Thursday, October 25, 2012

Count Your Blessings Twice {R4, Day 21}

Not every room is as peaceful as ours. Doors down, through the walls I hear someone's baby screaming inconsolably.  He or she has been screaming on and off for over an hour. I feel that family's pain. I can only imagine sitting with them and endlessly praying that I could take their child's pain away and settle him or her down to a good night's sleep away from this strange, scary, unfamiliar environment. Pray that one of our world geniuses figures this illness out and changes the world with something I hope tastes like chocolate. Perhaps like mana from heaven, every person's cure should be flavored like their favorite food or dessert. Pray because someone always needs your prayers. Act because every day we are a day closer to someone unlocking healing for all those in need.

But I get ahead of the day's story of our young hero ... our day starts twelve hours earlier with a morning smile, the first day's drink and mischief on the horizon...

Our young hero awoke with his typical verve, smile and boundless energy. Dressed and hydrating he quickly took to tending to his dragons as the Torah commands us to tend to our animals first since they can't tend to themselves. Once all his digital animals were fed and groomed Sam drank a breakfast drink and welcomed Miss T for his morning tutorial. Their heads close together, they bantered and studied their way through some of Miss T's best educational iPad apps. Each day they both thoroughly enjoy their time together. Sam is not pleased that Miss T has a class she has to take tomorrow and is unavailable for their daily lesson.

We were most fortunate today with some of our favorite staff members caring for us and many of our other favorites saying hi as they passed us in the hallway. LA was in charge of the floor throughout the day and in charge of Sam for the end part of the afternoon. Much laughter, cajoling, ribbing and needling went back and forth between Sam and his best frenemy all day.

After his lesson Sam and I adjourned to the common area to do his written work for school at home. We made it through his journal writing and part way through handwriting when Grandma and Sam's friend E showed up to brighten his day. We packed up the homework for later, Sam sat down to his second breakfast (some would call it lunch or brunch but why rush the day) of (you guessed it) chicken makhani from our most famous and delicious Highwood restaurant, The Curry Hut.

After his repast Sam and Emma talked dragons, played dragonvale, swapped digital devices, complimented each other on their fine selection of digital entertainment and watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Emma enjoyed a hot dog and fries from food services while my mom and I took turns going down to Cafe West for a nice lunch.

Bubbe and Zayde showed up close to the end of the movie. Grandma and E had to leave. Sam enjoyed opening the slew of packages that had arrived from his friends and family. He especially loved all the Halloween decorations from the Bach family in New York. That Alatia just KNOWS how to spoil a boy with the simple, finer things in life. 

Sam hugging all his new decorations!

Sam & Zayde sorting through all the ghosts, spiders and goblins!

Sam admiring his new skeleton collection

We LOVE Melissa & Doug

Sam also got some more incredible gifts from friends and fans from Melissa & Doug (who I think are the greatest creators of toys and games for kids EVER!). Sam received some incredible books too and an awesome chess set. He received a volume titled, Harry Potter and Torah (which he claims is for him while I am certain it is for both him and his mother, but way more for his mother).

After everyone left a friend arrived bearing gummy worms, jelly beans and candy corn while Sam and I finished his homework. Once the homework was completely we took out a new Melissa and Doug game from yesterday, Suspend. This is one of the coolest balancing games I've seen in a long time. It reminds me of a modern version of a fifty year old game from days of old. Using Physics and balance you place one metal rod upon the other to see if you can balance all the rods evenly without causing them to come crashing down. Sam was fascinated and thrilled while playing.

It was awesome to behold how Sam took to the challenge of the game and embraced its simple complexity. After the game Sam had an impromptu play date with a friend on the floor who came out to play wii. The two took turns playing Pirates of the Caribbean. They laughed and giggled while taking turns fighting off the pirate hoards. Us dads talked a little, compared a few notes and settled into our own minds as we watched the boys enjoy each others company.

From there we adjourned to our room for more fluids and our evening meal. After eating, Sam and I watched the recent version of Yours, Mine & Ours. Sam wondered if the comedy would have a sad ending, but I assured him that almost all comedies always end with a happy ending. He seemed reassured. The movie ended slightly before bedtime so I engaged Sam in a writing challenge. He would pick the subject matter and we each had five minutes to draw his selection. He picked an Elephant and we both dove into the assignment to see what we could create. It was a lot of fun. Then we finished prepping for bed, turned out the light, sang Shema and turned on his new dad, Brandon Frasier, to read him to bed with his tale of dragons.

As I prepare to quiet Brandon's voice for the night, a calm silence has spread across the floor. Our prayers for peace and healing have worked their miracle on the sad, scared baby a few doors down. Sleep brings so much healing and peace for all of us each night, more than we can ever know. Our bodies regroup and replenish themselves as our minds soar in worlds where anything is possible and all ills can be healed with a smile and a song.
I always count my blessings twice to remind myself how fortunate I am in this world. Thank you all for being so many of my countless blessings.


  1. And thank you for capturing those blessings and sharing them so beautifully.
    Your words (and Phyllis'), and Sam's courage and character, keep inspiring US, even as we keep the prayers flowing for you...

    Laila tov,
    Stephanie, Aaron & Eli
    Charleston, SC

  2. Wow! What a day. May G-d give you all strength and good health.
    Shabbat Shalom

  3. Always beautiful thoughts from you, Michael.

  4. We are blessed to be witnesses to your journey. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers, always. Much love.

  5. Shabbat Shalom, Sam, Michael and Phyllis. You are in my prayers as Shabbat is about to start. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. It is a blessing.