Acceptance

Posted on August 13th, 2013

Stella is home.

She is with our beautiful family, in our beautiful house, in our beautiful yishuv, in our beautiful country.

She is not giving up the fight, and we do still believe that miracles are possible.

However, it is becoming clear that we are reaching the end of what modern medicine can do for her.

We are in a new phase now.

Here is what Stella wants people to know:

Everything is in Hashem’s (God’s) hands. I don’t know when my time will be, but I’m not going to miss the opportunity to tell the people I love in my life how much they mean to me. I’ve been blessed with an incredible life. I have the love and support of family and friends around me. I do not lack for anything. I have been blessed with a wonderful family and the absolute best friends one could ever have. From my Japanese-American upbringing to my conversion to our move to Israel, my life has been an incredible adventure. It’s been a full life. I have no regrets.

And now for me:

As the situation has declined this week, I have felt waves of powerful emotions. I have been angry enough that I have literally seen red. I scream at the sky and wave clenched fists at an unseen enemy. I rage that the love of my life has been in intense pain while I stand by, powerless to make any difference.

Other times, I have felt sad and depressed. It feels like a crushing weight is on my shoulders, and I can hardly stand. I listen to a sad song and from the first chords of the guitar, the tears start to roll. I think of my children and how they must feel seeing their mother become so sick. I can do little else but hug my dog and wait until the feeling passes.

And I have felt terror. The terror of comprehending trying to live and raise a family without my best friend and soulmate at my side. A terror so bad that I shake and sweat and get sick to my stomach thinking what is really unthinkable.

BUT – last night I felt none of these emotions. I felt nothing but love. If possible, we have become even closer. As close as two humans could ever be to one another. We can sit and hold hands and feel love for hours. We will continue to face whatever happens as one. Like Stella, I also have no regrets.

My whole life right now, every second, is to try and focus on the love and that closeness and keep the anger, the sadness, and the fear at bay.

Nothing else matters but to make her feel as comfortable and loved as possible.

For all our friends who have been so concerned and so wanting to help. I thank you and tell you that yes, we will need your help. We will let you know.

Stella is on some very heavy medication and not always able to see visitors. Yet when she is up, she does want to see people. She also appreciates e-mails and to the extent she can, tries to respond. So e-mail her or me or leave a comment on Facebook or the blog. We read everything.

Most of the time, I don’t mind talking about the situation. In fact, it can be helpful for me to do so. So don’t feel you need to keep your distance. If I can’t talk, don’t worry. I’ll let you know.

And while I can’t even begin to think philosophically about prayer and religion, and God — I do know that I continue to believe your prayers will do some good. So thank you and please continue.

May we all cherish every moment that we are able to live and love.

Yarden Frankl, Neve Daniel, Israel

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Comments

  1. Sharon Baratt says:

    Dearest Stella,Yarden, & beautiful family,
    Our thoughts, prayers, love, hugs, and mitzvahs in your merit continue. Stella, your strength, grace and absolute emuna are traits I try to emulate.
    Much love and hugs,
    Sharon

  2. Jeremy Zauder says:

    Stella and Yarden,
    We revel in your love and your personal power. Times are trying, but we hope to hear more good news soon!

  3. Bill Landau says:

    I write with tears in my eyes. Yarden – be prepared to cry. When my precious Sheila died, I cried for a long time. I still cry at the drop of a hat – even a sad story in the newspaper will do it – 29 years later.

    I haven’t written about this before now because the idea of Stella not making it was simply not possible. G-d willing, He will give us a miracle.

    Our situation, of course, was very different. We were only married for five and a half years, and had no children. But I do have some idea of what you and Stella have been going through since her diagnosis. Feel free to email or call if you need to talk to someone who has been there.

  4. Daniel Rebibo says:

    Thank you.

  5. Margie Rifkin says:

    May Hashem grant you many years of love, health and happiness together. It sounds like a lot of people are praying for your family. We are, too.
    Margie and Mike Rifkin

  6. Yael Bleiberg says:

    Stella, I am still away at camp so I can’t even come over to give you a hug, but I hope to do so soon and to bring over the seuda shlishit that we’ve been planning for weeks.
    Your smile carries us through and want to spend some meaningful time together.
    You are with us in our hearts, our souls, and in our prayers!

