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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Night Mirrors

One of the pleasures of parenthood is hearing (and reading) the "mistakes" that our children make in the language that they use.

Sometimes their mistakes seem more accurate than the actual word or phrase.

For example, in our home, we don't eat "mashed potatoes", but rather "smashed potatoes."

And our children don't have "nightmares" they have "night mirrors" -- reflections of bad thoughts that have somehow invaded their dreams.

I had forgotten about this clever phrase until this evening, when A saw something that my mom was watching on TV and protested that it would give her "night mirrors".

(yet another reason why I don't like the TV to be on when the kids are up....)

Her response made me think about the difficulty that I've had falling asleep these past three nights.

On Sunday, I had a test called: MUGA (Multiple Gated Acquisition Scan). The MUGA checks to see how one's heart is functioning. Herceptin can damage the heart, and my doctor wanted to make sure that I don't have any heart damage, before I had another dose of Herceptin. My heart is fine, thank God!!

(keep davening, 'cause He sure is listening!!)

Anyway, afterwards I met with a friend, JM, for lunch. We had a wonderful time discussing all sorts of things. Towards the end, I must have mentioned the book I'm currently reading: Take Off Your Party Dress -- When Life's Too Busy For Breast Cancer, by Dina Rabinovitch. The author's brother lives on the same yishuv as my friend. JM mentioned something about when the brother sat Shiv'a (the seven day Jewish morning period). "For whom?" I asked. "Oh, I'm so sorry...," said my friend, " I thought you knew.... she died two weeks ago..."

I didn't know Dina Rabinovitch. But I had heard about her blog "Take Off Your Running Shoes" -- it was recommended as an upbeat account of dealing with cancer. I hadn't read the blog, but I was enjoying the upbeat nature of the book. And I related to many of the experiences that the author shared.

As with any well-written autobiography, the more we read, the more we feel that we "know" the author. Perhaps I felt that even stronger because of the Jewish/Israel connection.

All I know is that I suddenly felt like crying. But I couldn't just burst out bawling in the middle of the mall!

I kept busy for the rest of that day. I was scheduled to give a Tupperware Party at a friend's home later that evening, and I couldn't do it if I was down in the dumps. I forced myself to focus. The party was a lot of fun and helped raise my spirit. There were about 15 women, most of whom I knew from different walks of my life, and it was quite a social event!

I came home late and tired, but in a good mood.

I hoped to accomplish a few tasks quickly and then go to bed. Unfortunately, my poor son was sick and needed TLC. By the time Moshe and I took care of him and I finished my few tasks (which took longer, because of the late hour, and my mental and physical exhaustion), I was unbelievably tired. I was certain that I would fall asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

But when I finally fell into bed, I couldn't turn off my mind. I kept thinking about Dina Rabinovitch... I wanted to cry, and mourn, but I didn't know how. Who am I anyway? I don't even know her.

There are no answers to these questions. And, sometimes, there is no ignoring the dark cloud that lurks in the distance. But I did need to sleep.

So I practiced the breathing I learned in The Art of Living course. I tried to calm my mind and my body. It took a while, but I eventually fell into a deep sleep.

As I tried to shut out the reflections of my mind, I prayed that there would be no "night mirrors" to disturb my sleep.

Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,

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