Glass Statues

Posted on October 7th, 2011

I hate the nights the most.

I can’t remember the last time I made it through the whole night. It’s quarter to three in the morning and I have a 18km trail run planned in a few hours. Doubt that I’ll be sleeping before then. At least when I’m running all I need to worry about is making it up the next hill.

I’m tired but I can’t sleep. Does that make any sense?

Tomorrow is Yom Kippur. I guess it would be more accurate to say that tonight is Yom Kippur.

I wish I could write an inspiring post in preparation, but you know what?

I’m out of words.

What more could I say to G-d that I have not said already, over and over again?

So let me keep my conversations with G-d private this time and instead talk to all of you who are reading this blog.

You can’t take anything for granted.

Not a week, not a day, not even a minute.

Because our comfortable, stable lives are no more than glass statues that can be shattered at any second.

It wasn’t that long ago that I went out to celebrate a friend’s birthday in Jerusalem.

As I sat eating waffles, a malignant tumor grew in my wife’s stomach.

I still remember every thing we were told after we went to the Emergency Room that night and at the hospital over the next few days:

“It’s probably nothing but we want to rule things out.”

“We just want to run a few tests to make sure it’s nothing serious.”

“We want to check her in to the hospital just to be on the safe side.”

“It could be a few things, we need to keep looking.”

“There’s something in the stomach that could be a tumor.”

“It’s looks like stomach cancer.”

“The biopsy is positive. It’s a serious situation. Hopefully it has not spread.

“There is a not insignificant amount of cancer cells beyond the stomach.”

“The cancer is not operable.”

“We need to start chemotherapy as soon as possible.”

Wait a second. Stop.

How could this have happened?

Every time I thought the news could not get any worse, it did.

I want to turn back the clock. To go back to the Waffle Bar where my biggest worry was whether waffles and ice cream would effect my running.

I still hope that maybe, just maybe — I will open my eyes and Stella will be sleeping next to me and it will all have been a terrible, terrible dream.

And if that were to happen…….

I would never take a single second for granted anymore. I would cherish every moment.

There are so many things I would do differently.

If only.

But the nightmare doesn’t end.

For all of you who will wake up next to someone you love in the morning — never forget what is truly important. Think of how you would feel if G-d forbid that person was diagnosed with a horrible disease.

You may be physically strong, mentally sharp, wealthy — at the top of your game.


Remember — our lives are glass statues. They can be immensly beautiful, but will always be fragile.

Handle with care.

So many things we worry about are really inconsequential.

It doesn’t really matter what the Yankees or Redskins do.

It matters what we do.

Wishing all our friends a year filled with love and health and only happy news.

Yarden Frankl,

Neve Daniel Israel


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  1. Paul Goldstein says:

    Stella is in our prayers every single day. We doven that Hashem speedily gives her a refuah shalemah, and we should all be closer to Him because of this.

  2. libby anfinsen says:

    Dearest Stella and Jordan……it is almost erev yom kippur…..I read your account of your feelings of danger for stella and your world crumbling constellation
    with pain and sorrow in what you are experiencing. I pray that her wonderful,
    idyllic mylot will overcome and remove the danger and that she be written in the book of life for a long and healthy and happy life where she belongs with
    her caring husband Jordan and beautiful children. We all love you both and will
    pray for your future. Libby Anfinsen

  3. Bill Landau says:

    Stella is also always in my prayers. May she be written and sealed in the book of life for many many years to come.

    You are right about life and our loved ones, Yarden. We must cherish every moment we are given.

    G’mar chatima tova to the Frankls, to all our friends in Neve Daniel (including those we haven’t yet met), and to Klal Yisrael.