    Alan and Yael

  7. Malkah Fleisher says:

    Stella and Yarden!

    Thank you for sharing this poignant and painful message with us. LIFE IS CRAZY! I can’t believe we are reading these kinds of posts from you. Gevalt.

    As a long-time reader and a weak but earnest prayer soldier in Stella’s Army, I just wanted you guys to know that WE have a message for you!

    On behalf of Stella’s Army, I would like you two to know what a powerful and life-changing impact you have made on us – and continue to make – and will continue to make.

    What lessons have been left untaught? The power of love and loyalty, the humility of prayer, the sweat and the rage and the victory and the romance nd the humor, the deep craggy darkness, the sublime light, the earthy, dirty, pure reality of the human condition – you have given us a glimpse of it all, and planted seeds that are still germinating and forcing us to grow wiser, better.

    If we are Stella’s Army, you are our generals. And as one of the great generals, Douglas MacArthur said, “We are not retreating – we are advancing in another direction.”

    Bezrat Hashem, we pray for only happiness, health, and long life for all the Frankels. But no matter what, we are here, ready to go into battle with you, even against the mightiest opponent.

    Give that girl hugs and kisses from her ragged, but ever-ready troops. We’ve got more fight in us. And we love you.

  8. Ruth Novice says:

    Stella and Yarden,
    You two are truly blessed. Your incredible love for one another, your courage to accept what the Almighty has sent your way, even if sometimes after some protests. The beautiful family that you have been able to raise has surely been a blessing. Your lives so far have been hard but with your attitudes amazingly positive.
    May it be that whatever happens that you will continue to be as courageous as you have up been until now. You should know that even those of us who have not had the privilege to known you intimately, will continue to daven for you and will never cease to admire you and wish to imitate your positive attitudes.

    With all our love, Michael and Ruth Novice

  9. Paul Goldstein says:

    Unlike others who write here, we just don’t know what to say. So just know there are so many people who are dovening for you, thinking of you, and praying for a refuah shalema, please G-d.

    Jeri & Paul

  10. Bryna and Tzvi White says:

    We are friends of the Eastman family… and we have been davaning for you and asking for rachamai shamayim… and we have cheered your wins and davaned harder and harder… and now harder… There is not much to say.. we are truely am echad b’lev echad.. May the Rofeh kol Basaar…maflie la’asoss!!
    we will continue davaning…
    with love,
    Bryna and Tzvi White

  11. Sheila and Joe Rinde says:

    Stella and Yarden.
    We are all here with you especially now. May you know greatest Love and Peace always. You are an inspiration to all always. We knew you in Potomac when you worked for AIPAC selflessly. The First Lady of Israel Mrs. Weitmann is quoted in her book “The Impossible takes longer” This is how we as Jewish people live from time Immemorial. May G-d give you strength and serenity and know that we are all here with you. Love Sheila and Joe Rinde

  12. Mike Eastman says:

    I’m at a loss for what to say, just want you to know I am thinking of you. Much love, many hugs.

  13. A.J.L. says:

    Stella,
    I haven’t met you in person but I knew Yarden way back when. And I have been through some of what you two are going throug now. I am so glad that you know how to be supremely grateful for the chances we are given to have met and be close to our dearest people. I wish you luck in feeling comfortable and going through what is next together. Best of wishes, Arabella

  14. Kiwi Noa says:

    Little Kiwi praying for you all.

  15. rachel himels says:

    love, and more love…

  16. Ephraim Ben-Zeev says:

    Stella & Yarden,
    Since this process started, there have been many ups and downs. May Hashem send a refuah shlema; relief from your suffering and more precious time together.
    G-d bless you and your wonderful family.

  17. Pam & Moishe Lewack says:

    Pam and I are at a loss of words. Except we will continue to daven for the both of you. You are my inspiration on how to confront any obstacle with dignity, strength, and fulfillment of purpose. I type this with abundant tears, though nothing can compare with the tears of joy (for the love you two have for one another) and sadness (that the wall has been met) you must be experiencing now.

