Category Archives: miscellaneous

Nine year blog anniversary!

It’s hard for me to believe that nine years ago today I began this blog!

The blogosphere has changed dramatically and many blogs have come and gone during this time.  Some say that people aren’t interested in reading blogs anymore but the number of you reading keeps me writing!

I have a surprisingly varied readership and yet somehow you’re all reading here together!  As I begin a new year of blogging I would love your feedback as to what topics are of most interest and value to you.

Please take a few minutes to share with me your thoughts on the following

– Has reading this blog affected you and if so, in what way?

– What topics do you find of most value?  Why?

– What topics would you like to see more of?

– (Any other comments or thoughts are also welcome!)

Hearing what the impact of this blog has been on you and what you want to read more of will help me focus the time I set aside for blogging so it will be of maximum value to you all.  If you’d like to have a say in the direction of this blog, please crawl out of the anonymity of the computer screen and share your thoughts with me in the comments section below!

Thanks for a wonderful nine years and I look forward to another great year to come!

Avivah

 

Sharing the wedding of a dear friend’s daughter

I had a wonderful time at the wedding of my close friend’s daughter in Jerusalem last night!   She lives in the US and we’ve only seen each other once in the last fifteen years (not including last night), and it was very special to be able to share this event with her in person.  It was a beautiful, beautiful evening, very poignant and emotional for me after knowing the mother for almost thirty years and the bride since she was an infant.

I was expecting that I’d hardly know anyone outside of the family members of the bride, but I was very pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t the case! First, I had the pleasure of meeting a blog reader and her mother-in-law.  Then while I was speaking with them, I saw a friend for whom I made sheva brachos about 21 years ago, accompanied by her three teenage daughters (she still remembers spending Shabbos at our home when she was in early pregnancy with her oldest, now 20).  I saw her briefly at a get together arranged when I visited Israel in Feb. 2011 (before making aliyah was on the agenda), and before that it had been at least nine years since we saw one another.

Then while talking to her, someone suddenly exclaimed, “Avivah!” and I turned to see someone excitedly approaching me who I couldn’t immediately identify.  You know when you’re not expecting to see someone you haven’t seen for a long time so you need a minute to place them?  A moment later I realized she was a neighbor and friend who I last saw 15 years ago – she then moved to Brazil and I hadn’t had any contact with her since then.  She had no idea I was in Israel, and I had no idea she was in Israel – it was a very wonderful mutual surprise!  We spent quite a bit of time catching up.

Then when walking to the chuppa, I glanced at someone who simultaneously glanced at me, and we both said, “You look familiar!”  Turns out she was Yirmiyahu’s physical therapist at Shalva for the few times he went, over a year and a half ago.  What a lovely woman.  When the meal began, I happened to sit next to someone who recognized me from the homeschooling talk I gave in Telzstone in June.

It turned out to be a very social evening that I thoroughly enjoyed, but all of these interactions were really the cherry on top of being able to be there when my dear friend’s oldest daughter got married.  I stayed in Jerusalem overnight and the next day we (me and the mother of the bride) were able to spend several hours chatting, which was amazing.  A good friend is an incredible gift and I am very blessed.

And I’m also happy to be off of all those buses….I’m becoming an increasingly disgruntled and weary traveler.  :)  I need at least a month of no long distance bus travel before I can mentally think about making that trip again.  Ugh.  I seriously feel like spending a day in bed.  I won’t belabor how difficult this trip was for me, but truly  every second of the traveling was worth it to share this life event with my friend!

Avivah

No computer = more productivity for me!

A few weeks ago, one of my children knocked my laptop off the table.  After I picked it up, the screen was making a rattling sound but it seemed to be working fine despite the sound.

Last night, my screen suddenly stopped working.  I assume that whatever got loose at that time finally disconnected.  And despite the inconvenience of not having a working computer, I wasn’t too sorry about that since I appreciate not having the mental push/pull of thinking of things online that I need to do.

I had a nice productive day today, from morning to night.  Sunday is always a busier day since there’s extra cleanup from Shabbos; in addition to the kitchen cleanup I took in four loads of dry clothes from the drying rack and put them away, washed and hung two more loads, cleaned the boys’ room together with them, ate breakfast, told the kids the parsha for the week at breakfast, davened with them, spent time with visiting family members from the US, went to the park with the kids and even had time for a long nap and a long session practicing my flute in addition to other things.

