belief, breast cancer, cancer, Family, rabbi, Siesta Key Beach
January 29 was a Friday in 1999. The next day we went to a chilly, deserted Siesta Key beach and watched our girls, ages 5 and 7, run with the seagulls in the cold surf.
I sat shivering in a sand chair, wrapped in a beach towel, and wondered if I believed in God. I couldn’t decide.
Why? Because on Friday I’d been told that I had advanced breast cancer and would die in 18 to 24 months.
It’s been 24 years. My girls have earned five degrees between them and one is working on a PhD. They each have satisfying and important careers.
I spent nearly four years undergoing treatments and eight surgeries, but went on to make a new life for myself. I got divorced, earned two advanced degrees, traveled to Europe and South Korea and Israel, and became a rabbi.
I’m healthy and happy and grateful. And after all these years, I’ve decided.
Roberta Gerlach said:
Dear Rabbi Jennifer, In 1989, I was diagnosed with 2 types of breast cancer, suggested that maybe I would make another 5 years. I had 2 sons, both in elementary school. I told the doctors that I wasn’t leaving! I had children to raise. I spoke to God; Let’s negotiate. What do you wish me to do? You already know my needs.
That was 34 years ago. My grown sons are fathers to 2 sons and 1 daughter. I retired from teaching, still hear from some students, became a banker, retired and traveled Europe, South America, the U.S., the Caribbean and crossed the Arctic circle and the Antarctic surrounds.
I sense a Godly spirit around me almost every time I need it.
SRQ Jew said:
Thank you for sharing your story! ❤️❤️