    Pam and I wish we could be there to support you…

    Much love for you and your family … Moishe and Pam

  18. Haya says:

    We love you guys and your kids
    Huggs haya and ari

  19. Marilyn Adler says:

    You are both an inspiration and you have effected so many people.
    We never know what life has in store but giving us an opportunity to glimpse into your life can provide strength for others to live and cope with the roller coaster of life.
    Thank you.
    May Hashem continue to bless you and your family.
    Ana El Rafa na la,
    Marilyn

  20. Monica Haber says:

    Hi – I am a “neighbor” from Alon Shevut.
    Malkah Fleisher put into words everything that I am feeling. You have taught us so many lessons, ones that I think about again and again. We are there for you, but you have been leading us.
    Thank you for sharing with us. We will continue fighting.

  21. M and Y Saunders says:

    A big Refuah Shelema! Our thoughts and prayers are with you and all the family. We hope to hear good news very soon! With love.

  22. Diana Rosenfelder says:

    Dear Stella & Yarden,

    I have been reading your blogs whenever they have appeared on my FB page via mutual friends. I am so saddened by what you are going through but at the same time moved by the courage you are both showing.
    I will continue to daven for you…
    Be strong!

    Diana Rosenfelder (Efrat)

  23. As the generals of ” Stella’s” army, you have set such high standards in living in love, life, battles,win,losses and acceptance. What examples to emulate. I raven everyday for you and for strength to live with such grace in my own health battle.I love you and all you have blessed my family with. I will continue to raven for you with abundant love and peace….. Love the FRANKL FAMILY !!!!! Deborah and David Kaler…

  24. Miriam Poch says:

    It is so hard to put into words what we feel in our hearts. Hashem performs many miracles every day. May you be Zoche for Hashem to hear the tefillos of all the incredible people who are davening for you.

    We all want to see your happy smiles for many years to come. We go forward with hope in our hearts, to a new year. May Hashem grant a refuah shlaima, and a year full of joy.

    Many gentle hugs, Miriam Poch

  25. Yitz Laurie and Yoni Glick says:

    Thanks for your powerful words! Your personal strength is so inspiring! We pray daily for miracles and have seen many times how human courage is way more eternal than modern medicine! Refuah Shleimah and Ad Mayah V’Esrim!

  26. Abi says:

    While I don’t know you, i’m very moved by your story. As we march through Ellul, Hashem is close by…HaMelech Basadeh… May He feel your love, hear your tefilot, and grant the miraculous refua you so deserve. Rooting for you. Besorot Tovot, Abi

  27. Menucha says:

    Hi-
    Wow, I don’t know either of you except that we share the same Father. As we being Elul and preparing ourselves for Rosh Hashanah in order that we may coronate our King, I stumble across the two of you and your amazing Bitachon. Really, the only thing we are in control of is how we choose to respond to what Hashem sends our way, in whatever form it may come. I don’t know how I can comfort you during this time but you have certainly comforted me by your clarity and strength and love for Hashem and one another. I have shed tears for you both and I know tefilahs and tears always get answered, either in Olam HaZe or Olam HaBa. May Hashem grant you a complete refuah shleima and may all of Klal Israel have a yeshuah. Thank you for sharing your experience and teaching us how to live with a Jewish heart.

  28. Ellen Jaffe Cogan says:

    So much love and so many prayers for both of you – every day. You inspire so many of us who don’t always write. I was hoping to see you when we were in Israel last week, but know my prayers were with you for sure. Always love, prayers and hugs from afar – at least they don’t carry germs from here.
    It’s a blessing to know you.
    (Miriam Gottlieb’s mom)

  29. Jessica Snapper says:

    Stella and Jordan, your strength, love and overall incredible attitude confronting this battle has been an inspiration to the entire community. Your children are lucky to have such amazing parents. Sending lots of warm hugs…

  30. Adam Frankl says:

    Hi Stella!

    Thank you for sending us the kids for a week! Pictures are here: https://www.facebook.com/adam.frankl/media_set?set=a.10201850861217112.1073741825.1350372448&type=3

    Love,

    The California Frankls

  31. Brian Miller says:

    I am making sushi for dinner.

  32. Steven Wolinsky says:

    Yarden and Stella,
    My family and I draw strength and inspiration from your positive approach in the tremendous struggle against cancer. We hope that you get strength and inspiration from our thoughts and tefilot. We are with you and thinking of you.

  33. Chava says:

    Your strength takes my breath away.
    I will continue praying for Stella wherever I am in the world and I look forward to reading a post about open revealed miracles!

    (Fully agree with Malka Fleisher’s comment above!)

