At 11:52PM on Saturday night, Dec 5, 2009 - just 2 years ago at the NYU Medical Center - Ayelet Yakira Galena was brought miraculously into this world! Well, I guess it wasn’t that miraculous, but it was pretty dramatic.
The story of her birth, coming 2 months premature in an emergency c-section is in itself a Chanoch Teller middle of the book story, but the celebration of it takes on greater and greater meaning after surviving the year she has survived.
This little 14lb girl with her steroid puffed cheeks and 9 meds 3 times a day has not lost abit of her adorability, her spunk (read bitchiness), her interest in people and her smarts through it all. She has proven to us that age does not reflect drive or courage - because to most of us, she is the person we look to for determination, for inspiration. Really: for guts.
No prisoners is her look - she just flat out muscles and groans through the God-only-knows-how-much hellish pain daily.
If Ayelet can get up today through all her meds and smile at the site of a straw, then we can get through all the hell life throws at us with monotonous conference calls/meetings etc as well.
2 years old. But has lived 2 centuries of medical history (her file is over 600 pages long). Rough estimates have her spending 60% of her thus far 2 year life in a hospital room - but not a single one of those days has not affected someone else in this world.
She really does inspire.
If you can, please take a moment on the 2nd most special day of Ayelet’s life (1st is her transplant) and do one thing for others. The ones close to you. Forward something funny to your parents, call an old friend to check in. ‘Like’ a not worthy status update.
Ayelet is like a hardened vet, a tough audience, and you might only get a grunt out out of her when you try to entertain her, but that grunt/smirk is her special way of saying - thank you.
(all she needs is a burnt cigar as she already has the 5 oclock shadow).
In local Cincy news - since we were all going back to work on Monday (Dec 5) Ayelet’s actual birthday, we pushed up the festivities a day, to align with Sunday and in between 1PM and 4PM football games.
The Elmo theme ran throughout the birthday with elmo balloons, elmo cake, forks, spoons, table clothes, gifts stickers and elmo gift bags.
A special thank you to Elliot Smith for dressing up as urban Elmo (elmo top w/ jeans) and to the Goldberg’s who made such a gorgeous Elmofied cake!
Ayelet really seemed to like being around so many loving people and took it all in stride, only tearing up when we sang “Happy Birthday” which is a known Hindy Poupko birthday trait/minhag.