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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Can I Still Fly?

I get it. There's no "over and out". 

There are nightmares and pleasant dreams but at the end of night when the sun has risen, I must get up and remember my own mantra

Life is a Journey. 
I'm here for a reason: to make my soul juicy.
This world is only the beginning.
Love + Faith (and hope) = Joy

Those who know me know that I'm no warrior. 
I'm not a soldier.
I'm not a fighter.
Cancer isn't a battle to win or lose.
Cancer is a life threatening illness that often ends in death.

My Life Journey sometimes feels like a dream and sometimes it's truly a nightmare. I'm already an expert at talking myself down from metaphorical cliffs. I'm an expert at avoiding the most terrible of beasts. 

The ground rumbles and shakes beneath me as It draws closer. Again.
I detect a whiff of It's rancid smelling jaws. 
I've avoided It's razor sharp claws - twice.
I've succeeded at outsmarting It once, twice....
Now it's the third time. 
It sure is tiring living with that beastly stench and hot moist breath just a few paces behind me.

It's the third time.

I still love. I still have faith. 
I hear the crunching of hope, like glass, beneath the claws of the beast. 

I've found myself at the edge of the cliff again, for the third time.
I look down and I can see the bottom.
I look up and I see an endless sky.
I'm tired, so I sit down to rest with my feet dangling over the edge of the cliff. 

That beast is coming, I smell it, I feel it, I know it. 
I know I have to stand up. Again.

Would I dare let myself slip over the edge? 
The bottom is not where I want to end up.
I'm calcified and stuck in this position. 
Petrified, restless, and thirsty, yet I sit here. 

The beast is determined and relentless, and here.
Can I still fly?


  1. Your soul continues to soar, Ahava. Yes, you can fly!! The beast cannot ever conquer the soul. It's all we really have, so FLY!! We fly with you!

    1. Thank you Miri.... With Purim coming perhaps I shall buy some wings :-)

  2. You can always fly, because thats just who you are. its not about the time you had or didnt have, its about what you did with the time you were given. and you my friend have inspired people, you made and continue to make a difference.

    1. Thank you Ryan, I'm glad you're in my life. I'm very lucky to have friends who care and share their wisdom with me. XOXO See you soon!

  3. I was hoping to see a post like this from you. Just the fact that you are asking the question means you still have the will to continue with the full time job of Cancer. I cannot imagine the conflicting pulls you are faced with; work on outsmarting this disease or make the most of the time you have left and spend it with your family. I am deeply pained by either choice. Hope it is ok for me to express how I feel on that.

  4. Powerful, brave words. thank you for sharing. May Hashem grant you the strength you need and a complete refuah.

  5. Hovering Above the Pit

    IT WAS A DARK, COLD NIGHT IN THE JANOWSKA ROAD CAMP. Suddenly, a stentorian shout pierced the air: "You are all to evacuate the barracks immediately and report to the vacant lot. Anyone remaining inside will be shot on the spot!

    "Pandemonium broke out in the barracks. People pushed their way to the doors while screaming the names of friends and relatives. In a panic-stricken stampede, the prisoners ran in the direction of the big open field.
    Exhausted, trying to catch their breath, they reached two huge pits. In the middle were two huge pits.

    Suddenly, with their last drop of energy, the inmates realized where they were rushing, on that cursed dark night in Janowska.

    Once more, the cold, healthy voice roared in the night: "Each of you dogs who values his miserable life and wants to cling to it must jump over one of the pits and land on the other side. Those who miss will get what they rightfully deserve--ra-ta-ta-ta-ta."

    Imitating the sound of a machine gun, the voice trailed off into the night followed by a wild, coarse laughter. It was clear to the inmates that they would all end up in the pits.

    Even at the best of times it would have been impossible to jump over them, all the more so on that cold dark night in Janowska. The prisoners standing at the edge of the pits were skeletons, feverish from disease and starvation, exhausted from slave labor and sleepless nights. Though the challenge that had been given them was a matter of life and death, they knew that for the S.S. and the Ukrainian guards was merely another devilish game.

    Among the thousands of Jews on that field in Janowska was the Rabbi of Bluzhov, Rabbi Israel Spira. He was standing with a friend, a freethinker from a large Polish town whom the rabbi had met in the camp. A deep friendship had developed between the two.

    "Spira, all of our efforts to jump over the pits are vain." We only entertain the Germans and their collaborators, the Askaris. Let's sit down in the pits and wait for the bullets to end our wretched existence," said the friend to the rabbi.

    "My friend," said the rabbi, as they were walking in the direction of the pits, "man must obey the will of God. If it was decreed from heaven that pits be dug and we be commanded to jump, pits will be dug and jump we must. And if God forbid, we fail and fall into the pits, we will reach the World of Truth a second later, after our attempt. So, my friend, we must jump."

    The rabbi and his friend were nearing the edge of the pits; the pits were rapidly filling up with bodies.

    The rabbi glanced down at his feet, the swollen feet of a fifty-three-year-old Jew ridden with starvation and disease. He looked at his young friend, a skeleton with burning eyes.

    As they reached the pit, the rabbi closed his eyes and commanded in a powerful whisper, "We are jumping! When they opened their eyes, they found themselves standing on the other side of the pit.

    "Spira, we are here, we are here, we are alive!" The friend repeated over and over again, while warm tears streamed from his eyes. "Spira, for your sake, I am alive; indeed, there must be a God in heaven. Tell me, Rebbe, how did you do it?"

    "I was holding on to my ancestral merit. I was holding onto the coattails of my father, and my grandfather and my great-grandfather, of blessed memory," said the rabbi and his eyes searched the black skies above. "Tell me, my friend, how did you reach the other side of the pit?"

    "I was holding on to you," replied the rabbi's friend.

    *Based on the conversation of the Grand Rabbi of Blushov, Rabbi Israel Spira, with Baruch Singer, Jan. 3 1975, in Hasidic Tales of the Holocaust, by Yaffa Eliach

  6. My lovely friend- I have been thinking about you so much. Miss you and love you. Nicole