On the Shoulders of Wishes

Pain, and the management of it, is consuming most of my time these days. It’s a vicious cycle. I wake up in some sort of primeval agony and wait for the two pills that promise relief.


That’s the easy pain. It’s tangible. It “demands to be felt” like John Green says. And so with every twinge, every pull, every throb, I knock back two pills and soon I’m enveloped in a warm sea of relief. It clouds my head, denies me lucidity, and man, it is sweet. It lets me walk from my bed to a chair, and feel somewhat fulfilled with that little trek. It lets me speak without getting winded. These are magic pills I would easily sell the family cow for, fresh out of a fairy tale, and I look at the clock making sure I don’t miss the deadline when they start wearing off so I can take two more.

Because the pain in between is worse. That’s the moment when my head clears a bit but my physical ailments are still at bay. It’s the time I can think about the things I don’t want to think about. It’s the Philip Seymour Hoffman moments where I can imagine loading up and transporting myself somewhere else. It’s the “Woe-is-me” moment. The moment of “Why? and “How come?” and “What did I do?” and “Is this real?”

Indeed, pain demands to be felt, in more ways than one.

But I also have something else. Something stronger than the two pill solution every five hours. It’s what has carried me these past few days and something I never expected.

It’s the wishes.

They came from all over. Simple messages wishing me strength. Detailed prayers asking for healing. People pledging to do good things in the name of my complete recovery. They were texted, emailed, posted, and tweeted. Dinners were taken care of. Playdates were organized for my kids. And through it all, there was a steady stream of good wishes and hopes.

It was more than a simple gesture. It was magic.

Because with each wish that my husband read to me, each text that blew up my phone, each post on Facebook, each tweet – I felt myself getting better. It was as tangible as the two little white pills every five hours. I never had experienced anything quite like it. It was a million hands holding mine, carrying me, taking a bit of the pain away from me with each simple get well message.

At the beginning of this journey, I was adamant about going it alone. Friends volunteered to accompany me to MRIs and biopsies and surgical consults and I always said no. Β Alone, I was strong. I had to suck it up, face the music. Not having a shoulder to lean on meant that I would have to stand tall.

But now, after everything, it is all those wishes and prayers that have kept me standing. Those simple phone calls and quick notes have helped me in more ways than those two white pills.Β Tweets like this:

that made me smile and laugh during a ridiculously bad day, jump-starting my soul and my mind.

It’s a bit cliched to say I am grateful. So typical to say I am blessed. But that is what I am.

Grateful. Blessed. Preposterously lucky.

And I’m stronger each day.

Carried on the shoulders of wishes.





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37 replies

  1. you write so beautifully!!! Keep on standing tall- I’m sorry you’re in pain!!!

  2. Beautifully written. All my love, prayers and good wishes heading your way. My Mom is a 24 year survivor of stage 3. Hugs and kisses, let me know when Ben, Jerry and I can visit. Love – Susan

  3. Beautifully written! Keep strong! Wishing you a speedy recovery & less pain each day that passes! thinking of u ! Allison

  4. I love you Adina, thank you for putting your thoughts into such beautiful words. if you need to talk to someone late at night and everyone there is sleeping, please feel free to reach out. Missing you!

  5. Im still shocked my ADD let me sit here and read the entire thing without taking a break haha, you rock!

  6. Tractate Nedarim 39b: “He who visits a person who is ill takes away a sixtieth of his pain.” May you continue on your path of a complete refuah and embrace the strength from your family and friends.

  7. Luvya Adina!! Feel better quickly!!! πŸ™‚

  8. I love you Adina, thank you for putting your thoughts into such beautiful words. if you need to talk to someone late at night and everyone there is sleeping, please feel free to reach out. Missing you!

    (p.s. Sorry this initially posted anonymously. I am now officially that old person that can’t figure out this interweb magic. xoxo)

  9. You are amazing Adina!! We know you will keep up a strong fight and you WILL be FINE!! Wishing you a refuah shelema!! Doing my tehillim in your name… Be well and big hug!!! Xoxo

  10. So beautifully written, Adina. Having been there, all the physical pain eventually goes away, but, Χ‘”Χ” , the joy and laughter that others bring us stay forever. I learned more about the goodness of others from my experience than anything else, and that is what has stayed with me after all these years. I know it will be the same for you.
    Love you.

  11. What a beautiful meditation on how bikur cholim is supposed to work- taking just a little bit of the pain away by knowing that there is someone else in your corner. Each expression of care helps. Who knew it works by texting and Facebook.

  12. I am not much of a facebook person much less a blogger. But wanted to let you know that you and your family have not left my mind. You are in my davening multiple times a day. My girls in school are saying tehillim for you every morning and if I could storm the gates of heaven for Rina you know I would. May Hakadosh Baruch Hu hear all of our Tefilot and bring you and all the Cholim in Klal Yisrael a Refuah Shelayma Bekarov. Love you!.

  13. You are amazing. Keep up the positive attitude and keep letting us all help you get back to 110 percent any way we can. Best regards to your wonderful mother.
    David and Marilyn Gray

  14. Continue to stand strong all the time knowing that your family and friends always have your back! We love you and every day we will continue to find small and big ways to speed your recovery. Hugs and kisses from all of us!

  15. I love you


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