Why Me?May 14, 2012 at 08:31:12 AM
Rabbi Henry Harris of the Aish Center in Manhattan shared with me this beautiful story:
A woman in our neighborhood recently passed away after a long struggle with cancer. Her husband spoke at the funeral and shared that when his wife was diagnosed with cancer over seven years ago, she decided that she did not want the disease to take over her or her family's lives.
She kept things a secret from her young children and put her best foot forward every day while battling, struggling, and dealing with a lot of pain.
Finally her doctor told her that she did not have much more time. She decided that she was going to tell her youngest son (now 13) when he came home from camp at the end of this past summer.
When the boy came home, he could immediately tell something was wrong, and his mother proceeded to explain. Her son's response was simple but powerful. He said "Why you?" She has always been a model mother and citizen, a giver, a powerful and positive force in her community and in the world... so the question was very real... Why??
Here was her answer: "When I first started dating and immediately found the love of my life, I didn't ask 'why me?'. When I became pregnant in the first year of marriage when so many of our friends struggled for years to conceive, I didn't ask 'why me?'. When I was fortunate enough to never struggle financially as my husband was blessed to be making a good living, I didn't ask 'why me?'. When my older children got married with the same ease and started their own beautiful families, I didn't ask 'why me?'. So I'm not going to start asking now!"
Such faith and clarity in the face of adversity is rare and very special. In a moment like that, who can blame a person for breaking down? Instead she stood strong and true. I know how impactful this one story of her life was to me. I can only imagine how she affected those around her in her lifetime through those positive choices. A true inspiration. May her soul be elevated.