”
My mother ran into the den. “I think Akiva’s not feeling well.”
My mother leaned over to feel his forehead. “Oh no! He has fever too!”
By the time night came, everyone in our family, beside for my mother and I, were moaning with fever and pain.
My mother ran from one patient to the next, soothing their pain and trying to lower their fever.
“Shprintzy, try not to get too close to anyone. You’re the only one who can help me set up and serve the sheva brachos tomorrow.”
“But Ma,” I said, “where are we going to host the party? Everyone has the flu in this house.”
My mother suddenly turned white. “You’re right. We need to find someone else to host the sheva brachos!”
She called our neighbors and she asked each of them this:
“Hi! We’re supposed to host a sheva brachos tomorrow night, but the flu is going around our home. Can we use your home to host the party? We’ll clean up the mess after we’re done.”
(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 794)