Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tired In Zefat

it's 7:00 a.m. in the holy city of zefat. i got up half an hour ago. i don't have to babysit or do too much of anything today. i'm planning on going out to shabbat dinner with the kids.

i should do a major clean up because there's laundry all over the place and the floors are all filthy from the rain. i also have to make the hamentashen dough because i made the apricot filling on wednesday. right now, i don't have the energy to make myself a coffee. i have this nagging headache from yesterday that won't go away.

i went to the seniors' center yesterday but it was not a fun day. the electricity was off and we couldn't play music or make hot drinks. the russians who play live music for the group were off on a 3 day trip. i looked around for murry, my pal from brooklyn, but i couldn't find him. i figured he was down the hall in physiotherapy. finally, i asked if murry had come in.

i was told, rather, matter of factly, that murry had died. i was in total disbelief and started crying. i didn't want to upset the other seniors so i stopped crying right away. never the less, my heart was aching. it still is. i only got to know murry for a year but he became a part of my life. he reminded me so much of my dad. it was like having my dad alive again. murry was a good man from brooklyn who worked hard and took care of his family. he adored his wife doris. he had just turned 85.

doris, like my mom, took care of her husband and was devoted to his well being. she moved to zefat a few years ago to be near her only grown son and his family. one of her grandsons moved in to help her with murry. doris had worked in a doctor's office back in my old neighborhood in brooklyn. we had so many of the same references. she had given up a pretty good lifestyle in florida and then in nahariya to come to zefat.

murry used to tell me about their love of ballroom dancing. murry had hardening of the arteries and was suffering from dementia. he was the only one in the group that knew my name and actually asked about me. he was highly nervous and i spent most of my time there trying to get him to calm down. we had long conversations about baseball. we were both lamenting the fact that 'american idol' wasn't being shown on israeli cable this year.

i knew murry loved doris but he never spoke about his stepson or the grandkids. i guess he couldn't remember them so well. i went over to visit doris yesterday. i wasn't quite sure she was up for visitors. she agreed to have me visit but she didn't want the social workers to come from the center. murry had spoken about me to doris. he had appreciated all of the attention i had given him.

i came home from the center and made some blueberry muffins and a vegetable lentil soup to bring to doris. i needed to see her. she's in shock mode. it hasn't hit her yet. she's not crying yet. she's a stoic, just like my mom was. murry had a huge heart attack and they found him on the bathroom floor. it took the ambulance 25 minutes to get there. he was still alive when he got to the hospital which was 5 minutes away. the head doctor said that he didn't have a chance.

doris said that murry was a fighter. he seemed pretty with it the next day and told doris to go home and get some rest. he then told his daughter-in-law to make sure that doris is taken care of and he went to sleep for good. murry and doris had been married for 36 years. he met her when she was a widow with a young teenaged son. murry was called 'poppie' by his grandkids who adored him. it was so good to see where he lived and meet his family. doris showed me a photo of murry from the 70's. he was so handsome!

i met doris at the center's chanukah party. i invited her and murry to come over for dinner sometime. it was just too hard for her to manage something like that. murry was a handfull. doris never slept. doris is an elegant lady. may she find comfort amongst the mourners of zion.

shabbat shalom!

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