What answer should I give?

A Poem by Ella Seltzer

What answer should I give
When you ask me
“How many children do you have?”
Shall I say “Two” or “Three”?
Well where is the third, your thoughts I tell
“He’s in another place, he’s not very well
A place where they look after kids like him”
(who lie quietly with the buzz of machines
For whom the the future is nothing but dim)
But you don’t understand, “Is there hope?” you say
Should we daven for him, I’ll get people to pray,”
(Oh pray for us please, pray that with ease
We’ll get through this hard time)
With strength and with courage
That this son of mine, shouldn’t suffer too long
And that with each day we’ll become a little more strong.

And each time that I tell
The memories like a well
Come back to me
How, scarcely recovered from my labour pain
I knew something wasn’t right, and saw my son remain
quiet and still while the other babies cried
“He’s in a coma…the brain…lack of oxygen inside…”
I hoped for the best, but as the hope grew less
I realised that this was my most terrible test
A living nightmare when I woke up each day
And wished that it all would just go away.

A nightmare? You might find that believe
As you see us and our children living our lives
Laughing and playing but inside I am sometimes crying
Each day that goes by as my baby is lying
In a hospital bed that he might never leave.

But he is my teacher, this child of mine
Taught me that everything is led by the Hand Divine.
That all we have is trust and faith in the Holy One
Who brought down this special neshama as my son.

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