Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Titchazki

"Titchazki" - literally - strengthen yourself (female).

On a Friday evening in July of 2003, I was getting in the car with Raggedy-not-quite-yet-a-Dad. It was nearly time for Ann to be born, though I wasn't sure whether this was really "it" in terms of going to the hospital. I'd been in various degrees of labor for pretty much the entire last month of the pregnancy, a phenomenon that repeated itself (only much earlier) the next time around with Andy.

A brief telephone discussion with the obstetrician confirmed that it was showtime, and that there ought to be no further delay. Since I'm not a fan of giving figures and details in a public forum, let's just say that once we arrived at the hospital, it was definitely time.

We left for the hospital from my parents' home. They didn't join us because of the oncoming Shabbos, and waited at home for any news, which came a couple of hours later. As we were leaving, I looked into my mother's eyes with what must have been a quiet panic, which I assume based on the fierceness of the hug she gave me, and the last phrase she said to me as my mother before I became a mother.

"Titchazki." Strengthen yourself. And in moments of desperation, fear, or panic that I encounter today, it is still the phrase that I think to myself.

In the past couple of days, my sister-in-law received some shocking and devastating health news regarding her father. Titchazki.

My grandmother is grappling with the loneliness of having just observed my grandfather's first yahrtzeit, with the oncoming holidays that at this time last year had us all so shell-shocked in the midst of a fresh loss begins again. Titchazki.

I was referred to an account of an eloquent, optimistic woman facing some major and overwhelming news in her life with mixed feelings. Titchazki.

There is much strength that we have to offer each other, and even more strength that somehow comes from within ourselves when it seems the least likely that we'll be able to.

I'm not much of a dvar torah blogger, but I do think that this strength relates well to the persistent, continual sense of renewal brought on both by the start of Spring and by the holiday of Pesach, also called The Time of our Redemption.

To all of us: Titchazku.

5 comments:

Happy Mom of 6 said...

Thanks. We could all use extra strength every once in a while. And hopefully we find it even though we didn't really know we had it.

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Amen, that was very nice and nice to see a new blog.

orieyenta said...

A wonderful post. Thank you.

RaggedyMom said...

One week until the Seder! Stay strong, everyone! :)

Anna S said...

Thank you for the wonderful post. I hope you are having a blessed and happy Pesach.

-- Anna, Israel --