Many people over the last two months have asked us what they can do for Stella. We've tried to answer, as best we can, when we have ideas.
Others, however, haven't asked - they've simply done. And these interactions have truly been amazing.
A number of weeks ago, I was walking in the yishuv when I bumped into someone. She commented that I looked awful (you know you're a good friend when...) and asked if I was alright. Nothing new, I explained; just, well, you know.
That night, while I was showering and about to jump into bed (yes, it was 8:45), we got a phone call.
"Be outside in ten minutes," said the husband of this woman from the morning. "We're going out to dinner."
It was such a strikingly lovely gesture. They swooped down, picked us up, and took us out to an amazing restaurant in town. We had a chance to get dressed up a bit, to get some fresh air and a change of scenery, and to talk to another couple about what was going on in our lives (and also to talk about fun things).
Similarly, a woman called me awhile back to say that she would be coming to my home the next day with a sizable amount of cash. The cash, she explained, was to use on Stella. "Um...." I stammered. "What does that mean? What do you want me to do?"
Her conditions were as follows. Stella and Yarden were not to know who it was, and the money was to be used to nurture Stella in some way.
Tucking the money away, we set about thinking of something that would be worthy of this woman's request. The woman, by the way, is someone who I don't know well and who Stella probably only interacts with periodically.
We finally devised a plan, and executed it last night, to the delight of everyone involved.
Our good friends who live in Givat Shmuel, Ronit and Itay Zeman, would join us at Stella and Yarden's house as a surprise. We would hire their brother-in-law, a personal chef, to create a night of gastro-enjoyment.
It was simply divine. While we gorged on sushi rolls,
amazing chicken, and some type of mystery mint ice dessert, we tucked that big "C" word away for a night and enjoyed ourselves.
We all ate more than our fair share, and we giggled and gobbled the night away.
As I wrote to the benefactor after, in thanks, every shekel was worth it for this:
Truly, nights to remember, offered up by some of the most unlikely of people.