I don't like to talk about me especially since Real Talk is only about you, all of you special stories out there who share something about you with us!
Tonight, though, it is a special night for me, for it is my daughter Nava Ruth z"l's yahrzeit.
Nine years from that sunny morning in 2012 when she left us. She was two-and-a-half years old.
Navi, how we called her, was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma at 16 months, she passed away exactly a year later in my arms, in her beautiful bedroom surrounded by so much love.
She was a true soldier and we fought all we could but in the end, the illness took over.
After having lived basically for one year in Hadassah Hospital on the fifth floor in the children's oncology wing, I was left with a head full of questions unanswered, hopes and dreams shattered but an incredible new view of life and G-d.
When I had entered the first time that floor I thought I had literally walked inside hell. What can be worse than seeing sick children suffering and aching parents and families crying all the time. I thought to myself that this must be the furthest place away from G-d, when I left a year later I realized that that is probably the closes place to G-d. Throughout the year I literally saw the hand of G-d every day, going through the ward and touching the kids one by one. Some will make it, some will not.
My daughter didn't.
The light she left though as she went out like a candle, was so strong it almost blinded me.
My daughter, Nava Ruth, left us on the first night of Hanukkah, after we lit the first candle. Her initials, nun resh, form the word NER, which means candle in Hebrew. It was her destiny to leave us on Hanukkah, which is the festival of lights, because through her leaving this world she left only light and strength to us parents.
The woman I was before and the woman I became after Navi, is nothing to compare.
It became my mission to spread light. Navi's light.
We have been assisting families to deal with a tragedy, we try to give strength and support and to show that there is light ahead.
Last week I went to the shiva house of the Kay family, they recently lost their son Eli z"l to a terror attack in the Old City. After we had spoken and heard wonderful stories about Eli, I got up to hug the mother, she took my hand and held it so tight it was almost hurting me, she looked at me straight in the eyes and whispered to me, "I know your daughter's yahrzeit is coming up (I did not tell her anything), I am going to need you, be around."
Here I am, for Devorah Lea and for all parents or siblings, husbands, wives, best friends... whoever might need this.
I have recorded a special interview with a close friend of mine, Hindel Swerdov, who also lost her daughter Shula z"l 11 years ago to a car accident.
What had begun as a "relaxed" conversation between two mothers who have lost a child became the famous video of the "2 mothers".
We have received letters from all over the world from people who have told us incredible stories on how this conversation has helped them ease their pain.
This conversation has been shown at university classes in how to cope with pain and loss, psychology classes and much more.
We did it for the only reason to share and help others, and it works both ways, for we also receive incredible strength from all of you, to help us in our own struggle.
Today, on my darling Navi's yahrzeit, I hope it will help again someone somewhere to see the light.
I want to thank my friend Hindel Swerdlov who agreed to have this very special conversation with me on camera and has given such an incredible and powerful view of her own personal journey.
From my heart to yours, Happy Hanukkah,