It was nice to feel productive and relaxed because last week I felt incredibly unproductive.  I started my week with a trip to Jerusalem, which was an entire day trip.  Then I spent the next day recuperating from the exhaustion of my trip. Then Tuesday, I spent another entire day in Jerusalem (left at 6 am, back at 9:40 pm), then Weds. recuperating (I get super nauseous and headachy from traveling, that’s why I need a day to get back to myself), then Thursday busy with shopping and Shabbos preparations.  We enjoyed having three visiting family members in addition to three of our older kids home for Shabbos.

And now I’m preparing to be in the Jerusalem area again, this time for the next two days.  This trip is for the wedding of a close friend’s daughter.  Since there aren’t buses running after the wedding back to Karmiel, I’ll be staying overnight in Jerusalem, then hopefully having time to visit with my friend before heading back home.  I’ll leave midday Monday and will be back Tuesday afternoon.

I don’t enjoy the traveling or leaving the kids for so long, but I’m glad tomorrow’s trip is for a happy occasion.  And I’m also really glad to have gotten things in order today, spent time with everyone and just generally feel settled – it makes it easier to leave when I feel like I’ve been on top of things.

Avivah

DD18 hit by car, prayers appreciated

I got an early morning call from dd18 this morning, and in response to my cheery, “Good morning, M!” which she seemed not to hear, she said, “Um, don’t be worried (I started to feel cold inside as soon as she said that knowing something bad was coming) but I just got hit by a car.”

She was calling as they were getting her ready to transport to the hospital.  She was waiting in Jerusalem for her bus when a car spun out of control, leaped the curb and hit her and another man at the bus stop.  The man was standing three feet from her; he was hit first and more seriously injured.

Thankfully, the bench where she usually sits was wet so she chose to stand to the side instead, saving her from a very serious injury – the bench was directly hit by the car and demolished.

Dd says she was only lightly injured and I hope this is true.  She says she’s mostly okay but right after an accident, a person often doesn’t feel their injuries and I’m waiting to hear after she’s checked out at the hospital how she’s really doing.

I called dd19 who is in an outlying area of Jerusalem to let her know what happened, and ask her to go to the hospital to meet dd18 so she won’t be alone.  She doesn’t have a direct bus so it will take her some time to get there.  So then I called the dorm counselor where dd18 studies and asked her to arrange someone to be with dd18 in the hospital.  I wish I could be with her but she needs someone now and I’m a few hours away.

It’s now 8:30 am and I’ll update as the day goes along.  I would appreciate prayers for Michal bas Avivah Michaelah.  If I’m able to get the name of the man who was hurt, I’ll share that as well.

Edited to add: dd’s dorm counselor met dd at the hospital as soon as she could get there. Dd’s wrist was broken and after giving her a cast was released.  She’ll need to follow up with an orthopedist to check that the bone is setting straight.  Dd19 spent most of the day with her.

A friend from Karmiel happened to be leaving to Jerusalem this morning and I gave her homeopathic and flower essence remedies for dd to help with the shock and emotional trauma, which dd began taking as soon as it got there.  She’s spent hours sleeping but is still unusually tired.  Her head and arm are hurting – I know it must be a lot because she mentioned it and since she doesn’t complain, for her to mention something means it’s significant.

 I’m going to make an appointment with our osteopath as soon as I can get her an appointment; when I was hit by a car the osteopath told me to wait for two weeks before getting a treatment so it won’t be any sooner than that, and is likely to be Chanuka time since she has a long waiting list.  

Thank you all for your prayers and good wishes – this was very unsettling and worrisome for us all but I’m so grateful it wasn’t more serious.

Avivah

The value of a good friend – more precious than gold

2a42b895622dc0dc7206b17f3a39e5f9[1]Last week I traveled to Jerusalem to spend time with one of my very closest friends who was here for a short visit.  And I was struck once again at the power of friendship.

When I was in the US, I didn’t value my friendships enough – as the saying goes, you don’t know the value of something until you don’t have it.  I took for granted the easy access and frequent chats and support of my friends.  But then I moved overseas and all of that disappeared.  And what I had instead was a big blank space.

