Last Thursday, Dovi had school (duh. Couldn't think of another way to start this). He came home on the bus like usual. I got on the bus as usual to help him get off. Usually he just gets off the bus himself, but now that he has his leg in a cast, I help him-I transfer him from his seat to his wheelchair, they lower him down on the lift, I wheel him to the front door, carry him up the front steps, bring his wheelchair up the steps, and re-transfer him back into his chair. It's a whole process that is frankly very annoying to me, and you would think the same thing for Dovi.
So I get on the bus. Dovi, as usual, greets me with THE BIGGEST smile on his face, and the usual "HI MOMMY! How wa your day? Mine wa GREAT!" and then when I leaned down to pick him up, he wrapped his arms around me and told me "Mommy...you da best mommy in da whole wide world I eva eva have", all with a humongous smile on his face.
He got me thinking.
Here is a boy who has a really, really hard life. He has constant surgeries. It's hard for him to talk. To walk, even in the best of times. He's legally blind. He cannot drink, for crying out loud. He wakes up every morning with blood pressure through the roof, retching like crazy. It's not an easy life of the D.
But Dovi is possibly the happiest boy I have ever encountered. He has real, true Simchas HaChaim-loosely translated, Simchas HaChaim means "Joy for Life". And Dovi does have joy for life. He is rarely seen without a smile on his face and a happy greeting for anyone with whom he interacts.
I thought some more.
My life? Yes, I have hard stuff.
Your life? I'm sure you do too.
Everyone has their own "pekalah"-their own burden that they must bear (I think I've written about this in the past). Some are more visable than others. Some are more private.
Dovi's pekalah is right there out there for everyone to see. Anyone who meets Dovi is privy to his pekalah. But anyone who meets Dovi is also privy to his true, unadulterated happiness. He loves life. He rarely complains about the insurmountable hand that he's been dealt.
What about us? How often do we complain about little insignificant burdens? Yes, things happen. There are challenges in life. But how do we greet those challenges?
If we all had a smidgen of the Simchas HaChaim that my Chaim Dov has, we'd all be in much better shape.