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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 17, 2005 / 8 Iyar, 5765

What a miracle life is

By Mitch Albom


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A newborn's courage offers perspective

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I've been feeling sorry for myself lately. I've had some dark clouds, and all I could see were my problems. All I could hear was that voice that says: "Why is this happening to me?"

Then, 10 days ago, I got an e-mail. It was from a couple I know in Grand Rapids, Mich., Brian and Kathy. Beautiful people. Energetic. Upbeat. They have two young daughters and were expecting a third any day.

The e-mail, I figured, was the birth announcement.

I was sort of right.

"Kathleen and I went in for a final ultrasound on Tuesday afternoon," Brian began. "The ultrasound immediately revealed a lot of abnormal fluid in all four ventricles of the baby's brain. . . . All indications throughout the pregnancy were that the baby was very, very healthy. Needless to say, we were shocked. . . ."

It went on to say that the child had to be delivered through a C-section, a week earlier than had been planned. Despite the swelling around her brain, she was otherwise normal, beautiful, black hair, 6.8 pounds.

Her parents had chosen a name.

Faith.

PHOTOS OF THE LITTLE GIRL
From that point on, almost every day has brought a new e-mail on little Faith's condition.

One of the early ones explained that "Faith suffered a stroke probably days after our last healthy ultrasound. . . . It is very rare. . . . They will never know why, it just happens sometimes."

A stroke? In the womb? I didn't even know that was possible. And yet here was this precious baby, her first hours in the world already in crisis. Talk about a preparation for later life!

The strange thing is, each new e-mail contained photos (Brian is a professional photographer), and had those photos not been accompanied by medical updates, you would have thought this was just another perfect child — "a little peach . . . so beautiful," as Brian put it. She wore a newborn's cap. She had a tiny dollop of a nose, full lips, a serene expression as she dozed, the sleep of the innocent.

And yet her tiny head was under constant pressure. A stroke? Blockage? Hemorrhaging? It just "happens"? A shunt was suggested to drain the fluid from around her brain. Surgery was required. More e-mails followed, updating the developments.

At a time when most couples are at home, receiving well-wishers who coo over the new arrival, Brian and Kathy were at DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids, talking MRIs, pediatric neurosurgeons and intensive care units.

HOPE FOR THE LITTLE GIRL
And yet those e-mails. They arrived sometimes at 3 or 4 a.m., always with at least some ray of optimism, some little joke, like: "Faith eats every three hours (a slightly slower pace than her dad)."

They spoke about Faith's older sisters, holding the baby, and how one said she had "extra juice" in her head. They spoke about their family and church friends who were cooking them meals. They spoke about the wave of prayers coming their way.

The world that swirled around this tiny child was many miles from me, and yet it pulled me in. I awaited every new photo. Every little update. I found that each new battle this infant soldier was waging made my problems seem pathetic.

A few days ago, I asked Brian and Kathy if I could write about their courageous daughter. They said yes, on one condition: "that you agree to play piano at her wedding."

As this column was filed, little Faith was undergoing surgery, a special procedure to place a small reservoir under her scalp to help drain the fluid from her brain. I can only pray it turned out well.

But I already know this: In her first 10 days on Earth, this wordless child has put more sentences in my head than all those indulgent, self-pitying voices. She has made me think and cry and put the ridiculous problems I must deal with in perspective.

Brian and Kathy signed off their e-mails with phrases like "keeping Faith" and "holding Faith" and one that read: "Even in these difficult times there is still laughter, joy, peace . . . Faith."

What a miracle life is.

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