I think this is something really hard about making aliyah.  No one knows you when you move to a new country.  Hopefully you move to a place where people start to see who you are and appreciate you sooner or later but it’s also possible you’re living in a place that isn’t a good fit for you and what you bring to the table isn’t recognized.  I’ve been fortunate to have been seen as someone with a lot to offer in the other communities I’ve lived in, and living in Karmiel has been a different experience for me.  But until I spoke with her I didn’t realize how subtly but steadily not being valued communally has worn away at me and affected my vision of myself.

I’m so grateful for a friendship that is nurturing and affirming, for a friend who doesn’t let me forget who I am or what I bring to this world.  It’s amazing to have someone who knows every part of you – the good, the bad and the ugly – and can with total belief and sincerity encourage you to step into life with the fullest expression of yourself.   I didn’t realize how much I wasn’t doing that until we spoke, and I’m making a commitment to myself to more consciously move towards that.  And since I know lots of you reading are also living too small for yourselves, I’ll be sharing my baby steps with you.

Avivah

When to stay with something and when to move on

It’s interesting how comments and questions on certain issues seem to often come as groups.  This has happened recently with the topic of making a change – I was asked the same question by three different people in close succession: when is moving toward change positive and when is it running away from a problem.  Interestingly, all three were in situations in which a change would be beneficial, which made me wonder if it’s the people who have a tendency to stay in difficult situations who phrase the question in this way.

The most recent person to ask me about this was my dd17 when she was home for Chanukah vacation.  She’s living with an elderly woman which provides her with a place to live and a salary and she’s studying in an Israeli seminary – where she lives and where she studies are both difficult situations.  She’s not happy but told me she’s not sure if she needs to stick this out.  I told her, “If you’re a member of this family, your issue isn’t going to be running away from problems but staying in a non-suitable situation too long and trying to see the positives.”

Being positive and looking for the good in life is important, but you can’t let that keep you from acknowledging when a situation needs to be changed.   I suggested that first step is for her to be honest about how she’s feeling, not to rationalize or justify staying where she is because she doesn’t know how it can work out financially to do something different – just to acknowledge to herself how she’s really feeling and be willing to say, ‘I’m not happy’.  Then after getting in touch with that feeling – which doesn’t take too long once you clear away the mental clutter – to ask herself: “Is this situation supporting me and the life I want to have?  If not, why not?  What would be more supportive of my needs?”

So she did that and we talked quite a bit about what this means for her.  This week she gave notice to the family of the woman she works for that she’ll be leaving in a month, is interviewing with another family as a possible place to stay, and contacted the principal of an American seminary here in Israel to see if a mid-year transfer is possible.  I asked her how she felt and she said it all feels good.

It seems to me that most people get stuck on one side or another of this question when they have to ask themselves the question about if their current life situation serves them or not.  Many people stay with situations that aren’t supportive for too long, not believing that anything better is out there, thinking that they don’t deserve for things to be good or blaming themselves for the way the situation is.

Others go to the other extreme, moving from place to place, job to job, relationship to relationship, always blaming others for their situations and searching for that elusive happiness in the next place.  When a person is having a hard time in life because of who they are, they carry that with them wherever they go.  Someone who hosts a lot of people checking out her community told me she can tell right away who is a good candidate and who isn’t by asking why they want to move.  She said when people start complaining about everything that is wrong with where they’re currently living, she knows they’re going to miserable in her community, too.

So how can you tell when you objectively would be better off in a different life situation?  When are you running away from something instead of putting in the effort and time to make things work, and when are you moving forward towards a better and more fulfilling life?

This is a really individual situation and sometimes for the same person, it can look very different in different situations.  If you’re in an abusive situation, generally the faster you get out, the better.  Aside from that, we have to remember that all beginnings are difficult and time takes time.  Don’t give up on your current situation too soon – think about what specifically is missing for you, and what you can do to make it work for you.  If you’ve put in time and effort and after a reasonable amount of time things aren’t improving, you probably are seeing the reality of the situation and it’s time to think about making a change.  Don’t blame yourself for being where you are right now; it is what it is, you learned something from where you were and now you can move on.

Since we can’t be objective about ourselves, it’s very valuable to get feedback from someone outside of the situation who is willing to listen to you without projecting themselves onto the scenario.  At times when I’ve grappled with choices of this sort and spoken to friends, it’s been interesting how obvious the answer to my question was to them!  People outside the situation can often see things more clearly since they aren’t fixated on all the tiny details that our minds can get tangled up with.

