Pay it Forward.

Pay it Forward Illustration - by Enon AvitalIllustration © Enon Avital

It has been a while.  When I began this blog, I had no idea in which direction it would eventually go.  I wrote a few posts on topics that happened to inspire me, and never intended for it to become a diary or blog about personal issues. Then my mother was diagnosed with cancer.  I became mostly unable to write, because I didn’t want to get personal, but found it almost impossible to glom onto any other relevant current topic with this cancer and all of the attendant emotional issues it stirred.  It has been paramount on my mind.

The truth is, this cancer has been inspiring.  My mother conducts herself with the utmost grace and unshakeable positive attitude.  She could have allowed herself to become depressed, lash out, sink into a hole of self pity and allow the disease to eat her.  Instead, she is determined to beat it, and finds all sorts of little things to enjoy and brighten the days.  To keep her busy during this time of being bed ridden, my sisters and I bought her an iPad.  Now, God bless her, my mother is not an early adopter of anything.  We didn’t even get a CD player until well into the 21st century.  Watching her learn to use the iPad and figure out with glee all of the things it can do- “it’s like MAGIC!”- you would have thought we were landing a caveman on the moon.  It is so special for her to be able to video chat with children and grandchildren, especially being immunocompromised.  During the last many weeks of chemo and hydration treatments, she has come to cherish spending all of these extra hours with her adult children.  These are hours we would have otherwise been “too busy” to spend together.  It has brought us all closer.

I am absolutely floored by the kindness we have been shown by the community.  Every single day, someone from town is “on call” for my mother, either to drive her to treatments and appointments, run random errands, or make meals.  She has not cooked a meal since July.

I am sharing this with you for a simple reason: I want you to pay it forward.  Take some extra time you think you don’t have and spend it with your family or friends.  Do something kind for someone else.  Go out of your way for people. Don’t wait for someone to have cancer.

You have no idea the difference small things can make.


  1. Marilyn says:

    You are a very special woman from a very special family who lives in a very special community. From even before your mother was diagnosed with cancer we have learned from her emunah and strength and now even more. Thank you for sharing. With gd’s help we will always be there for one another.

    1. Elisheva Avital says:

      Amen. Thank you for all of your support. It means the world.

  2. Carol C says:

    Wow Elisheva, kol hakavod. This could not have been easy to write. I’m inspired by your strength, your mom’s emunahh and the lessons you shared here.