| Diary Serial |

The Girl That Was: Chapter 5    

 I believe in Hashem and I believe that this is somehow all good. I don’t know why, but I believe, I believe, I believe


The news about my mother was bad. The cancer was advanced. The doctors didn’t have much hope. But they did say that they would try to do whatever they could. Within days, we had a new vocabulary, full of words like hospital, chemo, and radiation.

Yehudah stayed with us until Mommy had decided on a doctor and a treatment plan. But his family was going crazy without their space and routine. He needed to get them home.

The community was extremely supportive. They created tehillim programs and shemiras halashon campaigns. They did grocery shopping, sent over suppers, and drove Mommy to her appointments.

I appreciated it so much. It meant so much to me. And yet, I felt a big, empty hole. I felt hollow with loneliness.  As I sat next to Mommy, I would get lost in my daydreams, in a world of just imagine.

Imagine if there would be a husband and father in this picture. Imagine how much better it would be.

But there was no husband and father. There was just me. I matured quickly. At the age of 15, I learned how to make sure Mommy took the right meds at the right times, I worried that she should eat enough, and I made sure that her appointments were all scheduled.

And I learned to talk to Hashem. All day, every day.  Because without Him, I knew I couldn’t go on.

Still, Mommy wasn’t getting better.

I refused to accept that. I told myself that with the treatments that she was going through, of course she was feeling worse before she got better. I told myself she would be okay.

Yehudah came back from Eretz Yisrael. But I told myself that it was just to be with Mommy. Doesn’t it make sense for a son to come spend time with his sick mother?

Yehudah gently explained to me that the treatments weren’t helping, and the doctors had nothing more to do. He said that at this point, the goal was to just keep Mommy as comfortable as possible. My brothers all stayed in the hospital with me. The Rav came in and out a few times.  I think other important people also did. I’m not sure. I just sat there holding Mommy’s hand.

I remember when the Rosh Yeshivah came. After talking quietly to my brothers for a few minutes, he took out a siddur and said that it was time to say Vidui. I wanted to yell at him and explain that Vidui is for people who are dying. My mother isn’t dying. She’s very, very sick, but she isn’t dying! Why doesn’t he realize that?

Yehudah sat next to my mother and said Vidui for her.

Then my brothers started singing.  Slow songs. Songs that proclaim that we love Hashem and we believe in Hashem and that we know that this is all from Hashem. I didn’t sing. But I sat there letting the words into my soul, and slowly, my mind started to accept what was really happening.

My beloved mother wasn’t going to live.


I am an orphan. I am in tenth grade, but I don’t have a mother or a father. I am alone in this world. But I believe. I believe in Hashem and I believe that this is somehow all good. I don’t know why, but I believe, I believe, I believe.

I must have gone home and slept somewhere that night. I don’t remember. I don’t remember the levayah either. I have hazy recollections of people coming over and hugging me. And somewhere in my mind, are images of me sitting and listening to all the hespedim. But I don’t know who spoke and I don’t know what they said.

I came home from the cemetery and people were swarming all over my house. Every adult tried to give me food. As if the food would take away all my pain. As if, if I ate pizza, baked ziti, eggplant parmesan and whatever else they sent over, then I wouldn’t be sad anymore.  I wished that they would just leave me alone. I sat next to Bubby, who was pale and silent, and I laid my head on her shoulder. I let the tears flow freely.

To be continued…


(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 922)

Oops! We could not locate your form.