When the Meat Patty Smiles


I met the mother at the bat-mitzvah party for her daughter. They had started talking about her daughter’s bat-mitzvah already when she was just six years old. N., a talented child who loved musical performances, decided that her bat-mitzvah party would be a grandiose theatrical production. Two months before she turned ten, N. already knew what she would wear, down to the color of her bow. But a month before she turned ten, N. moved from her beautiful, music-filled room to her new “home” on the seventh floor of the Schneider Children’s Hospital oncology ward. She would spend the next two years here, in the company of medical instruments and IV’s, tests and pain, hopes and fears. We will skip the details of this two-year living gehinom for now and go back to N.’s almost completely healthy bat-mitzvah, which took place in the yard of her family home and was dedicated – by her request – to recruiting friends and funds for Ezer Mizion. That is where I met her and her mother . This is what was said in a speech by a relative that evening:
“Today, we mark one of the acmes of the two-year journey that was forced on our entire family. When G-d decrees a bitter and difficult fate on someone, He also gives him the tools to deal with it – internal tools, but also external tools. In the course of these two years, we merited seeing these tools day after day in the form of the smiling eyes of the Ezer Mizion volunteer girls, the welcoming car of the Ezer Mizion volunteer who helped us get to the hospital and back, the hot meals served to us daily by Ezer Mizion, and the warm home we found at Ezer Mizion’s Oranit guest home for cancer patients.
Did you ever see the caressing smile of G-d in a meat patty, mashed potatoes, and portion of string beans? I did- in every meal served to me by a caring Ezer Mizion volunteer. Did you ever find your mood swinging from one extreme to the other because of a yellow balloon? Or a green one? It happened to us while we spent time at Ezer Mizion’s wonderful home for cancer patients and their families. Did you ever find yourself traveling to the hospital oncology ward, your heart light after the calming, supportive conversation that accompanied you along the way? We did.
Since we all understood that without the people at Ezer Mizion, we could not have gotten through this time in our lives, we decided to dedicate the bat-mitzvah party to this wonderful organization and its special people, who taught us all that life itself is not enough; you need to have something to live for.”
That was precisely a year ago. Yesterday I called N., who has recovered completely, to wish her a happy thirteenth birthday. Mazel tov, N. and thank you, Ezer Mizion!

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