Thinking Of You Quote

Rebecca Shares Her Story

Rebecca Shares Her Story

Becoming a widow at age 38 with four young children was a emotional blow that was so incredibly hard to deal with.  You suddenly become ‘e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g’ to your children and the responsibility just takes on a life of its own.  If your husband was the main breadwinner, you don’t have much savings and if there was no life insurance policy, you are suddenly thrust into a world of financial mayhem that literally tears apart your life.

So many times, well-meaning people would say, “Just be happy that you had nine great years with your husband and you are blessed with wonderful children.” That answer never, ever comforted me.

I KNEW how lucky I was.  I was 28 when I got married and I treasured every day of our marriage and was grateful to Hashem that I was able to have children right away.  So many things I was truly happy about – yet it did not take away any of the financial burden.

What those well-meaning people did not realize is that when you are a single-parent the financial burden completely clouds your life. You put on a happy face for the public but your heart is always sinking a little bit knowing there are bills to be paid and not enough money in the bank to cover them .  There is always that ‘slight headache’ or ‘upset stomach’ or ‘rash break-out’ that comes from those emotions erupting from inside.

It is so incredibly hard to always be on the ‘taking side’.  But, sometimes, there is no getting around it.  I always tell people that sometimes Hashem wants us to be on the receiving end and sometimes He wants us to be on the giving end and you should always daven to be able to give, give, give!

It is the most humbling experience to take financial help from people – especially if you have never done it before.  But, the ‘receivers’ should do it for the sake of their emotional and physical well-being and to take care of their families in the best way possible.  And…the ‘givers should do it in the most delicate way, i.e., through a fund, through coupons that can be redeemed at different stores, or through a close family member or friend.  (I almost called the police one night when I heard someone at my door but it turns out it was a good Samaritan dropping off an envelope with money for us through our mail slot!)

I remember receiving anonymous checks every year around the Yom Tovim.  What a lifesaver that was!  Because even when one is getting by on a very tight budget, there are Always things that come up that require a little extra money, i.e., clothes for the yom tovim, money for school trips, driving lessons, etc… 

I was extremely fortunate that I had a supportive family and friends who were able to help me out during those difficult years – financially and emotionally.  And my heart is full of gratitude to those individuals who I did not even know who donated to a private tzedakah fund to help off-set some of the tuition/wedding expenses for my children.  Also, kudos to my boss who was so understanding about my situation, and always graciously let me take off when I needed to take my kids to the doctor or see a school performance.

I refused to let my financial burdens effect the happiness of my home life and always made sure my children were living in a very happy atmosphere.  Boruch Hashem, they have all grown up to be very positive, outgoing individuals.  But, to this day, 25 years later – when I say Tehillim I thank those individuals who helped us out financially.  I hope that they truly know what an enormous mitzvah they were doing.

Rebecca Bram Feldbaum is the author of two books, If There’s Anything I Can Do . . . (Feldheim, 2003) and What Should I Say, What Can I Do? (Simon & Schuster, 2009). She is a popular speaker who draws upon her personal experiences to teach others how to help those who are going through a medical crisis or who have suffered a loss. Visit her website at or contact her at [email protected]

Rebecca Shares Her Story

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on print
Share on email

Support Poor Single-Mother Families In Israel

Books By Rebecca

Watch Rebecca Speak

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *