Beautiful story of a program in Chicago for those who can't afford expensive weddings - a community coming together the way it should to help those in need.
Tisha b'av night, I went to hear Eichah at the home of someone in the apartment building I lived in for the past few months. I brought my siddur with me to daven ma'ariv. Inside my siddur are various pieces of paper with different tefilos on them. The next morning, I noticed that I was missing one of the tefilah cards from my siddur, but didn't think too much of it since I figured it was lost somewhere in my apartment.
The day after the fast, I was reading the daily digest of the building's frum listserve, and I noticed that the host for the Eichah reading had posted a message saying that he found a Chofetz Chaim tefilah card in his apartment, and judging by the location where he found it, he assumed that one of the women had left it there. I immediately realized that it must be mine, and emailed him to tell him so. He very graciously agreed to drop it off at the building's front desk so that I could pick it up at my own convenience.
When I went to pick it up, the tefilah card was in an envelope clearly labelled with my name and apartment number. This man didn't even know me personally, but he went and made the whole transaction convenient for me. Thank you!
In our family, we usually break the fast (Tisha B'Av) with a nice cake. However, this year no one had time to make anything because of work and everything else stressful that is happening. By the last few hours of the fast I was feeling way too awful to even think about baking. But as I was lying on the couch with a pounding headache, the doorbell rang. It was a family friend dropping off warm, freshly baked cakes for us to break the fast on. They had been baking anyway and made a few extra for us which which was a lovely thing to do! Thank you to them! (And it was yum, an excellent food to break a fast on.)
So far, so nice. One co-worker went with me to Ben & Jerry's earlier today and paid for my chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream cone; then later, she and a few others joined me for lunch, then bought me a nice dessert. And of course, Holy Hyrax put up a fun little cartoon.
That's aside from all the well-wishers and E-card senders, etc. Nice.
It can get very uncomfortable when you have to sit for a prolonged amount of time on the ground. Every Tisha B'Av, I go through the whole ordeal of having my legs fall asleep, etc.
This year, I was away from home on Tisha B'Av for the first time in many years. The shul where I went to this year was a very small place, with very little wall space. All that space was taken right away, and I couldn't even find a spot where I could at least lean back against.
But someone did me a huge favor: he shared his couch pillow with me, and we sat back to back, leaning on each other for support!
Those of you who’ve followed the saga of my surgery know that I’ve had a minor setback since that lump, which turned out to be a tiny blood clot, was carved out of my left foot this past January—my surgeon assures me that the lump I have now is just a symptom of the tissue rearranging itself post-surgically. Humph, some reassurance.
But it could be a lot worse. I can still go folk dancing, provided that I stand behind the circle and dance at my own pace. I’ve even been known to use my cane on the dance floor when my foot gets sore, though I assure you that Fred Astaire looked a lot better dancing with a cane than I do. :)
Running, on the other hand, is another matter entirely. So this morning, I was having quite a time of it, attempting to do some semblance of running—using my cane—to catch a bus. I was quite relieved to see a man in front of me sprint over and flag down the bus—and pleasantly surprised when he did not get on. He’d stopped the bus just for me.
Yes, Virginia, there really are nice people in New York City.
We owe a HUGE thank you to our friend, and this week's birthday girl, Princess D'Tiara. She was eating here last Shabbos when Serach mentioned that she had to take Elianna to a pediatric specialist in the city today. She offers to drive Serach to the city early for this 11:00 appointment, which is not only a huge hassle, but obviously going to hit a ton of traffic.
Today, she drove them to the specialist, picking her up early at 9:45, then offered to stay until the appointment was finished to drive them back - even though it wasn't going to be a short appointment. And then things got very, very annoying. Serach and Elianna were waiting in the doctor's office for over an hour and a half, despite being there fifteen minutes early. Finally, they get let into the doctor's office at about 12:30, where she waits a while. Elianna has already fallen asleep at this point, she's so tired. The doctor finally walks in for a minute... then walks out, saying he'll be right back. He doesn't return for over 30 minutes (Serach was none too pleased), then they had to take and wait for X-rays... and then finally, were ready to go at 2:45 - and, despite constant suggestions by Serach that she should go home, Princess D was still waiting outside.
