The “M” family has 9 children, two of whom have special needs: one has Down Syndrome, and one is autistic. Their father is unwell and cannot earn a living. The mother heroically tries to keep the family together and take care of their daily needs. But it is heartbreaking to see her collapsing under the unbearable burden of earning a living, taking care of her two special-needs children, and tending to her sick husband. And all this is in addition to caring for the needs of the other children and shouldering the normal difficulties of running a large household!
Rivka lies in her hospital bed, alone at 6 years old. Ima was at her side all day, but now she must go home to take care of Rivka’s seven siblings. Otherwise, they will eat no dinner. Aba hasn’t been able to visit her at the hospital all week – maybe already two weeks – because he isn’t well either. Silent tears slide down Rivka’s cheeks.
But the sobbing cries of her Ima are far from silent. Rivka’s mother is collapsing under the burden of caring for her ill daughter, shouldering her husband’s precarious mental health, while also struggling to provide for her other children’s needs. Her heart is breaking under the emotional strain and intense financial pressure. And still, her family is starving – not only for their collapsing mother’s love, but for food and stability.