November 4, 2013: Laughter in Hell

I’m in hell.

We all are.

There’s no other way to describe it. Stella continues to deteriorate and we really don’t know when this will end.

But I’m not going to talk about that.

Instead, I’m going to tell you a few stories.

I love these stories: Because they’re true, because they reflect how remarkable Stella is, and mostly because they do actually make me laugh — despite the current situation.

And I hope you will laugh with me. Or at the very least, crack a smile.

1. The Doctor’s Visit

Stella was having a very rough time a few weeks ago. The doctor was on his way for a regular check. He called me when he was ten minutes away from Neve Daniel to let us know. I assumed Stella would be relieved that the Doc was coming. Instead, she said:

“Please ask him to wait. I don’t feel well and I don’t want him to see me like this.”

“Eh…. but Stella. He IS a doctor. He is actually pretty used to seeing sick people. In fact, he’s an oncology hospice doctor. He is very used to seeing really sick people. This isn’t a social call.”

“I don’t care. Let me just get over this. He can wait downstairs until I feel a little better.”

Sure enough, after about twenty minutes, Stella had me bring the doc in. And there she was, sitting up in bed, smiling at him.

“Hello Stella, how are you feeling today.”

“Baruch Hashem, ok. How are you?”

2. The Lunch Guests

It was a Monday a few weeks ago. Stella was not well enough to go out, but she did relish having people come over for Shabbat lunch. She looks me in the eye, and with 100 percent seriousness, says:

“You know, if I’m still around on Shabbat, we should have the Himselsteins over for lunch. We haven’t had them in a long time.”

Yeah, read that one again. And you can picture Stella being the only one not realizing how insane and wonderful that line was.

3. Yedidya’s Birthday

This past Shabbat was Yedidya’s birthday. Although she had already started crashing and knew it, on Friday afternoon she says to me:

“Shabbat is Yedidya’s birthday. It would be unfair to him if I was to go tomorrow. I don’t want him to be sad on his birthday. So I’m going to have to make it through Shabbat……. Plus, there’s one more episode of “Master Chef ” (reality cooking show) that I really want to see after Shabbat ends.

Did I make you smile? Did she?

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