If you’ve determined that change would be beneficial for you, have courage.  Trust that life is meant to be good, that you are worthy of good and that you will overcome the initial challenges the new situation is going to present you with.  Making a change like this is an act of self-value and self-love; we can’t have better things in our lives until we recognize that we deserve better in our lives.

If you’ve grappled with decisions of this sort, please share how you recognized when it was time to make a change or stick things out!

Avivah

Just chilling and enjoying each other on Chanukah!

So far we’ve had a really wonderful Chanukah!  What makes it nice is having almost all of our kids at home.  Ds20 and ds14 happened to arrive home from different cities at the same time on Friday afternoon, and when they came inside and everyone was hugging each other hello and talking, I had a very full feeling of deep inner joy: this is my family, that every bit of effort I invested as a mother was worth it.  I had that feeling a number of times over the next few days as I watched them all interacting together.  I love seeing their loving and supportive relationships with each other.

When we moved to Israel, we decided to stop giving presents on Chanukah.  We always tried to keep this toned down, but with so many people giving each other presents just among us and the kids, it made for a lot of stuff.  I wanted to keep the focus on the spirit of Chanukah more, and moving here was a good way to make a shift away from presents.  I gave one family gift this year (the board game Cadoo) and the kids have enjoyed playing it together every day since then.

Otherwise, our focus is just on time together – especially now that ds14, dd17 and ds20 aren’t usually home.  (Ds20 was only home from Friday to Monday.)  After menorah lighting (anyone over the age of 5 who wants to lights his/her own menorah), we sing Maoz Tzur/Rock of Ages, then continue singing more Chanukah songs together as my dh dances with the kids.  (This has been our routine for many years.)  Then we sit around together after that, mostly relaxing while the Chanukah candles burn.

Another thing that adds to the Chanukah feeling are the appearance of a couple of foods that are unique to Chanukah.  We usually make chocolate glazed doughnuts at least twice during Chanukah.  Our electric food processor and our manual food processor both broke so we couldn’t grate any potatoes for latkes (potato pancakes).  Then yesterday ds14 brought home a new hand grater and last night he made latkes for everyone – delish!

The only one  missing was dd19, and I’m grateful that thanks to technology we were able to fill this gap a tiny bit.

We skyped with dd19 before menorah lighting on Friday when everyone was here, so she could ‘be’ with us during lighting.  In the middle we suddenly heard the sound of a camera going off along with corresponding flashes of light, and there she was, taking pictures of us from her computer in the US!  On Tuesday night we skyped again (ds20 wasn’t home anymore); this time she asked everyone to get in the picture right before we began lighting.

Here’s the picture she took, with dd19 in the corner inset (everyone holding a candle was lighting a menorah):

Inline image 1

When spending time with her children and grandchildren, my mother often says, “It doesn’t get better than this!”  Many people are so focused on the performance and accomplishments of their loved ones that they can’t appreciate them for being unless they’re also doing.  I’m grateful that my mother finds so much joy in the simple things in life, and I share that feeling!

Avivah

The truth about being strong – it’s not always how it seems

This week marks a month since I was hit by a car…..it’s been a very intense month.

The first week was physically difficult but that has gotten much better.  Ds4 and I went to the osteopath a couple of weeks ago.  She examined him and found the muscles on one side of his body were knotted throughout the entire side – she had me feel it and even my inexperienced hands could tell what she was talking about.  She said she never sees this in a child other than when there has been an accident of some sort or when there is scoliosis and then it’s only with kids who are much older than him.  She worked on him and told me not to worry, that he won’t have any lasting damage from the accident.  He’s doing great – though when we cross the street he often tells me when we get to the other side that the car waiting at the crosswalk right then almost hit us; that’s his feeling and there’s obviously still anxiety about crossing streets but this is getting less.

Then she worked on me and asked me if I was having headaches and dizziness and if that was something new since the accident.  I told her I was and it was (though I hadn’t paid much attention to it until she asked), and she said from the state of my neck it was impossible that I wouldn’t be.  She had initially said since my body went through so much trauma that she wasn’t going to do any physical manipulations because they are a sort of trauma as well but when it came to my neck, she wasn’t able to release the muscles without manipulating.  She warned me I might have a healing response afterward and she was right; for at least 24 hours I had a horrible non-stop headache.  But thankfully I  haven’t had any headaches and the dizziness has been minimal since then.