  34. Hedda Silverman says:

    Stella and Yarden,
    I pray every day for a Refuah Shelemah for Stella, that G-d will give you a miracle. You are both incredibly inspiring and wonderful people full of love, courage, and appreciation for each other. Hashem does do miracles.
    Love,
    Hedda Silverman

  35. happiness says:

    Difficult to hear. Must be even harder to share. Thinking and praying for you all. Sending you much needed strength x

  36. Genendy Radoff says:

    Jordan and Stella,
    You are beautiful, and more powerful than you know! I think about you every day. The two of you changed the world together. Sending love.
    Genendy

  37. Rachael says:

    Dear Stella,
    I really wish we could be friends, I wish you could tell me in person how you manage to push through the aggressive treatments with such a positive attitude. As I write I am waiting for radiation. Tomorrow I have more chemo. This journey is just so difficult! I also was diagnosed with stomach cancer (stage 3). The past year has been a constant battle. I admire you for your courage, and it seems like you have such a grat husband by your side!
    With love, rachael
    P.s – Dr Farkas told me I should get in touch with you. He did my PICC and port and is great!

  38. Nava Feldman says:

    Stella and Yarden,

    We are holding on to you and you keep holding on to Hashem. From my own struggles, I have come to believe that holding on to Hashem, in addition to doing exactly what He wants us to do, means arguing with Him. You can even argue that arguing with Him is also what He want us to do. What you can argue is that you’re not quite done yet with your part in tikkun olam so He MUST give you more time to finish your business. Don’t let Him tell you you’ve done so much good already that it’s time to rest. Maybe you already know all this. In that case, keep it up! We love you and are davening for you.

  39. Tziporah Dayan says:

    Yarden and Stella, this article pulls at heartstrings. May you see miracles and continue channelling the deepest greatest most Divine powerful Love. Please look up Emma Brooke Whitehead, a 6 year old who was cured of Leukema with the HIV virus. Love & Blessings for many happy healthy years together!

  40. Tziporah Dayan says:

    Have you looked into modifying her name ( guided by a mkubal)? I have heard of miracles when names are changed. I am far from a mekubal, so far be it for me to talk of names, but is it possible her insides are confused by the name Kochevet? Maybe this is something you can look into? Please excuse if not appropriate, the thought surfaced so I felt obligated to share.

  41. Joshua Strahl says:

    You are all in my prayers – Stella, your children ,and you Yarden.

    I will continue running with Stella’s yellow bracelet.

    Josh

  42. Greg Neilsen says:

    Stella,
    I loved seeing you and the kids at the airport last year. How I wish I could have waited for the plane with you in the departure area and talked. I regret not getting up earlier. It has been so long. I see the pictures posted and can’t believe what is happening. I am so grateful for Facebook and modern technology so I can see your family. Beautiful kids. I should get off my duff and post more pictures of my kids.

    I know there is a long line of people who would give you whatever you need to make this thing go away, myself included.

    I will treasure the memories from college and wish I could have shared in more of your life. Your journey is incredible and will treasure my Stella’s army bracelet.

    I was going through our pre digital picture box and remembered all of my trips and such. But it is the incredible people like you that make life special. Sending only love.
    Greg

  43. Shaine Spolter says:

    Yarden and Stella,
    Having experienced the same thirty years ago I will tell you that there is nothing like the love of two people in this difficult period. Embrace your children so that they can share in this love. Keep treasuring your moments together.
    Stella you have been a role model of courage and emunah ! I hope that Hashem will ease your pain.
    Yarden , your wonderful friends will always be there to support you.
    Yimach hashem Dimah Meal Kol Panim
    An admirer from silver Spring,
    Shaine Spolter

  44. Efrat Schorr says:

    Dear Stella and Yarden,
    I feel without words, after your powerful words and everyone else’s comments. Please just accept our love and know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Efrat and Elli

  45. Leah says:

    I saw your post on Facebook and I wanted to send you links to some powerful yet simple natural remedies that MAY just help (no, I am not selling anything). I know it will sound to some as very silly, but it is written that, before Hashem created the dis-ease, he created the remedy for it. I believe we just have to find those remedies:

    http://www.budwigcenter.com/anti-cancer-diet.php
    http://earthclinic.com/CURES/stomach-cancer.html
    NOTE: I am not a doctor, so please check with yours before trying anything from these links. With prayers that Hashem will cure you very quickly!
    Leah

