Echoes of Elul Day 17: 24 Hours

By Rita Zipnick

When I was about 12 years old, we had to read a book about Helen Keller. I was so taken by what this young girl suffered through and yet, she was so happy to be alive.

The class had to write an essay and/or a poem about what we read and felt. After reading her story, I thought that I would never care if I went deaf or could not speak again, but to become blind….I thought that would be the most terrible thing to ever happen to me.

I wrote the following poem called, “24 Hours:”

24 hours and gone is my sight. No longer to see the sun or its light. No longer to gaze at the flowers or trees, the birds, the ladybugs or honeybees. I am left in darkness for ever more. As I stand alone on the sand-filled shore, may G-D, in His mercy, look down upon me. And, with gentle hands, guide me away from the sea.

The teacher had this poem printed in the schools paper and then in the town’s newspaper. Now, as I am in my 82nd year of my life, I contemplate how fortunate I have been to be able to see, in spite of having glaucoma, and to enjoy this wonderful life G-D has afforded me. G-D’s gentle hands have always been guiding me and my gratitude is beyond words.

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