Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Because I Can and so I Did

Tonight I let my son stay up late and we played together. Just because I like to hear him laugh and because I'm grateful that he's here with me and because Mommies can push off bedtimes if they want to because I can and so I did.

Tonight I baked a cake and I just took it out of the oven and it smells delicious. Just because I was in the mood and because I know it will make my husband smile and because I had too much cocoa sitting in my pantry and because I can and so I did.

Tonight I took a sponge and crawled up on the counter to clean in the corners behind my sink. Just because they were dusty and because I wanted them clean and because I like climbing onto countertops and because I can and so I did.

Tonight I washed the floors with Mr Clean and now my house is spotless. Just because I like the smell of lemons and because the smell also reminds me of Fruity Pebbles cereal and because the floors were dirty and because I can and so I did.

Tonight I spent an hour schmoozing to my friend and we caught up. Just because I missed her and because I'm lucky to have her and because there's no one to tell me not to hog the phone lines anymore and because I can and so I did.

Tonight I am going to read a book and skip pages if I want to. Just because I want to read the funny parts and laugh a little and because no one is here to tell me that I can't read a book in mixed up order and because I can and so I will.

Tonight is the first night of the rest of my life. Just because tonight is five years since my last day of chemo and because tonight my status changes to become that of a regular person who has the same chances of getting sick like someone who was never sick before and because tonight my period of remission ends.

Tonight is special just because I say it is and because I have this night that's just another great night with nothing else to worry about and because I have a night that's just full of me doing stuff because I'm healthy and capable and willing and because I can and so I do!

Five years ago they told me that chemo is over and that I can have a great life, and tonight, just a regular night, I know it's true. They said I can, and I know I do.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Just for Cuteness

My family and I went back to Hackensack (the hospital where I was treated) for their Chanukah party and my son, (whom I dressed up to show off) decided he wasn't interested and took a leisurely nap on a table. My little monster. :)

Just thought I'd share now that I finally got the pics onto the computer.

EDIT: The other pictures were added after some commentor couldn't understand why I call him a monster. He's my yummy monster, devilishly cute.

(Note ketchup stains around mouth...)
(As I was running to bentch licht my son was taking care of setting the table)

(Note some more ketchup stains around mouth.)

(Nothing tastes as as good as biting into a WHOLE tomato.)

(Taking time to smell the flowers.)

(Trying out his new fluffy slippers.)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Denomination Doesn't Determine Destiny

Here comes part two of my second to last post.

So I got to thinking, I don't double cover my sheitel even though I'm Chassidish, my Yemenite best friend isn't required to have a middle name like Mazal, and my Litvish friends don't all wear denim. It's weird how silly little things get stereotyped and people come to expect them.

But that's not my main point.

My thought was, after I was mistaken for being S'fardi, that as much as we stereotype other people, we also tend to exclude and try to elevate ourselves to a level above them.

There have been times where I've felt that people looked down at me for having been sick- like I chose it, or like it's something that only people who are "like me" (whatever my group may be) can get. People just assume that these bad things don't happen to them.

Whenever we hear about an accident or get another tehillim name forwarded on our email accounts, or find out about another young person who passed away, we sort of all say "nebech", forward the bad news further, say a perek or tehillim (or not) and then move on.

We kind of forget that these names are real people and that they are people like us. We tend to think that they belong to some "other" group, that live in some "other" universe, that lead "other" lives that don't pertain to us.

We're all guilty of it- I do it all the time.

Part of it is because we are desensitized. Unfortunately, there is so much bad news and we hear it so often, that it loses the dramatic impact it should have on us. But I think a bigger part of it is how disconnected we feel and allow ourselves to feel from each other.

And even those of us who aren't judging people that are different- and most of us don't- we still do think of others as being "not like us". When we read the terrible headlines we automatically say "Oh, but these things don't happen to people like me."

We hear about an Israeli soldier who was killed on the front lines the other day and the first questiona are "Was he frum? Ashkenaz?" etc. Does it matter? He was Jewish. He was one of ours.

I wrote in a post ages ago where a lady at a job interview told me quite bluntly that she was shocked that I was married because she would never let her son marry a cancer survivor. She made it sound like I was born into a coven of little monsters that were all fated to live through some horrible illness at the age of 16. I was the outcast, the different one, because things like cancer just didn't happen to people like her and her precious son.

And I sure hope they don't! I hope she and her son and her family are all well and never have to go through any tza'ar, but still- who told her that she's immune?

And when I heard about those ladies talking about me at the RCCS event, I had to wonder- do they feel better about themselves thinking that I am S'fardi? Did they go home relieved that something like cancer couldn't happen to them because it was only something that happened to "people like her"?

There is no real answer or solution to this that I can think of off the bat except for really trying to internalize the message- "Kol Yisrael Areivim Zeh Lazah." We are all responsible for each other and we are all interconnected and part of one whole. "Ke'ish Echad B'lev Echad."

I think that this is even sadder than judging other people because when we judge we single someone (or a group) out and put them down. But when we assume that certain things only happen to certain people, we are taking OURSELVES out of the whole. We are choosing to separate ourselves as individuals from the K'lall that we should all feel so privileged to belong to.

So the next time you meet or hear about someone who needs your help- see them that way. As a Someone. As a Person. As a Jew. Forget about the denomination, because in the end, we all share the same Destiny.

May our ultimate destiny be fulfilled very soon! Bimheira V'yameinu Amein!

Friday, January 02, 2009

I know I promised to give you part two of last post, but this is more exciting so it's coming first:

First of all here's a comment posted by LadyD from RCCS that I'm going to put up as a post because I don't want you to miss it:

Tzipi's slides and interview on DVD are availabe for sale ($12)through RCCS. Please call 718-722-2002 ex:0 to request one.

Edited DVD of slides/interview/speech/Reb. Swerdlov will be available shortly for $18.

Thanks for the interests


I HAVE A WEBSITE!!!!!! It's not finished and still pretty raw, but it's up and running and working and I'm so proud of it even though (like my scrapbook) my mother did most of it...

I'm going to have to try and figure out how to connect my blog and my website so that people can see both because dont worry- I'm not giving this up just yet. The blog is for my writing and the website is more for me as an author with my bio and work and whatever.

Check it out and let me know what you think!