I had a renewed respect for Mark.
He never blamed G-d or his time in Iraq for his disease.
It was just another battle to fight and he would do so.
In G-d's strenght.
Yes. We spoke a lot during this time. But he also had faith in the Love and healing power of G-d, in his doctors and in the fact that I would be there for him.
We had a little fuss in the Hosptial parking lot one day. I told him: "You are my best friend and what kind of friend would I be if I allowed you to deal with this alone!" He was quite touched and hugged me and I could feel the tenison leave his body.
He finally realize he wasn't going to be alone.
Then came the turning point.
We were having a Thankgiving supper for the older members, singles and others who might not have somewhere to go for Thankgiving. Mark wasn't sure what his plans would be and insisted I go to Temple. I invitved my mum, but the place she was living at the time would have a Dinner, so she didn't come.
At the last minute, Mark learned his family was indeed having Thanksgiving Dinner, but when he called to invite me, it was too late; I had already left.
Turns out, there was no dinner at my mum's home. The home felt it would cost too much.
Having heard this, I promise my mum I would give her a "real Christmas Dinner" to makeup for what happen.
Now, as a Messinic Jew, I don't celebrate Christmas, but this would be a gift for my mum.
The next evening was Shabbath. And it was one of those services where one's mail is read. Meaning: the message was aimed at you.
I remember Rabbi saying: "Often we ask G-d for something, like G-d send me a wife. He sends us a wife and this isn't the person you had in mind." And for a log time, that is how I felt.
There were several times that went wrong in the Social Room and my mood was growing worse and worse. Everyone was pulling at me for something and not giving in return.
And then the final straw, Mark....
I remember someone speaking to Mark and she said something about me as his wife. No, he said, we are just friends.
Those words broke my heart. After all of this time, I was still just a friend.
Having no idea I heard what was said, I came up to him and told him I was leaving.
And I ran out the building in tears.
He caught up with me, talked me into his jeep and I told him I had had enough. I felt used by everyone. And I had had it! I took off my Star of David and gave it to him. I told him I wasn't coming back to Temple; I just wanted to be left alone! I didn't even want to see him again.
In short; I had a meltdown.
But Mark would not leave me alone "I feel like I am to blame for all of this!"
I couldn't answer him; all I could down was cry.
He took me home. And stayed with me until I calmed down. Then, told me out of his concern for me, he wasn't leaving me, but would sleep on my sofa.
Ok. So I went downstairs, while Marl kept watched downstairs.
But an hour later, I heard, "Laini! I Have to go. I will call you."
Later, he did.
"I could not stay, because I would have come upstairs...."
Later that night, he told me he loved me and one day, he would marry me.
It was just the words I had been wanting and waiting to hear.