She'd moved her car three times. She'd gotten bagels, gone shopping, gotten a milkshake, and then finally sat in the car. She spent almost 6 hours of her day, just doing us a (huge) favor. So thank you very much, and have a wonderfully happy birthday, Princess D!!
Just now, one of my coworkers called me up and told me that her mother had bought sweet (white) cherries and she'd brought some with her to work. She remembered that I particularly like sweet cherries, so she was saving me some. When I went to her desk, she said she'd saved me some of the best ones. :)
I thought this was particularly nice--not just that she was sharing, but that she remembered what I like. It's this sort of little thing that makes a difference in someone's day.
Kindness is... all the people who care enough to ask how my mother is doing, whether or not they know her.
Kindness is... all the people who offer to help out with anything we may need during such a difficult time.
Kindness is... all the people who pray/daven, extend their best wishes, take on a Mitzvah or gave Tzedaka for a Refuah Sheleimah for my mother and for all the sick of Klal Yisrael.
Kindness is... all those thoughtful people who sent cards, balloons, letters and messages to boost our her spirits and ours.
Kindness is... all the people who helped out our family in other way, such as inviting us for Shabbos when we needed some company or dropping off some food when we were too tired too cook.
Kindness is... those friends who are there, there for whatever - to listen whenever we need to talk, to cheer us up during times when we're down, to just be there as a comfort, to be a necessary distraction from everything that's going on, who know when not to bother us.
Kindness is... the hospital staff who come to see how she's doing... just because they care.
It's been a rough few months for my family, with my mother being in hospital and her condition getting fairly complicated. Things have been fairly stable the last few weeks, B"H and even some noticeable improvements, however she is still in intensive care and there is a long way to go yet. I just thought I'd write a bit here as a little thank you, we appreciate everything that people have done to help us.
Please continue to say Tehilim/prayers for Gittel Chava Bat Pesia.
My co-worker just got back from a trip to Disney World with his family. Before he left, I was telling him how I had a pair of Mickey Mouse ears when I was younger, from a trip when I was about 2 years old. I told him how much I had liked them, and that I wasn't sure what had happened to them in the number of years since I was 2.
He came back today and he brought me a new pair! I love them! It really makes me feel like I'm young again (ok, fine, so I never really felt old). But it was just so nice and kind of him to think of me on his family vacation.
...or why we love the Baltimore (Jewish) community:
Here's a positive shoutout to the Baltimore community. My in laws have a friend who recently became unexpectedly disabled. She is a Federal employee, so my father in law was looking for other Federal employees to donate their vacation time so she wouldn't lose her job. Word got around to the Baltimore community, and many frum government workers have donated generously from their vacation time. Many of these people don't know my in laws or their disabled friend. Here's to you for a great chessed (kindness), Baltimore community.
Someone stole my wallet last week. This was a very stressful and frustrating experience. Throughout this difficulty, I have to give credit to two experiences that I had.
The first was those employees both at my bank and credit card companies who helped me and took care of my claim. Everyone I spoke to was kind, courteous and expressed their own displeasure at my circumstances. They took care of everything very quickly and responded to my situation in an amazing manner. This is especially true of my bank (who I plan on being loyal to from now on, since I have had such a good experience) which contacted me before I even realized my wallet was missing. I have been quite impressed with their diligence.
The second credit I have to give is to a complete stranger. When I realized my wallet had been stolen, I was in the bus station in Manhattan. I had no money, no means of getting money and no way to get home. I called a friend to attempt to borrow some money. A man in the bus station overheard me speaking to my friend and offered to pay for my bus fare. Just like that. It was an amazingly kind act for someone he will probably never see again. I hope to pay the favor forward at some point and I hope he also reaps the cosmic awards of his kindness.