He stands at the table.
He looks sad, despondent.
And my heart aches.
As tumbling emotions combine with a reopening of wounds, my eyes fill with tears.
The Shabbat candles flicker, while casting a warm, peaceful glow on my family’s faces.
And there he stands, now pointing to the challah.
You see, challah is Chaim Boruch’s favorite food in the whole world. In fact, I always had to bake two batches, totaling 14 challahs, just so he would have enough for French toast on Sunday, if any loaves were left by then.
My favorite part of the week was when Chaim Boruch walked in the door from school and saw the table set for Shabbat. “Aaaahhhhhh” was his reaction every time, as he made a beeline for the mounds of freshly baked challahs.
And I knew. I knew it all along, as his eyes locked with mine, that he tasted my love and he appreciated it.
No, it wasn’t always easy making so many large batches of dough—especially on some very exhausting Fridays—but this was important to Chaim Boruch . . . and to me, too.
But now, his feeding tube has taken the place of chewing and savoring the taste of many foods—but primarily the taste of Shabbat and love.
And now, a part of me sinks into that gloomy, dark place. That part of my heart that has its own journey of healing, that part that still bakes challah for him . . . because I know one day he will once again taste my loaves of love.
Over the flickering Shabbat flames, our eyes lock, and I can see he feels that I understand just how hard this is.
And every week, I say the same words, while we cuddle and hug: “I promise, one day, very soon, Mommy will bake you the BIGGEST challah in the whole, wide world.”
And he smiles that brilliant smile. He flashes that grin that soothes the ache in my heart, and we share this special moment of hopes and dreams that we pray will soon come true.
Challah. The dough that sustains. That nourishes. That is the epitome of giving, of separating a portion of ourselves for a higher purpose.
The dough that bonds a mother to her child. A heart to a soul. And now, a dream to a vision.
Yes, very soon, Mommy will bake you the BIGGEST challah in the entire world. With the BIGGEST measure of love.
For you, for life, for miracles.
For dreams that come true.