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Monday, May 30, 2016

The Reason

One of the touchiest subjects for a person facing challenge is, why? 

If G-d is loving why do good people suffer? Or worsely for some; why do bad people prosper while good people suffer? How is the Universe right to let innocent babies suffer and young people die of cancer?

I'm very careful around the subject of, Why?, and I mostly don't feel the need to justify G-d's tests and decisions. I have very strong faith and I've dissected these troubling issues at length with my soul on long runs outdoors and in the wee hours of the morning as I try to sleep.

I believe that everything happens for a reason. This is a belief that makes many people very mad.

I'm not asking for the dreaded, "you're so strong and G-d will only give you what you can handle...." line. No. No person facing a duel for their life wants to hear that. I can't always handle this! I'm tired of being the smiling, glowing example of a stage 4 cancer girl, and yet I know that I have no choice. The Higher Being Above decided that my family and I would suffer with a life threatening beast and I have faced 3 grueling and painful surgeries, 2 rounds of chemotherapy, and now again, I am in the midst of a third round. 

For the most part, I succeed at putting on a bright face. You don't see me at home writhing in pain as I recover from emergency abdominal surgery. You don't see my young children entertaining themselves without a mother - but with a mother upstairs in bed. Those are the private scenes and some of the most painful ones to have to live through.

So, if I have so much faith, what's the answer? Right? You want to know why I think bad things like this happen to good people. Why does cancer even exist if G-d is so great? Why would G-d hurt some of the best souls ever to grace this earth?

When I was out on my last run, weeks ago, before my surgery, when I came to the end there was a phenomenal and extraordinary sunset overhead. The colors looked as though they had been painted with bright pinks and fluorescent orange with accents of blue and purple. I stopped and took a few photos. Later I saw that friends from all different places and cities in Israel had posted similar photos from different perspectives on social media. It made me think. Across Israel, millions of us were witnessing the same beautiful canvas painted in the sky! In my mind, an act of G-d for all of us to enjoy for whatever reason. A gift from Above. I loved seeing each friend's reaction to the beautiful sunset and I felt connected to them by having witnessed it myself. I thanked G-d and said a prayer in light of His greatness in giving us such miracles to enjoy. This phenomenal sky came to be as I jogged through a nearby village.

As I trudged through the village, my belly was heavy. Something was wrong and I would soon find out that some 3-4 tumors and parts of my intestine had become strangulated in an incisional hernia that I've suffered from for a coulple of years. Half way through my run, I looked up at the sky and actually began to cry. I had already begun chemotherapy for the THIRD time. Would it work? What if I die sooner than could be planned for or even imagined?! I immediately wiped my eyes and swallowed the lump in my throat. G-d, PLEASE! Help me get through this! I felt a surge of warmth and I thought of the friends I have lost to cancer. So many young and vibrant souls taken up to Heaven before their time. I don't want that to be my legacy! 

When I gather my thoughts and think rationally, I come to many conclusions. I feel that G-d loves me. Entire communities of people have rallied around me and my family to uplift us, provide support and meals for us in our need. My family remains staunchly at my side from Israel to America and Australia. I've been dealt hard times and I have had to miss out on precious moments with my children. Yes, I have suffered. I have also chosen not to suffer. I've taken this horrible hand I've been dealt and used it to speak and write and reach out to others. 

I believe that this world isn't so great. We have pain and suffering from sea to sea. We have wars and strife and hatred galore. Why? This great planet of ours is a temporary place for us to be. Each of us has a soul. We are here to practice and prepare for the next world - call it Heaven or whatever you please. The next stage of life will be after death and it will be better! 

The Next World will be best for those who lived well in this world. For the humble and the kind souls who cultivated watermelons and not raisins.... the Next World will be a wonderland!!!

We all have choices. NOT what hand we are dealt, but what we do with that hand. Who knows why I am the recipient of kindness and not the main giver? Who knows why I must suffer in order for others to shower me with kindness? This is the greatest secret of life. Perhaps we will all find out when we make it to the Other Side.


  1. I want you to know what I think your legacy will be, besides your beautiful amazing children.

    Your legacy will be the lives you have affected, the people who you have helped change. I am not now and never have been very feelingsy, but something I learned from being friends with you is that there is no point in being as standoffish as I had been. Now if someone is important to me, I tell them. when someone says something that affects me, I tell them. You have been a great friend and I know you will be a great friend for as long as the creator sees fit to bless my life by having you in it. an also thank you for keeping Dave in line, without you around, hes a bit of a goon.

    1. This is such a touching and heartwarming response Ryan! I'm humbled by your beautiful words. Thank you. You're a truly good friend.

  2. In losing several friends to cancer, I have not once thought that their legacy is that they died from this horrible disease. It has been that "Sally helped me build an organization and taught me about patience" "Carla's smile as she captained a boat through the harbor was pure joy". As Ryan said, your legacy will be in how you lived, not in how you died, whenever that may be, BH, many years from now. You write beautifully and thoughtfully. Shabbat shalom and refuah shleima.

  3. Thank you for your beautiful & inspiring words. I pray you have a full, speedy & complete Refua Shleima x

  4. This will stay with me. Thank you for being you.

  5. This will stay with me. Thank you for being you. Never stop.