This week started off with a hurl, literally. Yes, I was awake most of Sunday night and Monday morning. Not because I had jet lag from a dream vacation, nor from watching the very first season of Mad Men. My 5 year old had a stomach bug and released her entire macaroni and cheese dinner everywhere but in the designated “barf bucket”. I felt so bad for her, and than I started to feel bad. Yes, I also shared the very same stomach bug with her.
Thankfully, we had pedialyte in the house. Even with that, I was having the hardest time getting my other two kids up, fed, dressed and off to school. I kept thinking about how bad I felt, but also how people can feel that sick all of the time. Not just parents, but children. I wanted to badly somebody to take care of us me. I just wanted to close my eyes and sleep for a few hours that morning. As we all, parents do not get a day off!
What I had was a stomach bug, something that I could get over eventually. My daughter had already started to get back to her normal spunky self by 10:00am. I was so relieved, however, I couldn’t help but think about children with illnesses that don’t feel well so quickly.
There is something about being sick that really puts you in the moment. It is bad when it happens to an adult, even worse when it happens to a child. Shouldn’t a child be laughing and having fun? This past evening, 180 campers and counselors from the Chai Lifeline family smiled and danced all weekend in Queens, NY. The counselors, families, and volunteers from this incredible organization brought smiles to the Queens community as well. I had the opportunity to see this in action. Saturday evening, a tent that felt like a room was filled with food, party hats, and happiness. Two very special musical personalities in the Jewish world joined the fun as well. Lipa Shmeltzer and Yaakov Shwekey sang while the follow was full of jumping and clapping. All of this by children that have been sick and well, and sick again. Some children were in wheelchairs, others had breathing machines with them at all times. No matter what illness they may be suffering from, they laughed and smiled the entire evening.
Even when I might not be feeling well one day, I start to feel much better knowing that Chai Lifeline is out there helping families and their children going through the challenges that these situations can create for the entire family. Thank you Chai Lifeline and thank you incredible volunteers!