Calmly, I called my son. “Please tell Daddy I’ve broken my leg. You’ll need to call an ambulance”
thought the arrangements for our son’s chasunah, scheduled for six weeks after Succos, were all in place. My gown was purchased and hanging regally in the cupboard. The freezer was empty, waiting to be filled with sheva brachos food. Succos we planned to be in Eretz Yisrael.
Then, the day after Yom Kippur, I slipped down two stairs. My leg was askew, at an odd angle. I didn’t have to be told it was broken. Calmly, I called my son. “Please tell Daddy I’ve broken my leg. You’ll need to call an ambulance.”
I remember very little after. Hours later, I woke up in a hospital bed, my leg encased in a huge, heavy white cast. Later I learned that my leg was so badly broken that the X-rays were passed around the hospital department.
“Lift your leg off the bed!” the doctor instructed on his first visit. The cast was heavier than me. The most I could achieve was two inches. A few days later, sporting a new, lighter cast, two physiotherapists appeared to get me walking. I was eager to get started, after all, my ambition was to walk my son’s kallah down to the chuppah.
Standing up for the first time, one leg rigid, warnings not to put down my foot ringing in my ears, was extraordinarily scary. Crutches were useless. I just tipped backwards. The wonderful physiotherapists brought a new friend — an elbow frame. It resembled a walking frame but taller. Your elbows rest on either side to steady you. One tentative hop at a time, I managed to get across my room and then back to bed. It took me a full hour! And left me exhausted.
Dogged persistence pushed me further every day — up and down the corridors of the ward, with the staff cheering me on. I would whisper the words of the Kohein Gadol to keep me going, “Achas, achas v’achas, achas v’shetayim.” Each step was one step nearer to my dream.
At last I was sent home to “rest and be careful.” A house filled with furniture was not the ideal place to practice. Somehow, I created a circuitous route that I’d tenaciously follow several times a day.
Life was not without hazards. One day, I lost my balance and fell backward into the laundry basket.
But I never gave up.
The day of the chasunah, while I rested, my frame was decorated.
And then, it was time. I stood next to the kallah who put her hand over mine. And I did it! Slowly and steadily, I walked her toward her future.
(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 795)
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