January 1, 2012: Stella’s Army

Last night I lay in bed next to Stella watching the e-mails and comments come in from members of “Stella’s Army.” We were in the hospital and I was much relieved that the night staff did not try and throw me out of bed. I guess Israeli hospitals are different. When I asked someone if they were going to bring bedding and hospital pajamas for Stella, he pointed me in the direction of a closet and let me know that it is really self-service here (although they did not ask me to put in the IV.) On the other hand, I don’t know if I could have gotten away with crawling into the bed with Stella anywhere else, so all things considered, so far so good.

Around 2:00 AM, I considered getting up and writing a post. But I didn’t want to disturb Stella (not that she really needs sleep now!) Also, I was not sure exactly what I would write. So I just watched the e-mails and comments come in over my iPhone. And that’s when I realized what I wanted to write.

It both amazes me and doesn’t surprise me how many people from all around the world and from all stages of Stella’s life are writing in. It amazes me because there is literally an Army of people who are as nervous about this surgery as I am. Stella was trying to write everyone back but every time she send one e-mail, a few more come in. We have people from Syracuse, from Colgate, Maryland, and all over. People are going to holy places to pray for Stella and constantly reminding me that they want to help and I should just say the word if we need anything.

I thought maybe I would send an e-mail out saying “Stella needs chicken soup, can anyone help?” just to see if we could get in the Guinness World Record Book for largest broth-based swimming pool.

But then at the same time that I am amazed, I am not really all that surprised. And neither are you.

Stella is exceptional and has touched many, many lives.

Love and concern for Stella has motivated so many people to do so many good things. But most important, I hope that anyone who has been following the situation will do one small (actually huge) thing, every single day.

Value your time and those you love. Look your spouse in the eyes every day and tell them how much they mean to you.

The sun rises every day, and all of us assume that tomorrow’s sunrise will be similar to today’s. We fool ourselves by thinking that we have unlimited sunrises and we can always have those important conversations tomorrow, or next week, or next year. But let’s all decide not to be stupid. We can find meaning and fulfillment every second if we just look.

O.K.,sorry to get so heavy on all of you.

It’s almost time. There are a number of stages of the operation and to proceed, each stage has to be successful. So ironically, the longer the surgery – the better. I will try and keep you updated. I have unlimited internet and coffee and that can be a dangerous combination.

I know that many of you would like to visit Stella, but let’s hold off for awhile. E-mail or call me and I will let you know. I am going to assume that Stella will not be up for visits until the end of the week. If you really have the need to visit someone, pop by my house and see my father. Ask him about his days in the Navy or something. He would love to meet you.

O.K. — That’s it for now.

I wonder if they got a treadmill somewhere in this place.

Thanks for listening.

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