This is the second time I have written an open letter to you before Rosh Hashanah.
Two years ago, when Stella was not given much time to live and much less to live well, I pleaded on her behalf. I enlisted friends to pray for her, and these friends became an Army.
And you listened to those prayers. In the past two years, we have done things people never do in their whole lifetimes. We rode roller coasters and swam with dolphins. I ran ultra-marathons and rode my bike across a desert and up a mountain. In doing so, we raised money for the medical needs of families in Gush Etzion and cancer patients at Shaare Zedek hospital.
The “Stella’s Army” chemo room is thanks to the time you gave us.
Every day we receive messages, often from people we have never met telling us that we have inspired them. That we have somehow made their lives better, richer.
We got to celebrate our daughter’s Bat Mitzvah — a day I called the “Happiest Day of My Life.” With family and friends we danced and danced because we believed we had done the impossible. I will never forget a single second of that day and I doubt any who were there will also. Our hearts glowed that night because the nightmare was over.
And maybe it was for awhile.
And I know the happiness of the past two years because of all the pictures I have hung from my walls. All taken over the last two years, all pictures of Stella and my family with huge, happy smiles that now shine from my walls. Let no one ever say that we have lived these past two years in sadness.
And for the past two years, for answering our prayers, I thank you. There have been too many good times to now turn away and say it was for nothing.
But it is night again. And the night has never been darker. And with time and options running out, I turn to you again.
Of course, I beg for a miracle. Miracles can always happen and can happen in the blink of an eye.
But I have more requests if that one is not the plan.
I plead that Stella not suffer. Every time I think that her pain and her struggles cannot get worse, they do. Fine, I know that the wise men of all religions the world has ever known have said that sometimes we simply cannot understand the ways of the divine.
But to make this angel of a woman suffer so, how is that just? How will that strengthen anyone’s faith? How can I pray to a merciful God when every night I hear the woman I have loved for twenty-eight years in agony. Stop the pain.
And I have a second request.
Help my children. Is there any possible reason for the torture — and that is what it is — that they are going through? And what of tomorrow? Or next week? They have good souls. They have good hearts. How can a child watch while a disease literally consumes their mother? They may think that they have hidden their pain from me, but I see it. I feel it. When my daughter’s school announces a special mother-daughter program, what is she to think? With all your power, can you do nothing to help children?
And I’m not done.
I have one more request.
Help me stay mentally and emotionally strong enough to deal with what is going on without going to pieces. Help me stay sane while I see the life that I have built come tumbling down around me. I look ahead and only see black. What sort of a person does that make me?
So far, my friends have helped me cope and always been there for me. But there is only so much they can do because there is only so much I can take. Anger, fear, depression — are these all I will be left with?
Are these things really too much to ask for?
Whether they are or not, I don’t care. I’m asking.
I mean no ingratitude for the miracles of the past two years, but I need your help now.
Let the sound of the shofar blasts pierce the heavens and grant my requests now.
Please, in this new year, let no one suffer from disease, let no child have to watch a parent wasting away.
And let no spouse feel that he is falling down a bottomless pit.