His World Went Dark Overnight

Ari L. NoonanOP-EDLeave a Comment

Menachem Green
Menachem Green

First of two parts

 

When I visited a longtime friend of my children’s generation on Friday afternoon, I was reminded of why we celebrate Passover so intensely – to meaningfully connect with G-d.

 

One morning two weeks ago, Menachem Green, handsome, smart, professionally ambitious, single and hoping to change that status, woke up the way he has done every morning for 32 years. Only this morning there was not anything to see.

 

He could not detect any object clearly enough to distinguish a wall from a human being.

 

Heavily clouded blurriness in every direction.

 

Swiftly and inevitably, fright morphed into sadness, and like a couple on the dance floor, Menachem’s fright and sadness kept changing places in the long, winding stairway of his suddenly crowded, constantly swirling mind.

 

Any time of day or night, you can find him in a large easy chair in the busy living room.

 

He looks straight ahead. Doctors are baffled. They do not know what caused it or if it can be corrected.

 

What do you do when your life is in smoothly elevating, stimulating trajectory, and abruptly someone raises a Stop sign?

 

What do you say or do when you enter the familiar portal of the Green home?

 

Menachem’s parents remain upbeat.

 

No strangers to grief, every member of this model religious family has been touched at least one time by a massive physical challenge.

 

Just a year ago this month, Harry Green, an entrepreneur of irrepressible spirit, lost hearing in one ear in a freak manner that still puzzles doctors.

 

How do you respond when your body tells you “Freeze! Now.”

 

The middle of three sons, one in Israel, the other in Baltimore, Menachem and his parents are an Orthodox Jewish family in the heavily traditional Pico-Robertson neighborhood.

 

The Greens are strong believers in the influence of prayer. For Jews, Menachem’s Hebrew name is Menachem Mordechai Gershom ben bat Ami.

 

(To be continued)

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