The first few days of Ricki's recent hospitalization, we were in the "mini ICU" of the ward, a large room with one nurse basically always there. We've been there before during previous hospitalizations, and there is an advantage, as this room has decent fold-down –to-a-bed-chairs for one family member per patient. (I'll write more on sleeping facilities in a future post, G-d willing…). But after a few days, we were moved to a different room, and luckily we got the bed nearest the window. While the view (of the hospital imaging area's rooftop) was not that great, the sunlight (as opposed to artificial light ) was a definite improvement. Ricki noted the pigeon on the ledge outside, and being in a rather contrary mood, decided that she didn't like it there. She tried to shoo him away, but he was really not that concerned about the frustrated teen on the other side of the glass wall, and he continued to amble along the boardwalk (window ledge). Eventually he ambled out of sight and Ricki, content that her authority had been upheld, heaved a sigh of relief, and turned her back to the glass. What she didn't notice was that three seconds later, he had returned, with two more of his fellow pigeons tagging along behind him….
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As I recorded this, initially just attempting to share a cute story, it suddenly hit me: Ricki wanted to be in control, and she was happy when she THOUGHT she was. But she wasn't.
And we adults, so often confident that we are managing our lives, our finances, our health… when we really may not be aware of the "pigeons" about to walk by our window, which we may be unaware of… or only too aware of.
Then suddenly, an event like (to take an extreme example) the Colorado shooting happens. I mean, my G-d, who kills kids in a movie theater? In Colorado? (BTW, in Israel everyone gets CHECKED before entering a theatre. I suspect the world will just have to get used to the inconvenience of security as the number of terrorists and off-the-wall "crazies" increases…). But even on a smaller scale… we can be dieting, exercising and doing everything right and STILL get ill. (Of course that doesn't mean that we don't need to make an effort to watch our health.). The list of ways our lives could be turned upside down is depressingly long. Deep down we need to be grateful to G-d for every good day, for a day of health, no hospitals, no bad news. Because, when our backs are turned, ultimately we are not really ruling our world…..