Friday, July 06, 2007

Life Is What Happens...

...when you're busy making other plans.

My father and mother had their 51st wedding anniversary on June 24.

My father had his 87th birthday on July 4.

He called me in the morning that day and told me to come over for lunch. After lunch, he said, "Thanks for coming over." I said, "Thanks for having a birthday."

I meant that in every way because of the medical difficulties and hospitalizations my father has endured in the past number of years. Bli ayin hara, he is able to continue celebrating.

This weekend our family has a celebration: my nephew's bar mitzvah. It's my brother's youngest son who will be called up to the Torah tomorrow to lain his parsha. My sister-in-law has a large family and relatives are coming from far and wide to join in the simcha; our family is not so large, but we also have relatives coming from far and wide to help celebrate the day and be with our family.

For out-of-town guests, there is a dinner tonight at the shul; tomorrow is a luncheon following services; my first cousin will be speaking for shalosh seudos back at the shul and some guests will be at my brother's house for shalosh seudos. Sunday morning is a brunch at my brother's house.

It has been something to look forward to, and moreso because of the trying times our family has been going through with my dad. Silently I kept thanking G-d and thought we'll have to say a "Shehecheyanu" at shul on my father's behalf.

My mother has told me over the past few weeks that my father keeps saying that he wishes the weekend were over -- it's not because he doesn't want to have some joy in his life, but because he wants to know that he's reached yet another milestone and gotten through it. I kept thinking that the weekend and the simcha itself would just be overwhelming for my dad because of the emotional rollercoaster he will ride with all these close family members around.

As I said in the title, life is what happens when you make other plans. We have been planning for this simcha but my father is now in the hospital. My mother called me around 12:30 in the afternoon yesterday to say that she'd called the ambulance because something was terribly wrong with my father -- he was confused about many things, was so impatient and also suddenly couldn't open a hand. The ambulance took him to a hospital that is good with stroke victims because it's possible that's what he had. He was in emergency all day and was finally admitted last night to a room. For certain, there have been more mini seizures, not necessarily strokes, and for certain my father is in a hospital bed, partially lucid, partially confused, constantly wanting to get out of the bed.

My father will not be at his grandson's simcha. I feel so bad...not fso much for me, but for my mother, my father, my brother and his family and my nephew. We thank G-d that my father is alive to reach this date, yet he is not able to reach the shul. It puts a damper on the whole simcha. I said to my husband, "I'll be there, but my heart won't be in it." He agreed.

When my kids came home from day camp yesterday, I told them that "Zaydie is in the hospital again." My daughter exclaimed, "WHAT? The day after his birthday?"

What a sad irony to life...

Who knows how things will turn out, and why they turn out the way they do, but we have to believe it's all for a GREATER reason.

My father's name is Yaakov Arieh ben Chaya Malka.

Good Shabbos.