MORGAN KLEBER CALLED TO THE TORAH

Grady Hospital’s Trauma Center

Several years after a serious car accident sent her mother to Grady Hospital’s Trauma Center, Morgan Kleber was able to celebrate her bat mitzvah with her healthy and whole family.

Editor’s note: Recent bat mitzvah Morgan Kleber gave the following d’var Torah on her big day. Her mother Jamie is still with us today and healthy because of Grady Hospital.

It was a bright sunny Sunday afternoon. I was riding home from Sunday school with the family when I heard my dad yell, “There’s a mattress in the middle of the road!”

The car swerved. The next thing I knew, I was strapped really tight upside down. As I saw my dad laterally swimming through the glass in the car, little first-grade me said, “Daddy, are we dead?”

He replied, “No, Morgan, we’re fine. Let’s do a role call to make sure were all here. Morgan?”

“Here,” I said.

“Shane?”

“Here,” called Shane.

“Jamie?”

No response. My dad got out of the car and helped Shane and I out. The first thing I saw was my mom passed out in the middle of the highway.

An ambulance quickly came and took her to Grady Hospital. As you can tell today, they took extremely good care of her; she is still as beautiful, if not even more beautiful than she was before the accident.

Shortly after my mom had been taken, another ambulance came for my dad, Shane and I.  Thanks to Grady, we’ve all pretty much recovered mentally and physically from this accident.

In the hours and days following this accident, it was easy to think that we, as a family, were cursed. Our mother lay in the hospital, and our family was clearly in need of major healing which would take years.

For all of us who have experienced life in ways that feel like a curse, we can relate to the Torah portion Parshat Re’eh because it’s about curses. But it’s not all about curses; it’s also about blessings.

G-d states:

R’eih! Anokhi Notayn lief’naykhen ha’yom bracha ook’lala.

“See, this day I set before you blessing and curse.”

G-d puts forth a curse and a blessing, and when we read this verse from the Torah, we often see that as two different things, one bad and one good. However, I think we can read it as one thing. What is put before us is a choice!

Morgan Kleber

Morgan Kleber chooses to see the blessing of the help of her friends and family at a time of crisis. PHOTOS/courtesy Kleber family

We get to decide if our life is going to be about blessings or curses. I know what you are thinking: How can something as bad as a horrible car accident, which at the moment felt like a awful curse, really be a blessing?

Well, with this car accident, I figured it out. I had to step back and look at the big picture. We are all still here. We are all still healthy. We have friends and family who came over and helped us with this recovery.

At the accident scene, everything felt like a curse, but the blessing began as soon as we got to Grady Hospital.

Many close friends brought over dinner nightly for weeks, and my whole first-grade class made cards and books to help show they care. My granny came all the way from Florida to help take care of Shane and I and visit my mom at Grady, and my grandma and grandpa were standing there at the side of the road as soon as they found out. They also did a tremendous amount to help us recover after this accident.

These were just a few examples. Everyone did his or her share to help, which was greatly appreciated. In fact, their love and support was a true blessing!

All of you have the chance to be a part of a blessing, to help people in need. Grady was there for us, and now it’s our turn to help Grady. It is the only hospital in Georgia with a Trauma Center, and meanwhile, families are in the same situation as my family was those many years ago.

For my bat mitzvah project, I went and toured Grady Hospital. I realized what just a little donation could do, which is why I’m donating my bat mitzvah money to Grady hospital.

Grady saved my mom’s life, and I’m so thankful for that! I hope all of you will take the time to make a donation. It would mean the world to me and I know that Grady would appreciate it as well. Every penny counts.