Life used to be normal. The usual with five young kids. At least one laundry load a night. Homework. Squabbles. Tantrums. . Shopping on Wednesdays. Cleaning on Thursdays. Small blips like when the washing machine broke down and flooded the basement and the mechanic was out of town or when the six year old experimented with tightrope walking along the rim of a five-foot fence with expected results.
Then there came the big blip…cancer.
They said I would be ok. My mind understood but my emotions were in turmoil. I cried most of the day. Even when I was home, I was not there for my kids.
Wednesday wasn’t shopping day any longer. It was radiation day. Routine? There was none. Sometimes the neighbors provided meals. Sometimes I put together something simple. And sometimes I wasn’t even home when the kids arrived from school. Laundry was haphazard. The eight year old was embarrassed when she came to school wearing mismatched socks.
I hadn’t asked for the cancer but now that it had arrived, I wanted to use it to grow spiritually. I wanted to consider it a gift but the wrapping around it seemed to be stuck. And I wanted my children to feel secure. I couldn’t. I couldn’t do any of those things. I needed help.
My oldest has special needs. There are four others who may not have special needs but they certainly do need their mommy, especially the two pre-schoolers.
The hardest part was the surgery. I would be away from home for a long period. Who’s going to do the…the…the everything? Housework. Homework. Meals for my husband at the hospital.
I’m the independent type. I like to be on the giving side. But I swallowed my pride and made the call. Ezer Mizion, of course, was the place to contact. So I had heard. I couldn’t believe the response I got. The lady was so caring. We were on first name basis immediately and she spoke like a friend even though she was very professional in what she had to offer. She apologized (!) that it wasn’t more but “all” she offered was meals delivered to my home, meals for my husband at the hospital, babysitting, mini-vacations to re-charge batteries, transportation for treatments, retreats, advice as to where I can get household help and how to actualize entitlements that I did not even know existed from government offices and health insurance …
I arranged for meals for the kids for when I’ll be in the hospital, discussed Shabbos concerns. I feel so much better about going into the hospital now. I’ll be signing up for other things also. She made me feel so comfortable. Like I’m part of the family. She understands how I’m feeling and is in touch with me frequently just to ‘hold my hand’. I wish she could see my face each time an email with the words ‘from Ezer Mizion’ slides into my inbox. I feel so cared for. But even though we’ve never met, I think she knows.
I feel I can handle it all now. With Ezer Mizion by my side, I can conquer the world.