As a teacher, I've always impressed upon my students that their actions speak louder than their words.
When I became a parent, I made this one of the cornerstones of my parenting. Your actions - not what you say - will reflect who you are and what you want to convey to others.
Yarden Frankl's actions are speaking.
As many of you already know, my best friend has stomach cancer. And while she fights each day to keep it at bay and to continue to give us that sparkly smile, we sit around feeling...well...helpless.
A few days before Stella started chemo, I asked if I could bring anything with me to the first treatment or do anything special. They couldn't think of anything, but Yarden asked, if I had time or if I could find someone else to do it, if I could buy some of those chocolate covered nuts that they both love.
I felt like a woman on a mission. I had something to do - something to keep me busy for five minutes - something that would make me feel I was doing something productive for the Frankls.
I showed up, proudly, to the first cancer treatment armed with chocolate covered nuts of some sort, and got pleasure out of watching Stella eat a few.
It became my little ritual to drive to the health food store on my way to chemo to make sure they had their chocolate fix on the day of treatment.
Then, a few treatments ago, when I dropped the chocolates into Stella's lap, she looked at me sheepishly and said "thanks." Never wanting to hurt anyone's feelings, she didn't say anything else. Yarden came back into the room and said, (in perfect Yarden fashion), "You know. Stella stopped eating those a few treatments ago. But thanks - I'm sure enjoying them."
When I stopped laughing, I realized that my little bit of "help" was over. I couldn't help feeling a bit like Mitch Albom who tells a similar story in his book Tuesdays with Morrie.
What could I do next, I wondered?
Recently, Yarden told us of a plan that was so outlandish - so crazy - that both Josh and I told him it seemed a bit far fetched. "You'll see...You'll see..." he said. "It's going to be great."
And we are seeing. He's putting his energy into something so positive, so full of life and so energetic that it's lifting the rest of us and giving us all a bit more energy. His crazy idea is really resonating with friends near and far and even with people who don't know them.
Yarden has plans for a 12 hour bike ride in just over 10 days to raise money for the Gush Etzion Foundation fund that helps families dealing with serious illnesses.
Please read Yarden's latest two posts - and Fight like Hell and Ride like the Wind with him (and with the rest of us).
It's the least we can do for Stella and for so many others fighting these terrible illnesses.