Ten years ago, I got a call that would change my life forever. The nurse asked me, “Are you sitting down, and are you in a quiet place?” She went on to tell me I had breast cancer. The next year and years to follow were filled with surgeries, chemo, and an emotional roller coaster. I often tell newly diagnosed cancer patients the hardest points in the journey are the moments of uncertainty when we don’t know what is going to happen next. That feeling of uncertainty reminds me of the worrisome feelings many of us are having today. So much is uncertain - when will the world open up, will my kids go to school, will I have a job tomorrow, how do we pay our mortgage? Though the specific concerns are a bit different, the feeling is the same.
What I have found helps me to deal with this worry is to focus on things that ARE certain, things that I can rely on. At the beginning of the quarantine period, I decided to start making challah on Fridays. I’d never really made challah, but I followed the recipe and have been making it almost every week. There’s a comfort and satisfaction to working hard kneading the dough, braiding it and making something so delicious that everyone will enjoy. With that, we’ve been sitting down to Shabbat dinner every week as a family. We’ve been saying the blessings and taking that one moment to make sure we realize how lucky we are...to be healthy and to have each other. We go around the table and say our roses and thorns (favorite and not so favorite things) of the week. My children are six and two years old so the dinner doesn’t last long, but even that short moment every week is extremely grounding. And when I put my two year old to bed, she stays up and sings songs to herself including the Shabbat blessings! What a simcha.
Written by Becky Ewer,
Creative and Marketing Director
Has worked at the MJCC for 16 years.