Sunday, February 21, 2016

Staying Alive 2016

it is 3:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I just got back from the hospital.  a long time friend, who is in her 80's has pneumonia.   I have known her for 30 years.  I met her before I became observant.  she is from Berkley.  she has been battling brain cancer for a while.  she is an amazing lady.  in better times, she would visit my mother often, bringing her loads of library books.  I could get out of the house to do errands when she was around.  she thought that I didn't like her because I never stayed around to schmooze. 

she never released what a life line she was for me and my mother.  I owe her.  she actually asked for me to be called.  she sees me as an advocate and she trusts me.  she doesn't have the strength to really schmooze right now and needs a bit of help.  however, she is totally mobile and capable of navigating on her own.  just a week ago she was at a rehearsal for a show that she wrote and starred in about becoming observant.   she parodies all the old show tunes and has a lovely voice.  she is truly the queen of zefat.  her lyrics are so corny and yet so endearing.  she has counselled loads of women in her time.

she currently has two students with whom she converses in English and she volunteers in the English library.  although she chose to move into an assisted living home, she seldom is there.  on the rare occasions that I actually made it to town and came to visit, she was always out.  a few times after the chemo, she wasn't able to have a visit but she always emailed me to thank me for coming.  she was more active than I was.  she is fighting for her life and her clarity.  she is well known for her not eating much and yet she is drinking 3 ensure drinks a day and scoffing down 3 squares a day.

I don't want people to single me for praise for helping her out.  I'm back in my element.  I'm a caregiver.  I took care of both my parents and was with them both as they took their last breaths. I raised my grandson until he was 2.  I volunteered in the senior citizens' center for a few years until I got sick.  I never returned.  I have enough to do with taking care of the grandkids these days.  I'm not looking for volunteer work.  and yet when I heard that my friend judy was in the hospital, I ran there.

we had a heat wave last week.  it was 30 degrees Celsius.  the houses were cold but it was summer outside.  the weather returned to nasty and rainy this morning.  after shedding all of the long johns, boots, tights, thermal shirts, and sweaters it was weird to be cold again.  how quickly we forget.  I rushed home this afternoon because I thought that I had to pick up the grandkids.  my son is down with the flu and I had to deal with his bad mood all Shabbat.  he is vicious when he is sick and I am not patient when he is sick.  I retreat to my bed when I am sick and hibernate.  I recently had bronchitis and I still picked up the kids and made Shabbat food for a couple of weeks. 

helping my friend was actually a joke.  I couldn't hear anything she was telling me and I was nearly blind without my reading glasses.  I had a sciatic attack the first time I came to see her and was nearly crippled.  there isn't a limb that doesn't hurt me today.  my knees, and even my wrists are aching.  we are having a winter storm and I'm glad to be back home.  my house is trashed after Shabbat and the laundry is piled high.  the dogs are peeing and defecating in the hallway.  it is supposed to be like this for a coupe of days.  right now we are having a torrential rain storm.  my daughter- in- law just retuned home soaked to the bone.  I thought that I'd clean the house this afternoon but I do not have the strength.

I poured some bleach water in the hallway.  I went to sleep at around 4:00 a.m. so I'm tired. I am going to chill tonight and wait for the storm to end.  I can't wait to get back into my jammies and drink some hot tea.  I have tons of leftovers to heat up.  i'll crawl back onto my t.v. sofa and have an early dinner.

I am still trying desperately to lose weight.  after two months on the 'south beach'  I actually gained weight the first time I ate some carbs.  my metabolism is really not kicking in.  I started a new regimen.  I eat what I want but stay away from sugar and cake.  I do not eat after 7:00 p.m.  I lost a pound or two but nothing to write home about.  I try to eat grapefruits when I can find them.  I need to move more but I'm just not motivated enough and the weather has been too harsh.