However, I’ve started having breathing difficulties that are atypical for me, and I’ve been really tired.  Really, really tired.  Like at 11 in the morning I have to take a nap.  Also not typical for me.  This began the day after the accident.  The regular doctor said there’s no connection but I’m positive there is and here’s in short what I think happened.  The adrenal glands are what handles stress in the body and when they’re weak or stressed, your immune system drops (when this becomes a chronic situation, it’s adrenal fatigue).  My adrenals were needing significant support before the accident and I believe that this level of physical and emotional stress pushed my adrenals beyond their ability to cope, like the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.  Asthma and chronic fatigue syndrome are both direct results of later stage adrenal fatigue.

Fortunately, I began treating my adrenals the week before the accident and and  am continuing to work on this.  Maybe I’ll talk more about the boatload of vitamins I’m taking daily as part of my healing protocol another time.  Healing the adrenals is a long, long process and this sudden worsening of my adrenal symptoms is something that will take much longer to spring back from than the physical injuries alone.  But it’s good to understand what’s happening and I’m optimistic that my adrenals can heal and I’ll get back to myself.

Emotionally it’s been a difficult month.  It was as if my feeling of isolation regarding lack of support through all the difficulties we’ve gone through in the last two years was triggered by this accident and started flooding out at once.  Good thing I was taking so many emotion balancing vitamins!  This hasn’t been a fun process to say the least but it’s a learning process.

Today I was told by an alternative physician who has supported many people through difficult situations through the years, that she’s never seen someone go through so many troubles who remained as calm and positive as I have, and she thinks I’m the bravest person she ever met.  I recently read something by a pediatrician with many years of practice and she wrote that out of all the traumas she’s seen parents go through, the absolute worst suffering she’s ever seen is one of the situations we’ve gone through.

I have a knee jerk reaction to reject statements like these.  I don’t see my life like this; things have felt hard and sometimes overwhelmingly hard, but even at the worst moments it never seemed worse than what many other people go through.  By the time you’re a parent at my stage of life, just about all of us have experienced really serious challenges of some sort and when I hear what others have gone through, I’m so grateful my challenges are what they are and not worse.  I’m fortunate that so many people have confided in me about their difficulties so I don’t have to theorize about this.   I’m not a complainer – or at least I try not to be – and I tend to downplay what life has been like except to say there have been difficulties.  I have so much to be grateful for – my amazing husband and children are at the top of the list – and I don’t want to focus on what hasn’t been good.  But since the accident, part of my healing process is to allow myself to say that yes, we’ve gone through really hard stuff, one hard thing on top of another and another, all piled on top of each other; each one of those things being situations that people seriously struggle with when it’s only one thing.  When I stand back and look at it through someone else’s eyes I do kind of wonder how we’ve managed.

I have a resistance to being told how strong I am.  I know this is always intended in a positive way but sometimes I have a sense it’s almost like implying that things are easy for me to get through because I have amazing coping skills.  No, it’s not easy for me.  I earned whatever coping skills I have through being forced to develop them.  I’m grateful – beyond grateful – that I and my family have gotten through so many tough things without falling apart.  Sometimes I feel conscious of being an emotionally strong person.  But with equal honesty I can admit that often I feel weak and scared and powerless.  In spite of that weakness or maybe because of it, God has been very good to me and He somehow gives me what I need to keep going so I can keep putting one foot in front of the other.

So when this physician today continued and said I seem to have a lot of inner quiet and faith, she touched on the real answer.  I don’t have so much inner calm and I don’t have so much faith, but whatever faith I have enables me to seem as if I have inner calm. :)  Obviously I need these constant reminders about Who is really in charge and to let go and trust Him to take care of me or I wouldn’t be getting them; I just have to remember that on a daily basis when things aren’t in crisis mode and then I’ll be in good shape!

Avivah

Finding peace about accident

Thank you to all who expressed empathy and concern about how I’m doing after the accident.  It’s taken a bit of time but I’m feeling much better.  I took my time to feel upset and betrayed and angry and now I’ve moved into a better space.  I don’t feel like a victim anymore – I made a decision to pursue compensation to a certain point.  If that works, great.  If things get held up and it doesn’t go, I’ve drawn a line in my mind beyond which I’m not going to give this situation any more of my time and energy.

