The crazy and wonderful rollercoaster of life – Part 1

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(written at 2012)

“The day I turned forty, I became twenty again. It’s not like I planned it, it’s not that I had misgivings about this age. It just happened.” These are the words that opened my brand new blog about a year ago, the first words of my first post.

Today, a year or so later, after I turned (according to this method of calculation) twenty three, I can tell you about the last three years of my life, and about the insane rollercoaster they had been. It’s not going to be easy, and I’m still not sure how much I should say, but today, when it seems that this period in my life is over, and everything is at peace once more, I feel the need to sum it all up, in order to move on. Some months seem in my memory like mere minutes, whereas some minutes seem like an eternity, but I will try to make sense of it all.

When you read this text, do me one favor – don’t think: “Oh! Poor thing!” Believe me, these words never described me well, and never will. The powerful experiences in our lives, the good ones and the bad, are those which define us as human beings. The last three years helped me define myself even better, and more often than not I was happy. So take what you will from here, but don’t find pity for me in your hearts. My life is great.

Well, it all started the day I turned forty. I was in the midst of organizing a wild 40th birthday party for me and my man, which included a private night-club, the best D.J, sushi, chocolate and alcohol and all our family members and friends. There was euphoria in the air. Being forty is a wonderful place to be. If you’re not there yet, remember I said so.

And then, Peanut died. Peanut had been my baby, my heart and soul, for sixteen years. She hasn’t aged a day. Nobody had believed she was an old dog. And then, on one terrible day, she was gone. I sat on the stairs, banging my head against the rail, trying to distract myself from the wrenching pain inside. I couldn’t stop my tears from running for even one second. I drove over to my good friend. I sat at her back yard and breathed for a few hours. She let my cry, sometimes she spoke with me and sometimes we were just quiet together. And then I pulled myself together so I could talk to the girls.

My man asked whether I wanted to cancel the party, but I said: “No. It’ll be all right.”

The party was a blast. Everybody came, ate and drank and danced and had fun. I felt wonderful, surrounded by love, and we danced the night away. The next morning I started packing for a month in the States with Ori, where she was to have very complicated surgery. (To those of you who are unfamiliar with Ori’s story – Ori suffers from a very rare syndrome called Proteus Syndrome, which causes uncontrolled overgrowth of different kinds of cells in the body. Ori is very lucky to have it manifest only in her foot and leg on the right side. Ori is part of a research group which is part of the Human Genome research at the N.I.H. in Washington D.C. The research team managed, a few months back, to discover the genetic cause for Proteus Syndrome and is now working on a cure.) Within days I said goodbye to my little ones, for the first time in their lives, and flew with Ori to the unknown. In the month that we spent in Washington D.C. Ori went through tough surgery and a very painful rehab, and I was with her every second, but neither of us let the physical hardship dampen her spirit. When Ori was in the I.C.U we had a milkshake party with another little girl who had the same procedure done at the same time, and on the floor, I would get up every morning, fold my sofa-bed, wear nice clothes and high heel boots, put some light make up on and great the doctors as if I had just come from a relaxed morning at home. I would walk the hospital corridors, singing to myself, holding my head high and reminding myself that I am not human, I am dancer. Ori, being Ori, also smiled all the time, spreading light and love all around her, even in times of pain, and we had many hours of fun together, thanks to the unbelievable team of the N.I.H.

Ori broke all recuperation records known to the team, and we could return home to the arms of our loved ones. Straightaway I started to plan Ori’s Bat-Mitzva party, which I didn’t want to plan earlier, for obvious reasons. In the meantime, we both had to catch up on lost time and practice, because our big dance recital was drawing near. At the recital, although almost every bone in her leg had been drilled into, and one toe had been amputated, Ori performed seven numbers in several styles. I also performed with my Flamenco group, but the highlight of the evening was a solo Ori and I performed together. In the audience, no eye remained dry among those who knew our story.

In September we had Ori’s Bat-Mitzva party, and although we initially wanted a small gathering at our home, we agreed that under the circumstances it would be appropriate to make Ori a princess for one night, and so it was. Ori was beautiful, and she floated on air all evening, basking in the love and adoration of the many people who came to share her happiness. All our friends cheered when all four of us girls performed a number of Flamenco dances together.

Two days later, Cashew died. She was seventeen, and my only comfort after losing Peanut. I had to put her down. She no longer moved and refused to eat even the most appetizing foods. For weeks I had been holding her when she had to do her business and bathing her when she slipped and fell, helpless, into her own puddle, and I didn’t mind doing it, but she was fading, and I had to do this last mercy for her. Luckily, our vet is also our cousin, Erez, a brilliant physician and a kind soul, and he understood. He came to do it at our house when only we were there. I held Cashew’s head in my lap and told her how much I loved her, what a kind, loyal dog she was, and then she stopped breathing, and Erez wrapped her in a nice blanket that he brought and took her away.

And then everything burst out, all the pain over Peanut, which I haven’t had time to process, and so I shoved it down, and the whole time with Ori in the hospital, and I couldn’t sleep at night. Every time I closed my eyes Peanut and Cashew would come back to me, and the tears would stream down my face on their own, and then I would get out of bed, sit in the living room with the T.V. on and eat myself into unconsciousness, until I could no longer keep my eyelids open, and I would fall into an uneasy sleep, in which I would still dream about my dogs.

(To be continued)

To the next part

Photo by Mark Asthoff on Unsplash

Queen of Hearts

Queen of Hearts, הבלוג של: Gal Barkan

My role in life is to speak in favor of LOVE, all love.As edtor in chief of Amour, I decided that our readers in English deserve more than Google translate :)So this is my English blog, for your pleasure.

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