In my last post I explained that Avi would be staying at the hospital for at least the beginning of Passover. Since then Marsha and I have tried very hard to come up with a way to allow Avi to experience some of Passover. Thank God, every little thing we have put out there has come together. The hospital staff has been very accommodating with this, and although it is not the ideal, I think that Avi will be happy.
I said yesterday that we are going to bring some Seder food. We are definitely bringing some Matza, some chicken soup with Matza balls and some Haroset. Perhaps we will come up with a few other things. A few weeks ago, Avi and I were looking through my Haggadah collection (I have quite a lot) and I told him that he could pick one that would be his Haggadah. Believe it or not, he happened to choose the one that was given to me as a gift when I was a boy. I told him that this would now be his Haggadah for every year (this Haggadah is a reprint of the famous Szyk Haggadah. You can see images from it here). We will bring this with us tonight as well, and some other materials from when he was at Schechter. The staff will be told when to give him the food so he can eat some of the Seder food at the same time as we are (or close to it).
Then I got the idea to get in touch with the Rabbi at the Conservative Synagogue that is near the hospital. It happens that both Marsha and I have a history with this Synagogue as we were both USY advisor there at different times. I was also friends with the Cantor and her husband when I was at JTS. I spoke to the Rabbi and he is being so nice and he will go visit Avi on Thursday or Friday afternoon. He will sit with Avi and do a little mini-Seder and sing a few songs with him etc. I think that given the circumstances Avi will be quite happy.
I reported yesterday that Avi started taking Prozac for depression. This morning when I spoke to him he was in very good spirits. He understands that he is not coming home for the Seders and he did not cry about it like all of our other phone conversations. I don’t know if Prozac works that fast, but something clearly is working (perhaps he is also moving into the acceptance stage and is ready to start getting better).
I don’t know if I will be able to post any updates before Pesah starts tomorrow evening. Tonight and tomorrow during the day will be dominated by final preparations for the Seders. So Marsha and I wish everyone a חג כשר ושמח and a זיסן פסח A Sweet, Kosher and Joyous Passover!