This week, I witnessed the unbearable and the beautiful; I witnessed death and life, yet most importantly, I witnessed faith—and even more so, I learned an invaluable lesson.
Let’s start with the positive and beautiful: on Tuesday, we welcomed a new grandchild into my family. Even though I think I’m far too young to be a grandparent, I’m absolutely overwhelmed with joy. In addition to that, my sister also welcomed a beautiful grandchild into the world as well.
The unbearable was the loss of my great niece Leah, who was 9 years old. God decided to take this precious jewel from our family, and the world.
Death is truly most painful for the living, as in our tradition, we believe—especially with children—that upon death, their spiritual body goes straight up to heaven and it’s only a physical passing for the child.
My nephew shared with me something truly profound, something that I believe to be an impactful lesson for literally everyone.
Leah was a 9-year-old angel. A girl who truly saw the positive and didn’t complain. To share a minor example, when her parents noticed that she was losing her hair, they were hesitant to say anything, yet when Leah noticed, she twisted her head back and forth on her pillow until she was bald. She then remarked, “Look mommy and daddy, look at what a beautiful head I have”.
The lesson my nephew shared was, yes, it’s true that Leah was an angel, a hero, and someone special—yet, she wasn’t born that way. She was born as a regular child, like each and every one of us, yet she chose in her very short 9 years to be a hero, to be an angel, and to see the positive. This is something that each and every one of us can do.
We want to call others angels so we don’t have to be responsible for living up to their example, yet remember that every angel was born a baby just like you and I. Additionally, you may say, “But I have made so many bad choices, I can never live up to this example”—yes, you can though! You can start—and as I write this I’m speaking to myself—you can start making good choices now, and you can choose to see the positive in all situations now.
This week, let’s take 3 minutes to do an extra positive deed in Leah’s memory. It will give us the opportunity to be better for ourselves, and for everyone around us.
Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love
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