Chana’s Kitchen

This is an article I wrote a long time ago.

Chana’s Kitchen

Last night I saw Chana’s kitchen. It was about 8:30 p.m. and Chana’s husband, David needed to pick up a prescription, but their daughter, Sara, who is three years old, was sleeping soundly in her room, her blue eyes closed and her blond hair curling around her face. He couldn’t leave her alone, so I went to watch Sara while my husband gave him a ride over to the pharmacy.

It’s a small apartment. Just big enough for the three of them. An apartment filled with toys and games and magazines and books and love. And Sara slept , dreaming, perhaps pleasant dreams.

And I sat in the living room and looked into the kitchen and a stab of pain hit me almost as if it were a real knife stabbing into me. There was Chana’s kitchen. There was her microwave and her double oven and the stand mixer. There were the dishrack and the dishes. In that place, Chana made breakfast and dinner, holiday meals and snacks, cookies and cakes for her husband and her daughter and her parents and siblings.

But now Chana is far away. She lies in a bed, connected to a machine that helps her breathe. Since the murderous attack at Sbarro’s last August 9 that killed 15 innocent people, Chana has been in a coma. When Sara wants to see her mother, she is taken to the rehab center and there she lovingly touches her mother, kisses her, brushes her hair. Chana’s parents spend most of their days doing exercises with Chana to try and stimulate her brain so that she will wake up. They gently talk to her, hold items with different aromas under her nose, sing to her, and exercise her limbs, straightening out her contracted fingers. Once, recently, they saw Chana react to Sara. Tears formed in her eyes.

So they pray and we pray. And last night, looking at her kitchen, I prayed that soon she would return to her parents, to her siblings, to her husband, and to her daughter. I prayed to see her smiling face as she returns home and reclaims her kitchen.

The bombing of Sbarro’s took place on August 8, 2001. Chana is still in a coma. Chana’s web page is http://www.geocities.com/racharik/chana.html

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