Every woman has a spot where they keep all of the jewellery they will never wear. It could be in a drawer of a jewellery box, but it is always separate. They could be family heir looms, pieces with precious metals, pieces with sentimental value or simply broken pieces that will be repaired "one day".
The most common request Rachel would receive was people who asked if they could melt down their gold. Gold becomes brittle when it is melted and reformed, this is not an option on a small scale. Instead she would either repair the piece or design something completely new that incorporated the original with new material to create something beautiful and wearable. The client could once again wear with pride a piece that had been destined to relegated to storage forever.
Rachel and I spent more than half of our lives together, moulding and shaping ourselves and our lives as best we could. We were on the verge of as close to perfection as life could get until it all shattered on February 28th, 2011. We were sent a jewel that we were told we could never have. In an instant, at the most painful moment it was gone. Then the morning of December 31st came and my life was shattered to pieces. The only difference was I don't have Rachel to help me pick up the pieces and Channah is counting on me to rebuild the life she needs.
There are so many shattered little pieces. My first reaction was the I needed to fix everything all at once. A task that is not only impossible but quickly lead to burning myself out. I need to sift and sort through the pieces. Some are usable in rebuilding for the future. Some have no value in the piece I am rebuilding but I want to keep them anyways. Some forever and some until I am ready to let go. Handling new situations and challenges will be the new material that holds it all together.
There are a lot of people who want to help. I am finding that there are to varying degrees to philosophies of how to move forward. There are those who are helping me sift through the old and the new. They recognize that it is up to me to decide which pieces go where. They are there to advise or even help set the pieces in place. At the end of the day the decisions are mine and whatever I decide is the correct decision. That doesn't mean I won't make mistakes. They believe I have the right to make my own mistakes.
There are others, who know exactly how I need to rebuild and exactly how long it should take. Each decision that does not fit in with the schedule needs to be challenged and justified. If I make a mistake there will be negative consequences that will lead to destroyed lives and possibly mixed dancing. They need to make sure I am prevented from making those tragic mistakes.
When Channah was a baby in the NICU, she had a problem that she was blowing through IV lines and running out of veins. The solution was to insert a long line (pic line) that are supposed to last a week. The problem was they couldn't get one in. The hospital wanted to undergo a 'simple' solution to transfer her to another hospital and have it inserted with the help of radiology. Rachel and I refused to authorize the treatment forcing the hospital to look for another solution. We entered Channah into a study about long lines. The doctor heading up the study, spent his day inserting long lines. He was successful with Channah. The long line was supposed to last for a week, which was more than enough time for it not to be needed.
That evening the long line broke. Ben Herr was the doctor on staff and tried to reinsert it. After his first attempt failed I had a huge argument with him and told him to stop. I knew he didn't have the skill to get the job done. Rachel was convinced I was going to punch the doctor to get him to stop. The administrative staff stepped in to talk with us. After a number of attempts the doctor gave up unable to perform the procedure.
I granted permission to let them shave Channah's hair so that they could put an IV into her head. The little bit of beautiful blonde hair that covered the only part of her body that had been untouched in the battle for her life was going to be taken from her. That night they had the two best nurses on staff for putting in IVs. They managed to find one last vein without having to cut her hair. The IV lasted the couple of days we needed until it wasn't necessary anymore. Around the same time we had friends faced with the same solution to a similar problem. They agreed to the procedure and which had many complications leading to a prolonged hospital stay.
The most important thing in my life right now is looking out for Channah. I have and will continue to make mistakes along the way. Being a good parent is not about being perfect. It is about providing an environment, where they know they are loved unconditionally, they can make mistakes and grow from them, they know the communication is open where they can express their feelings without being judged.
I do not fear making mistakes. I fear that I will make the popular choice instead of trusting myself to do what I believe is right. Even worse, I fear I will not be able to tell the difference between the two. I need to treat myself as me and not anyone else. I must insist others do the same. There are many struggles ahead. For Channah's sake I can't fail.