Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Volunteer Day

i just got back from town after spending the morning with the dementia group. the group attendant asked me if i would like to be a substitute worker. i was absolutely, terrified. i guess i could fake it. but i'm not sure if i'm up to changing diapers and showering anyone except for my grandson, sahar. i willingly, did it for my own parents, but i'm not sure if i could do it for these people. i should go there one time really early and see how the whole day goes by.

after visiting the group, i went to the bank and then met up with a friend. i suddenly, felt the loss of sensation in my face and a burning in my ear. this was how the bells palsey, facial paralysis, started the last time, a year ago. i absolutely, panicked and rushed home in a cab. i immediately took a remedy and emailed my homeopath. it actually, feels a bit better now. so far, my face hasn't become twisted.

i received a heart felt email from a blog follower and dear acquaintance, now. i responded right away. we were still discussing the holocaust and it's literature. there are some amazing books out there. i read "schlindler's list", years before i saw the movie. i must add, that i find it very hard to follow a movie about nazis, when someone famous like, harvey keitel, is starring in it. anyway, i just want to say once again, how much i do appreciate all the comments i receive.

next week is israel's independence day. the country will be 62 years old. it's really hard to fathom that as a country, we're so very, young. my parents married in a jewish ceremony in 1948. they would have been together 62 years, if they hadn't passed on. as it is, they had 57 years together, which is pretty good, considering that they married later in life.

the following week, marks the 5th anniversary of my father's passing. i really miss him. once again, we have to organize a group of ten men to pray at his gravesight. i don't know who, if any, of the family will be present. i hope zvi will come through for us, once again. i can't be bothered thinking up a menu this time around. i also doubt that there will be a family meal this year. my son, zvi was very close to my father. before he became a 'teenager at risk', he would bathe and shave my father. sometimes, he would style his hair and spray a bit of cologne on him, too. when in a good mood, zvi would sing along with my dad to old time show tunes.

throughout his dementia, dad thought that zvi was his son and you couldn't tell him any different. when my brother came to israel to celebrate my father's 90th birthday, dad couldn't 'chop' that he was his son. although he loved being with him, he never accepted that 'big man' was really his son, charlie. and even though my dad called me 'big woman', in the end, he never forgot zvi's name or his grandaughter's mimi's name. he used to call my mom, "sargent sussman" a throw back to her rank in WW11.

we threw my parents a 50th wedding anniversary party in zefat about 12 years ago. my father was just beginning to get confused. it wasn't anything fancy, but they had a ball. i bought a bunch of silly 'gold' props. i gave them some gold scouring pads, a golden statue that could pass for an oscar, and a golden clock in the shape of a giant wristwatch. i then gave mom a real gold necklace with a gold and diamond charm and she cried. i can still remember them dancing together at the end of the party. what a romantic, dad was! he was so much in love with my mom until the day that he died. he passed holding on to her hand.

mom and dad were both zionists and would have liked to live here a long time ago. they always said that if the israeli army would still take them, they would gladly, fight for the country. they first visited israel in 1976. i came to see them in '78 but wasn't open to staying. ironically, they stayed in brooklyn for me and then i made aliya many years later and left them.

mom was born in november 1917, the year of the balfour declaration, which first recognized israel as the jewish homeland. it's amazing that some 31 years later, the jewish state was realized. even more amazing, is that 53 years after the state of israel was established, my parents finally got to live here and are buried here, too. happy birthday israel! i love you, dad!


  1. Zelda, it sounds like you have a very rich heritage. How blessed! Maybe for the benefit of those of us who don't know your story, would you consider sharing how you came to the decision to make aliya?
    By note of coincidence, my mother has a brother who is "Charlie Gleich" too!

  2. 你不能決定生命的長度,但你可以控制它的寬度 ..................................................