Nechumelle Jacobs published a book about her life!
Even though I find it difficult to read books on the computer screen & generally avoid doing so, I went through this book in one sitting.
Here, you learn about Nechumelle's early years as a child with Cerebral Palsy, a spunky precocious child who, even before birth, started out with so much going against her.
For example, her journey to find relief from pain (caused at age 14 by a surgery meant to help her) kept me in heartrending suspense as I traveled with her over the pages of the saga of both heartless doctors & dedicated ones.
The way she finally met & married her husband is both heartwarming & intriguing.
And as always, Nechumelle presents her life with raw honesty. As strong as her emunah is & as much as she feels grateful for what she has, her pain & struggles are also very real and she presents it all without sentimentality.
In her book, Nechumelle interweaves her struggles & the successes in a way that enables you to relate to her, regardless of how different from her you may be on the outside.
Reading this book brings out a span of emotions.
One part makes you smile, another tears up your eyes, another makes you laugh out loud, then another makes you cry outright. Some parts make you angry. And some parts inspire you with the undeniable evidence of Hashem's Orchestration of events. Other parts warm your heart at the goodness of your fellow Jew.
And that brings us to the underlying current running through the book: the goodness of others.
Both classmates & siblings (Nechumelle is the youngest of 11) genuinely connected with Nechumelle.
When her family vacationed in Wales and planned to scale the tallest mountain there, Snowden, her siblings refused to leave Nechumelle with a babysitter.
Instead, her older brother carried her all the way to the top with no complaint.
When the British government decided the frum school attended by all of Nechumelle's sisters would not meet Nechumelle's special needs, her mother fought to keep Nechumelle out of the miserable non-Jewish school desired by the government.
Intervention by the wife of Lord Rabbi Immanuel Jakobovits changed everything, and Nechumelle managed to receive the same heilige schooling as her sisters.
And the Yesodey HaTorah girls school more than met Nechumelle's special needs, gifting her with a school experience so gratifying, Nechumelle states the following:
"...the entire faculty played a role in ensuring that the twinkle in my eye only grew brighter. My years in school were absolutely joyous. I was one of the gang, participating in the learning and participating in the fun. And we definitely had fun."
- Her entertaining & charming escapades with her classmates, who only ever saw Nechumelle as equally one of them.
- The Manchester Rosh Yeshivah & other Gedolim who gave Nechumelle so much chizuk & warmth
- Her friend & her friend's husband, who decided to welcome a foster child into their loving home—and did so in the merit that Nechumelle would find her soulmate.
And many more.
The book also features a moving selection of Nechumelle's poems.
Another nice perk in the book is that it smoothly offers the American alternative to British terms. For example, did you know that a "squint" is what Americans know as "cross-eyed"?
I never would've guessed.
For now, it's only sold in England.
If you can manage to acquire a copy, it's definitely a valuable addition to your bookshelf.