  4. annick says:

    Yarden, you say it all so well, so soul-ful
    i understand what you say about nighttime
    what is the ideal “nighttime” —
    that time to let go and relax.
    but what exactly can you let go of?
    not the fight ..
    not the cancer ..
    not the kids ..
    and not Stella.

    i did think of one thing though
    and i am sure that you must try,
    is to let go the doctor’s words that must replay over and over and over.
    they’re just words.
    and you can replace them
    remember cancer shmancer?
    they’re just words.

    and Stella is with you,
    not relaxing with her love,
    maybe she’s in a lot of pain and love
    but it is love
    love for you
    and you for her.

    you giving the world advice
    about appreciating what we’ve got
    is so way important
    you’ve included everyone in your pain
    and your love

    thank you Yarden

    if anyone deserves the yam suf to open up
    to spit out the cancer
    it is Stella
    and that is exactly what i wish for –
    a complete and inexplicable miracle


  5. Marlene Teichman says:

    Jordan – Your writing abilities are amazing! You are able to describe your feelings and emotions so clearly and manage to leave the reader feeling the exact same way, no matter what you are writing about! Stella – Jordan has given us the ability to feel a small part of your pain and suffering. We continue to daven for you and wish you a Refuah Shelaimah. Shana Tova and G’mar Chatima Tova!

  6. mush says:

    Thank You for this very timely message ! Gmar Hatima Tova –

  7. Rebekah says:

    Thank you Yarden. You inspire prayer in me to our God.

  8. Rev. Rock says:

    Gooooooooood Morning Jordan,
    We so appreciate you keeping us informed about Stella and the Frankl family. As always we continue to pray for Stella everyday knowing that God hears our prayers. We must all keep a positive attitude and trust in God with all our heart. Was it not the trusting in God that allowed Moses to part the waters of the Red Sea, that gave David the courage to face Goliath, that allowed Peter to step out of the safety of a boat and walk on water? Let us do those things we can for the Frankl family and those things which we have no control over give to God and trust that He will bring healing spiritually, physically, and mentally. May God richly bless you in the coming days and lead you and Stella into a blissful peace that will allow you both to get the rest and sleep that your bodies need.

    Rev. Rock & Carol & Cameron……………

  9. iris says:

    beautiful writing jordan. Stella-davening for you.Wishing this could be one big do-over.

  10. Tammy Berman says:

    Dear Stella,
    Last night about 17 women baked challa with special prayers for you. Please know that you are special to so many people that you don’t even know. We wish you all the best for the coming year. May you continue to be strong. Hope to see you on my next trip to Israel.

  11. Valerie Corbett says:

    I am sure you are out of words Yarden, the only words any of us need say is “Please dear LORD heal Stella… “. Thousands are probably saying just that… And may HE keep you and your children strong.

  12. Ruth says:

    No words Jordan. If only we could do more besides pray and pray and pray and pray. if only we could each give Stella a piece of our strength to help her fight this battle. If only we could each take on a little piece of this battle. We would. If only….

  13. Sharon Baratt says:

    Dearest Stella – you are constantly in my prayers and my thoughts of the love you have for your wonderful family. I pray for your complete and total refuah – spiritually and physically – daily. You have such inner strength – you are amazing! J told me this afternoon that she has a good feeling that this year will be a wonderfully positive one for us and for all Klal Yisroel – I believe this includes you, my friend.
    Dearest Yarden – you write so beautifully and, as Marlene said above, you have the ability to enable your readers to personally feel what you are feeling. Please believe that G-d will provide you with the answer to your prayers.
    With love, me

  14. Yaelle says:

    Over the course of Yom Kippur – across continents, countries, and datelines – thousands of people stormed the Gates of Heaven on Stella’s behalf. There is no question that at this time of new beginnings, we will still all these prayers come to fruition very soon!

  15. Jill Smudski says:

    Dear Stella and Yarden, Stella, you are in my prayers daily, and also in the prayers of everyone on the Tehillim Potomac list. Yarden, You and your family are in my prayers too, that this nightmare will soon be over. May Hashem please grant Stella a speedy refuah shleima. And may we all be sealed for a good year.

  16. Sarah says:

    Dear Yarden – Your “Dear G-d” piece was beautiful, but this is the one that brought me to tears. “Our lives are glass statues” – how true! And your message – to appreciate what we have, to keep sight of what is important and not sweat the small staff – also rings true. Just hang on to one more truth: Cancer is also fragile. It can be shattered at any second. Chemo (read “Hashem”) can cure. Tumors can miraculously (read “if Hashem wills it”) disappear. That’s why even the worst odds leave some % for success. May Stella be in that % and may she enjoy a complete and speedy refuah.