Wednesday, November 13, 2013

For Sam

This past year I lost three people near and dear to me to the devastation that is cancer.  First came the shocking news that we lost my Aunt Nancy.  It is a long tale, but needless to say, we had no idea she was even sick, let alone dying.  So when the news came, we were all devastated.

Then we lost one of my heroes Anna.  She was the inspiration to many with her strong will and sense of Annatude.

Then came my friend Steve.  He was my guitar hero and the epitome of what it means to be a mensch.

Words cannot possibly summarize the lives of these three wonderful people and the lasting impact they have left on their friends and their families

As a rabbi I have also eulogized and buried far too many cancer victims.

But today many of us received the news too heartbreaking to even contemplate, our hero Superman Sam Sommer, who has been battling a vicious and nasty ninja of leukemia, has received the news that it is back.  And not only that, there is very little else that can be done.

My heart is breaking for his parents Phyllis and Michael, and for his siblings David, Yael and Solly.  I wish I had the power to take away some of their hurt, some of their pain.  I wish I had the power to fight and destroy this horrible disease.  But wishes are just that wishes.  There is nothing I can do to ease their pain, and there is nothing I can do to fight such a vicious foe.

But then I remember, it's not about me, it's not about any of us.  It is about Sam and Phyllis and Michael and David and Yael and Solly.

And in the face of such an evil disease, all the rest of us can do is hug our children more often.  All we can do is continue to love one another.  All we can do is remember that there are far too many of us fighting battles like Sam's against overwhelming odds.

There is too much hate and anger in the world.  We spend to much time spewing words filled with vitriol because we disagree about something be it philosophically, politically, religiously.  We forget what matters: love of family and friends.

In the meantime, I am rededicating myself to the reminder that Superman Sam continues to be my hero.  And that his battle is all our battle.  And that we will not have won until we no longer lose any of our loved ones to that evil foe that is cancer.

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