A woman of valor, who can find
Her worth is more precious than rubies*
So says a poem that is often recited at the start of the Jewish Sabbath. When I hear these lines, I usually think of my grandmother, remembering how they were spoken at her funeral so many years ago. I remember listening to the rabbi praise her virtues as we mourned. My grandmother was indeed a treasure to me, more valuable than any rubies, diamonds or pearls. I have long wished that she could have lived long enough for me to learn more from her, but I was just a young girl when she finally succumbed to the disease that riddled her body.
This week though, those words in praise of a valorous woman bring to mind someone else. Someone much younger. Someone who inspires me each day, who is the kind of parent I can only wish to become. The kind of woman I can only wish to become.
This woman, this very dear friend of mine, is in terrible pain right now. She has been dealt a massive blow, the kind that changes your life forever, and I am utterly unable to find a way to help her. Not only can I not find a way to help lessen her pain, I can't find her at all. After a desperate cry for help she has vanished, unable or unwilling to be found. After days of no response, my mind begins traveling in directions it should never go. Voicing dark thoughts no one should ever give voice, for fear that speaking them might give them wing.
As I send ever stronger messages of love and healing towards her, and leave ever more frantic messages in her inbox and voicemail, I can only hope that she can feel that love wherever she is, and know how very much I care.
And then I really hope she calls and tells me that everything is fine, because I'm worried sick.
The Writers Island prompt for this week is treasure, and if you are out there reading my friend, know that you are truly a treasure to me.
* The correct translation is apparently pearls, but I learned it as rubies, so rubies it shall stay. The particular jewel is irrelevant here in any case.