Built to Survive

18 Oct

So, I had my bachelor party a few days ago. My brother and some buddies took me to a casino in Lake Charles. It was a fantastic time, but that place is insane! I don’t know how anyone could frequent a casino. To each his own, yeah? Regardless, I’m thankful I have such an awesome brother and such good friends.

Still, Saturday morning while we were eating breakfast, an elderly woman pulled me aside to comment on my Star of David. She said she had just come from Isreal and such a thing isn’t done by many right now. She began to tear up telling me how beautiful it was to be in a place where one could openly display such a thing without any real fear. She smiled and thanked me for wearing my Star and my faith with pride.

I was speachless. I smiled back, but couldn’t even get out a “Shabbat Shalom” cuz I was trying to absorb the implications of everything she’d just said.

Suddenly I felt shallow. Sitting there, eating a meal I couldn’t hope to finish, talking about my little world with my friends, in complete comfort and opulence, while this woman who’d seen and lived through G-d only knows what, kept looking over and smiling at me. I kept trying to think of something, ANYTHING, to say to her before one of us departed, but every time I tried, my mind was blank.

We finished and got up to leave. I smiled at her again, and bowed my head. She reciprocated. I suppose nothing needed to be said on my part.

Back home, I hugged my fiancé and our son like I hand’t seen them in forever. We are so blessed to be here. I’m so blessed to have them and to not have to worry about them.

I can’t say what, exactly, I gave that woman. Hope? Courage? Strength? Perhaps none of those. Perhaps all that and more. I can’t say what I gave her, but I can say what she gave me: I haven’t felt such a powerful wave of gratitude in a long time.

Thank you, HaShem, for opening my eyes.

מודה אני לפניך מלך חי וקיים שהחזרת בי נשמתי בחמלה רבה אמונתך

Please give strength to those who so desperately need it.

Built to Survive

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