  46. Fernanda Carroll says:

    Beautiful Stella:
    You have been a role model of strength and love. I will always admire you and your wonderful family.
    The love between all of you is admirable. You have certainly been blessed , not many people can experience that kind of love.
    Please receive all my love, admiration and prayers.
    I think about you guys all the time.
    Fernanda

  47. Marc Ingber says:

    Stella and Yarden,
    Our thoughts are with you. We think about you often. We hope and pray that good things will happen to you and your family Marc and Laura

  48. daneil center says:

    I will pray Stella

  49. Shellie and Lenny Ben-David says:

    You are in our daily prayers and thoughts.
    One of Lenny’s favorite stories to retell is when we were blessed to join you at your chuppah at Beth Shalom. Lenny was very honored to be asked to be an “ayd yichud”. Normally one waits until the couple emerge, happy and ready to meet the world as Mr and Mrs ________. This time, Lenny says that after a couple of minutes of yichud, the door opened a crack and Yarden had a request that is almost never heard from a kalla. “Can someone bring me the baby? Stella needs to nurse her, now!”
    We will continue to do our mitzvot and prayers with you in mind. All our love, Shellie and Lenny

  50. David Wilder says:

    Many blessings for a Refuah shlema, bimhera, b’zchut HaAvot v’haEmahot, from Ir HaAvot, Hebron.

  51. Ruth S. says:

    Dearest Stella:

    You are one courageous woman! I do deeply admire your willingness to face what you are facing, head on, with love and honesty. What a warrior woman you are (actual translation of Women of Valor).

    I really sense that all of us, praying for you with all our hearts, are connected to you and each other lifting up the ordinariness of our lives as we step out of ourselves with longing for it be good for you. I don’t even know you that well, but you bring that out of me, and it seems, all of us.

    May our prayers give you as much courage and strength as you give us.

    Love,
    Ruth

  52. Bernice C. says:

    Stella and Yarden,

    I may not post or email very often, but there isn’t a day that goes by that you both and your beautiful family are not in my thoughts and tefillot. From the moment I met you in Potomac and your arrival in Neve Daniel and our journey back to Maryland, you – Stella have never stopped smiling. When we were both in ulpan together, you were always laughing/smiling and having that easy-going personality, even when you didn’t understand a word of the hebrew. You never give up in anything you do and always give it your all. You are an inspiration to me and may I continue to get strength from your incredible inner-strength and smiling personality.
    May our tefillot go straight up to Shamayim and bring you a big giant Nes from Hashem.
    All my love,
    Bernice

  53. Leorah Addi says:

    Dearest Stella,

    May Hashem grant you the refuah sheleima that we are all desperately davening for.

    We love you,
    Leorah & Family

  54. Aaron says:

    Thinking of you and praying for you in Baltimore.

  55. Ken Nemeth says:

    Hi Stella!

    What a great picture of you and Yarden. My heart and my thoughts and my prayers are with you and Yarden and the kids. You have always been a source of inspiration for me, all the way back when we were in college together. I loved our trips to Ichiban and I especially loved our Spring Break at Disney World, all those years ago. You’ve always been the most positive person I’ve every known, so I don’t expect it to stop now! Hang in there and do the best you can. Love you so much!

  56. Avigail says:

    Dearest Stella, Yarden and family,
    You are in our herats all day, every day.
    Words cannot express my admiratiom of you and appreciation of the values and lessons you continue to teach us. You are a tremendous inspiration to me and my family ( and i mean even some extended family who do not know you personally and follow your story). The tremendous emunah, love and strength you practice throughout these times, the ups and the downs- is more than admirable- probably the most real live experience of true love and devotion to family ,Torah and Hashem which i’ve ever seen. You both are role models for us ,the entire community and Klal Yisrael. We love you and praying for a Refuah shleima.
    xoxoxoxoxoxoxLove,Avigail Stern and Family

  57. Carol Ginsberg says:

    Stella and Yarden,
    You are and always will be such an inspiration on how to live and how to love.
    Carol Ginsberg

  58. Susann says:

    I came across your blog by chance (my husband loves cycling, I’m interested in Israel, and so…).

    I’m deeply moved by Stella and your story and will keep you and you family in my prayers.
    Susann