Living … for the big events and everything in between

Two years ago, right around this time, my doctors told me that I wouldn’t be alive for long. Wow, what a pill to swallow. You see, I was talking to the doctor about my son’s Bar Mitzvah and how it was set for November of 2012 … and he said I wouldn’t make it. He was saying that I wouldn’t see my son on the day he would become a man in the eyes of Jewish law, not to mention all the other things I wouldn’t be here for. But I was determined to prove him wrong. That very day, after I left the doctor’s office, I went home and put down a deposit on a venue for my son’s party.

Viki and Dell on the day after the Bar Mitzvah

Viki and Dell are all smiles on the day after the Bar Mitzvah

And, as you might have noticed, I’M STILL HERE! Last week, I stood on the pulpit with my son and my family and witnessed my son become a Bar Mitzvah. The emotions that I have experienced in the past week are unforgettable. I’m here today to tell the world how proud I am of my son, my family and myself. How surreal is that?!

I will remember that day as one of the greatest in my life. I was surrounded by my family and friends who love me. I could feel their emotions too, pulling me into their warmth and willing me to make my future dreams come true.

I danced!! I did … I danced and laughed and really enjoyed myself. I have been planning this event for two years, and it was everything that I wanted it to be and more. It was such a fun party. Dell had a great time with his friends, and every time I looked at him, he was shining. I think he may have changed a bit himself that day. Today, he seems to walk with more confidence. I think he’s going to be OK. He will make a fine man someday. And no matter what my future holds, no one can take away my part in helping my son grow into the kind of man that would make any mom proud.

Now, as I bask in the warm glow of memories of that day, one thing is clear about the past two years. Having that important event to look forward to gave me huge incentive to drive myself harder and harder every day so I could be there for my son. There wasn’t anything that would prevent me from keeping my promise to my son that I was going to share that special day in his life.

My daughter turned 10 last week, which means her Bat Mitzvah is in three years. The year 2015. I can do this. I know this goal is further away than the first one was, but I’m very capable when I set my mind on something. Besides, I’ve always treated my children equally … why would I change that now? If I was there for Dell’s big day, I must now be there for Bella’s big day as well. So as I write this today, I’m making a promise to myself, my daughter and to my family that I will do whatever it takes to be here on this earth for her special day. Everyone out there who may be reading this, I ask you to help me push forward and continue to keep the inner strength that I know I possess to keep my promise to my daughter.

Family and big family moments are what drive me forward. And it’s also important for me to have a focus within a focus. What I mean by that is, I wake up every day and I walk when it hurts and I take my meds that make me sick and I go about my day with positive energy and joy that today is Monday or Tuesday.

But, make no mistake, I will also wake up and mark my calendar and think, “OK, how many days until Bella’s Bat Mitzvah? Is there anything I need to book or order in advance to ensure her a perfect day? Because her mom is going to enjoy another family moment.” Because her mom is strong!!


  1. Viki, Mazel tov! You look just as beautiful as I remember when you were in BBYO and when you were an advisor! I have many fond memories. You love, warmth and energy are powerful and you will be there for your daughter just as you were for your son. IC grads are strong !!!!!!! Thanks for sharing the beautiful picture. I’m thinking of you with much love. Say hi to Jerry and keep your posts coming! Love Hope 🙂

    Sent from my iPhone

    1. I’m so happy to hear from you. Oh Hope, the Bar-Mitzvah was so great. I will always remember those BBYO days with such fondness. It’s wonderful to hear from you. Say hello to your family from me. Happy Holidays, viki

  2. Mazel tov!!!!! Viki, I know how super special Dell’s Bar Mitzvah must have been. As I told you, two of three sons are now married, and I am the proud and thankful grandmother of a beautiful three week old granddaughter. And another grandchild is on the way in April. It is family and times like this that matter – and are the true “treatments” that work. I look forward to reading about Bella’s Bat Mitzvah as well.

    Mazel tov again,

    Janice alter

  3. Okay, we now have a new goals you want to see you girl become a lady and I want to see my son get his 4 yrs degree. I was told the same I would not live to see Dakota Grad from High School but I did in 2008 now its 2012 almost 2013 WOW!! we lived now we have to make the next goal. The chemo sucks and so do the side effects but we are still here!
    Oh, I went back to college IF I PASS MY MATH class I will grad from college this MAY! another thing off my list.
    I am so happy for you and your family Happy Holidays. Be safe, stay warm and live.
    Your Indiana Friend,

    1. Oh Jaimie, i missed you!! i love hearing from you. You go girl and get that college degree!! what a terrific accomplishment. then you and your son can celebrate together and you can be proud of each other. happy, HEALTHY Holidays, viki

  4. Mazel tov to you and your family. You have such an amazing outlook on life and this positive attitude will have you standing next to your daughter at her Bat Mitzva. I am so happy that you were able to experience this wonderful day with your son! Keep up the fight Viki

    Shelley Lower 🙂

  5. And what a special day it was— Relatives came from Israel, California, Washington and states
    in between to pay tribute and help celebrate this wonderful MITZVAH !!! Dancing, singing,
    piano duets by Dell and Bella, special hip hop performances,and marvelous food …..but most of all,
    lots of love, and a spirit of joy prevailed. A day that warms my heart whenever I remember.

  6. I am a friend of your brother Steve. 3 years ago he shared your challenging journey with my friend Betty and me. Betty is a young 80. She had bone cancer in her jaw that has been disfiguring to her. Things were very tough for her for the first couple years. Her God, attitude and determination have brought her to this time. We are thrilled to say she has passed her 5 year mark!

    Betty and I have kept you in our prayers for the past 3 years Vicki..and will continue to do so….plan that Bat Mitzvah for Bella….and be there dear lady

    M. Flood Phoenix AZ

    1. I’m so glad to hear your story and receive your prayers. My brother is a lucky guy to have you both in his life. He is the best brother ever!!!! Viki

  7. You are an amazing woman. Thank you for sharing this blog! You know I love you and we are the BEST homeroom Moms together! If you put your mind to it, it will happen. ❤

  8. Game on girl! I am ready to do it again – the planning, organizing, outfit picking, ALL OF IT- and DANCING! Sammy will be front and center dancing with his Bella and you and I will be laughing so hard! Can’t wait!

  9. Congratulations on meeting your goal. I appreciate reading your enthusiastic, positive comments and attitude.
    You are in my prayers. May God bless you and your family with many more achievements together . Dgschartz

  10. I am behind on reading your blog, but mazel tov to you and Jerry. You rock. Your children sound wonderful. I love the photo of you and Dell. He has your eyes, but I see allot of Jerry in him. You look so young and beautiful. You are such a positive person. I am in awe. You are an inspiration.
    Love, Arlene

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