Sunday, January 28, 2007

Reality Check

A very close friend of mine (GS) told me some terribly sad news last Saturday night, and I had no clue how to react. I didn't understand what he was telling me well enough to react, to be honest. I had called him to see about going together to a friend's engagement party, and he seriously thought about going, despite the bad news. [A testament to his incredible strength and care for others - I have a lot of amazing friends, thank God, and yet few can match GS in terms of having someone to count on when one really, really needs it.] In the end, he felt he shouldn't go, so I got a ride with another good friend of ours, Moshe. One of the first things Moshe asked me was if I had heard the news from the friend - I admitted that while I had, I didn't quite understand it all that well; as it is Moshe's area of expertise, he explained it to me as best as he could.

Last night, I spoke to my friend again. This time, I could be of somewhat greater help; I could listen and understand what he was saying, to some extent. What I didn't understand, I had Moshe explain to me just now. I can't really write more on the subject - anything else that needs to be said (that can be said in this forum) was already written by Moshe. Please read his post, and daven for our close friend Aliza Rachel bas Liba Yenta.

However, later that same day one of my closest friends (GS) called me with some terrible news. His wife was diagnosed with a severe form of cancer. Because this particular cancer is my field of expertise and research, we spent some time discussing the dreadful situation. My friend told me how suddenly everything in his life was put in perspective. He didn’t care about the people who owed him money. His job meant nothing. All he cared about was his wife and her health.

Talking to GS was and is painful. He and his wife (Aliza Rachel bas Liba Yenta) are going through something nobody should ever have to endure. The physical and emotional pain is heart-wrenching. At the same time, GS is my inspiration. He is strong and optimistic. Talking to him makes me realize how precious life really is. It forces me to understand how fortunate I am to have so many things in life and how wrong it is for me to complain about the little things about which I am far too quick to whine.