Fun in spite of CP


Menachem Weiss, a “special” teen with CP, reports every week to Merkaz Ha’inyanim on an angle of life that he alone can talk about
Shalom dear readers!
My parents usually don’t take me along with them to weddings of friends of the family, etc., either because the halls are not wheelchair-accessible, or it’s a family I’m not so close with, or simply because the hosts didn’t explicitly say to bring me along. So when I received a separate, personalized invitation to the wedding of people who used to be our neighbors, I was very excited. We grew up with these neighbors through the years and remained in contact with them till today. I knew we would also meet other neighbors there and I was looking forward to that, too.
The wedding was in a hall very near to our house, so we didn’t even have to drive there. Usually, when I very much want to go somewhere, it is Ezer Mizion that I call. They have vehicles that can handle my wheelchair and, even more important, each driver is so nice and makes me feel so good. This time, though, we didn’t have to call them. The hall was wheelchair-accessible and spacious and altogether very convenient. I went with my parents and, of course, also with my attendant. We got there shortly after the chuppah. As soon as we walked in, we met a few former neighbors who were very happy to see me. They told me that they always read what I write in the newspaper and they look forward to my column all week, because it keeps them updated about what’s doing with us.
When the bride and groom came out of the yichud room, I thought I would be able to dance with Yaakov, the chatan, but there were tons of bachurim and it was very hard to get to him. Meanwhile, I watched the band and saw that it was Ami Cohen’s ensemble; I don’t know them too well. But then I saw that the vocalist who was accompanying them was the Chassidic singer Shlomo Cohen. I literally live on his songs. I like his singing and his songs very, very much. I tried to get close to the band so I could see him.
After the dancing, the chatan came over to me and told me how happy he was to see me. He even thanked me for coming. Soon after, his brothers also came over and told me how happy they were that I came. Yaakov also said that every week he looks forward to reading my article.
After the main dish, I again went next to the band, so I could be close to Shlomo Cohen. The bachurim danced and sang along with him. It was really very special and moving. As I sat there, more neighbors and friends of my parents came over to say hello.
Before we left, the chatan’s mother came over to me and asked how I was doing and thanked me for coming. She was genuinely excited to see me. She also said that with G-d’s help, she hopes to see me at their future family weddings.
I want to wish Yaakov, his new wife, and the whole family a lot of mazal tov and nachat from everyone, and that they should continue making happy occasions with a happy heart!
In the elevator on the way out, I met the director of Ezer Mizion’s summer retreat. He heard that I’m not planning to come to the retreat this year, and he said that I was betraying them. I thought that was funny. It’s really true that this year, I’m not planning to come to the Ezer Mizion retreat and I also do not intend to participate in the Matan Club trip. I have other plans for this summer, but it’s still too early to tell you about them. Everything is still in the preparation stages and it’s quite complex. But the minute we finish the planning stage, I will share the news with everybody and give you a real surprise! You all know how much I look forward to each event at Ezer Mizion. The programs are fantastic. That wonderful feeling we all have that the staff really understands, really cares, really respects us for handling our challenges—that feeling is even better. So you can imagine that the surprise is super, super great to make me even think of missing an Ezer Mizion event. I wish I could have both. We’ll see… Stay tuned.
Until next time,
Menachem Weiss

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