My husband approached the head of Hatzalah (a private emergency service), who was called to the scene after the accident, and explained the unwillingness of the driver to provide her insurance/car/license info.  This man immediately said he’ll get the information from the driver and not to worry about it.  He said the other party probably heard an American accent and thought “Friarim” (suckers), assuming they could take advantage of the situation because we’re not native Israelis.  He wasn’t intimidated at all by the fact that the driver was a lawyer.  He was mildly interested/amused and said there’s nowhere for her to hide.  He’ll tell her she can choose to work with us or not work with us but either way this is going to the police and it will be worse for her if she doesn’t cooperate.

This is a person who knows how to get things done and getting him involved is my effort to see justice served.  This is where I’ve drawn the line: I’m not going to find witnesses to the accident and pursue this further in court if for whatever reason she doesn’t cooperate.  I’ve lost all I’m going to lose in this situation (except for a few hundred shekels when I have my osteopathic appointment) and I’m not going to lose anything else.  Not peace of  mind, not time, not energy.  Nothing.  I’ve decided on what my stop loss order is going to be (to use a Dale Carnegie term) and this is it.

Ds4 is doing great.  I’ve been giving him opportunities to talk about the accident and he brings it up from time to time and talks about different things.  It’s good not to shrink from discussing it.  He seems to be dealing with it well.  I’m a little (maybe a lot :)) edgy when I cross the street at crosswalks now but I think that’s pretty normal and it will get better with time.  I have some residual soreness in my lower back but I’m basically back to myself.  I’m sleeping a lot better now and have been able to release a lot of my antipathy towards the other driver although I’m not yet at the full forgiveness stage.

I think a big part of moving from victim to empowerment mentality is feeling like I have a say in what happens, that life isn’t just happening to me.  Realizing that it’s the driver who has a problem, not me, was extremely helpful in reframing everything that was going on.  I was mentally giving her the power in this situation and now I’m not doing that.  I feel like a powerful person who is making a conscious decision about how to handle this, and it’s not a decision being based on fear or exhaustion.  I’m actively deciding how much this is or isn’t worth to me and that feels very healthy.

Even if we get the insurance information tomorrow, it will take a few weeks to get through the process and so I’ll let you know what does or doesn’t happen when we’re further down the road and have some closure.  Thank you all again for caring about us!

Avivah

Today I was hit by a car

After two years of crisis and trauma, I’m grateful we’re finally coming out of the intense pressures that have become our standard daily fare.  Yesterday morning I had a long talk with my dh and said we need to consciously recognize that life is getting smoother – finally! – and move out of an urgency paradigm; it has to be conscious since urgency has become habitual due to circumstances.  That’s what I was planning to write about today.

This afternoon I took ds4 with me to pick up something from a friend; I wanted to take ds6 but he had fallen asleep and couldn’t be woken up.  Ds7 was at a friend and Yirmiyahu had fallen asleep. So I uncharacteristically set out with just one child to this particular friend.  After getting the item, I headed towards my mom, planning to surprise her with a short visit.

In Israel, drivers are obligated to stop for pedestrians crossing the street.  I’ve been very impressed by how good Israeli drivers are about this and as a result (at least where we live) most people will cross in front of a moving vehicle even before it shows signs of slowing, trusting the driver will stop.  Being an experienced driver and knowing drivers can be distracted, I’m very cautious and always pause and make sure the driver has slowed and is looking at me before beginning to cross.  That’s what I did today.

The driver had come to a stop but I kept my eye on her as I crossed (another cautious habit of mine) and as I did, I was horrified to see her begin to drive straight toward me.  My mind for a fraction of a second couldn’t process that she was looking straight at me and had started driving, but more urgent than understanding why she was doing that, was the knowledge that ds4 was between me and the oncoming car.

My heart froze as I began to turn towards ds4…the car was so close and the time to act was so short….

I turned toward him to yank him away and before I could pull him, the car hit me.

