My family has been going through so much since I posted my last blog. We have experienced many life events this past year.
The worst was not long after posting my last blog, my mother found out that her cancer had spread. Two years ago she went through a mastectomy and chemo following a diagnosis of breast cancer. She wasn't cured. Her cancer had gotten into her lymph system. It was only a matter of time before it spread. We hoped we had longer but we did not. The cancer spread to her lungs, her bladder, her kidneys and her bones. Much of this went unnoticed until breathing became difficult. In June she was diagnosed as terminal and given 3 months to live... she made it 6 weeks.
Two weeks after her diagnosis, my husband and I moved her into our house with us and the kids. I was pregnant with our fifth child, already caring for four children (13, 11, 6 and 1 and a half), and became the main caregiver for my mother as well. Those last 4 weeks were tough. My mother's health decreased dramatically and very quickly. Her sister and a couple of her nieces were able to come and visit her before she passed away. She went into a coma and the day she passed away her other sister called and I held the phone to my mom's ear so that she could say goodbye.
Before my mom passed, my husband and I decided to find out the gender of our new baby. We had never found out before but we thought it important that my mom know if she was going to have another grandson or another granddaughter. With my due date being December 25th we knew it was unlikely she would live to see her fifth grandchild. At the end of June we found out we were going to have our fourth boy. We asked my mom to help us name him. She also made him a crochet afghan, something she has done for all of our children. Ilan was born December 29th and wrapped in the love she passed on in the afghan.
My mom passed away August 31st. The day before my 36th birthday. She was 66 years young.
Enter life event number two... Yaakov (now almost 14) was bar mitzvahed in October. He took on the responsibility to uphold the commandments handed down in the Torah. He did a wonderful job! He read his haftorah but he also did 4 Torah readings. My husband even had a Torah reading during the service. We could not be prouder of our oldest! He has been a blessing to watch as he grows to love G-d and the Torah as much as my husband and I.
Life event number three... the birth of our fifth child, fourth son. He is beautiful and perfect. He is loved by the entire family. Even our (now) second youngest (not quite 2) wants to love on the new baby. And then there is the brit milah (or bris), the ritual circumcision. Eight days after a son is born he is circumcised and receives his Hebrew name. The mohel set everything up and my husband actually did the cutting of the foreskin. Our new baby is recovering very well and there were no complications. We were all surrounded by our friends from our shul.
So that is a little of what has been going on since my last blog post. A lot has happened this past year. I look forward to 2014 and hope it is a better year than 2013. We have another bar mitzvah coming up, Yitschak has his bar mitzvah in September. After that we have a few years before D'vorah will have her bat mitzvah.
I am sorry for my lengthy absence and I will try to be better about blogging more often. :-)