Mom stormed away from me only once today. We were on the city streets and I was taking her to the optometrist so that they could replace the nose pad that had mysteriously disappeared from her glasses, leaving the wire frame sticking into her nose. She was convinced we needed to walk in the other direction, and angrily told me so. I bribed her by saying we’d be meeting Daddy there. I showed her a photo of him.
“That’s your dad,” she said. “What about my dad?”
It was actually a productive morning. The three of us had visited several municipal offices to cancel Daddy’s overdue parking tickets. The problem was, even though he had a sticker allowing him, as a driver over the age of 75, to park for free along the city streets, he hadn’t realized he had to renew the sticker every year. In order to waive the payments, we first had to renew the sticker. That meant gathering certain documents, getting them copied, then revisiting one of the offices. Yes, lots of walking.
Somewhere between office visits, Mom and I went to the shoe store where they sell orthopedic shoes and bought her new sandals. She tried on several pair, and I kept asking if she found them comfortable. She said yes, but I couldn’t be sure. Could she accurately relay how they felt on her feet? I made sure to try them on in my size before I made the final choice.
Both the front and ankle straps open with Velcro, and the sole is cushioned. They should be easy to slip on and close, and she’s still capable of doing that. If not, I had no trouble doing it for her. She’s been complaining of pain in her knees; hopefully the new shoes will alleviate some of that.
Then we were off to the airport to meet my brother Simon. We talk a lot on WhatsApp, but it was great to see him “live.” Mom recognized him but she puzzled over why he had just arrived. She thought he’d been in the car.
When we came out of the ladies room, she saw him again and again gushed at his presence. I am so grateful that she still knows Simon as her son—even if the relationship is beyond her.
My sister-in-law Sharon is a talented graphic artist, and she’d made me a present for my birthday, one of the most thoughtful gifts I’ve ever received. It’s an apron with a beautifully designed logo of The Lost Kitchen. Simon was excited to show me so he opened his suitcase in the middle of the airport and presented it to me. I was moved by their generosity and consideration.
I left for home from the airport. When I said goodbye, Mom asked why I was going to Beer Sheva. Why, indeed. Their move is in less than a week, and I’m getting excited. I realize Mom doesn’t need to say goodbye to her old apartment in Netanya because she won’t be able to keep it in her mind. I’ve been saying goodbye for her—in the grocery store, the coffee shop we love, the shoe store. I’ll be her active memory to remind her she once lived somewhere else.
When Daddy tells her they’re moving soon, Mom asks, “Me, too?” That is her only concern. As long as she is with him, she’s content. He is her everything.
Maybe that’s all it will take to make her happy. I guess we’ll know soon enough.
It takes very little to make me happy. Food usually does the trick. My favorite afternoon snack is a simple yogurt fruit shake with a twist. Carob trees are said to originate in the Middle East and are mentioned in the Talmud, which was written down in 200 CE. Carob honey, made from the seeds of carob trees, is often thought to be a chocolate substitute. It has a sweet smoky taste and adds a dark texture to this shake. You can use any fruit you like, but my favorite combination is carob and pear. I made this one wearing my new apron.
Carob Yogurt Pear Shake
Drinking a shake on a hot summer afternoon is delightful. I recommend it. Wash the blender out as soon as you’re finished making your shake, even before you drink it, so it will be ready for the next one.
150 gram container plain yogurt
1 large pear
1 scant Tbsp carob honey
6 to 8 ice cubes
Place all ingredients in blender and pulse until ice is chopped. Blend until mixture is smooth.