As I fell I couldn’t see ds4 and I had a horrible panicked feeling that he was going to be run over.  When I frantically looked in his direction I saw him lying on the street.  In a split second I jumped up and began banging on the window of the car to get her to stop driving, screaming at the driver, “What did you do?”  She still didn’t realize what had happened – the sun was shining in her eyes and she was still driving after having hit us.  Ds4 was terrified and crying and crying; I scooped him up and sat hugging him on the curb, trying to calm him (and myself) down.

People came running to help from all directions.  I very composed and calm on the outside, but I knew I was in shock; I was frozen inside.  I even calmed down the driver and told her I know it was a mistake, mistakes happen, everything is okay.  They asked me if they should call an ambulance but after a few minutes, ds calmed down and I said I thought he was okay.   I did agree for them to call Hatzala, which I really appreciated so there would be someone except for me to deal with to deal with the situation.

They told me to go to the emergency center or the hospital, but I didn’t have any id or money on me and I knew that I wouldn’t be seen without that.  I also knew I was going to get a big bill that wouldn’t be paid by anyone but me unless I got a doctor’s approval and that wouldn’t happen unless I took legal action.  It was just too overwhelming to have to go by myself right then and so I told them I’d go the next day to get checked by a doctor.  I wanted to think that I wouldn’t need any medical help because I couldn’t think about dealing with being in the hospital again; the shock thing again.  All I wanted to do is curl up in bed and have a good long cry.

Finally the driver drove off and I walked slowly to my mother, thankful that we had escaped what could have been a catastrophe but worried about the pain I was already feeling throughout my body.  It was scaring me that the pains were moving fast from one area to another, not localized at all.  From my mom’s house, I called my husband and asked him to meet me so we could go to the emergency center together.  That was an unpleasant experience, because the impatient doctor on duty spent hardly two minutes with me and ds4 combined.  I told him what happened.  He told  me to move my head up and down, right and left, thumped me hard down my spine in four places, then checked ds4 and told me we were very lucky.

When he came back with the written report a few minutes later, I saw there were several significant errors – he wrote that I said I hadn’t been hit and hadn’t been knocked down and when I brought hit to his attention, he began yelling at me that he’s only writing down what I said.  He wrote nothing about the pains throughout my neck, back, hips, and all down the right side of my body where I fell (though he noted that I was walking on a marked crosswalk when this happened – funny the details he felt were important to write).  He yelled that I can go file a police report but he’s only writing down what I told him.

There are times you feel more like advocating for yourself and times you feel less like it.  This was a time I felt less like it.  I had been hit by a car two hours before, was feeling very emotionally shaky and traumatized, had pain throughout my body that was getting worse as time went on and I have to fight with the doctor because he made a careless error and his ego wouldn’t allow him to correct it?

After over an hour we finally we got the new report.  He changed it to say ‘she says she thinks she was hit by a car’ instead of ‘she says she wasn’t hit by a car’.  He left it that I didn’t get knocked over. He wouldn’t put into the original report all the pains I told him about but added in that after an hour I had told him about pain in my neck.  (I don’t know why my back, hips and right and arm got left out.)  I showed him my torn shirt but he didn’t seem to be interested.  I was told I’ll need the medical report for further legal proceedings and the last thing I need is it to be written that nothing happened.

It was a very unpleasant experience on top of a very hard experience.

Now I’m home.  My husband is taking off of work tomorrow to be here; I hope I’ll feel better when I wake up in the morning but the people we’ve spoken to have told us to expect it to be worse and he wants to be here to make things as easy as possible for me.  I put in a call to our osteopath and though you usually have to wait two months for an appointment, I’m hopeful she’ll find room for me sooner.

Right after this happened, I was walking to my mom’s and focusing on my feelings of gratitude when suddenly I felt almost angry at God.  Like, why do You have to give me messages like this?  Am I so difficult that You can’t get me to take notice and grow as a person unless you put these kinds of things in front of me?  I had this feeling very, very strongly after Yirmiyahu almost died when he was eight months old, which came on the heels of dd18 being in critical condition and close to death less than two weeks before, both of these things coming on top of other significant difficulties.  Intellectually I believe that everything that God does is for our good but it’s not always easy to see or feel that in the heat of difficulties.

I can’t yet see the good in this accident.  I don’t know why this happened.  And I don’t know why anything that looks negative to me has happened.  But I’ve been able to see glimmers of good that have emerged from our most traumatic experiences so it makes it easier to trust that this time, good is also going to come from this.

Avivah