Lessons on Joy from a 3-year-old
She wasn't a pretty baby. She had dark, round eyes like saucers - much too big for her little face - and a full head of dark brown hair that spiked upwards and outwards - like porcupine quills. But oh! how she grew into her face! By the time she was two Tali - my granddaughter - was stunningly beautiful. She still had the huge, dark eyes, but by then they were proportionate, framed by her ridiculously thick, dark eyelashes. Her long hair cascaded over her shoulders, sometimes falling over one eye, and her cheeks were always slightly flushed. She bore a greater resemblance to her older brother, Amir, than she did to her twin brother, Noam. One day I will explain to my grandsons how their sister grew from being a typical, lovable little girl into a mature, confident, courageous and inspiring child who knew instinctively how to live joyfully. She had - at age three - been diagnosed with brain cancer, and endured the horrors of chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation. Yet through it all there were countless moments of laughter ... moments of playfulness ... moments of silliness … and heartwarming moments of quiet intimacy that soothed my frightened soul. Tali loved to assume a leadership role in our relationship, and took every opportunity to show me how to perform tasks that I would pretend were difficult for me. As she guided me along she would offer words of encouragement: "Good job, Granny.” “I know you can do it.” And when she tired of being my teacher we would sing. We had our own repertoire of children's songs that we would sing together, ...
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