A Beautiful Morning
I finally saw Mom this week. It was such a pleasure to see her happy and smiling. She talked a mile a minute for about twenty minutes. Non-stop talking and singing in a rambling word salad that sometimes included full sentences and coherent thoughts. When we sang, her voice often hit the notes beautifully. She sang a soaring rendition of “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning,” from Oklahoma, to the surprise of the staff. And she told me that she loved me.
If 2020 has been characterized by enforced boundaries and separation, by isolation and loneliness, I can only pray that 2021 will reverse these trends. For me, personally, I’ve felt distanced from my family physically. I’d like to be able to hug and kiss my mom, not just gaze at her and blow her kisses. We need that touch of another human being in our lives. I value the staff at the facility for giving Mom attention. But the people who love her most have been prevented from touching her. Despite Mom’s inability to recognize me as her daughter, I need that connection with her.
When I contrast my relationship with Mom to my connection with my one-year-old grandson, I can see the stark differences. Just as with Mom, I have been prevented from visiting Lavi. Lavi is finally learning who I am because he is old enough to do so; each time I call, he instantly names me, even though the few times I have shown up in person, he shies away from me at first. He has the knowledge of who I am on the one hand but the inability to trust me on the other. Mom has no idea who I am but trusts me inherently, particularly to converse and sing with her. These two people I hold so dear are at the polar ends of a life.
I might actually have the opportunity of getting my vaccine earlier than other under 60s here in Israel because Mom’s care facility has “extra” portions of the vaccine. I’m still in negotiation with the director as I’m not sure of all the hurdles that have to be overcome to allow this to happen. If it does, I will be that much closer to giving and receiving those hugs and kisses that I crave.
I pray that in the coming year, the emotional and economic hardships that have befallen large swaths of the world population will end. I pray, too, that the coming year sees an end to deaths from COVID 19, and that love and compassion prevail. The seeds of change begin in each of us as tiny thoughts that our world—no matter how small it may have become in isolation—can be a better, brighter place.
When in doubt, eat chocolate and peanut butter. That imperative keeps me going. It has certainly eased some of the discomforts of this strange year. This fudge recipe is microwave friendly, and so worth it. Trust me.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge
Generally speaking, I can't spell very well. There is one word, however, that I never have trouble spelling. How do I remember the difference between desert and dessert? Easy. Dessert has two s's and I always want a double portion of dessert.
2 cups chocolate chips
½ cup unsweetened peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp water
Optional: ¼ cup almonds, craisins and/or walnuts
In a microwave safe container, mix chocolate, water and vanilla and cook on high for 30 seconds. Stir and repeat until chocolate is thoroughly melted. Add peanut butter then fold in optional raisins and/or nuts. Set to cool in a small container in the refrigerator for up to two hours. Cut into small bite-sized pieces and hide them from everyone so that you can eat them all yourself. If you’re feeling generous, make a separate batch for those you love.
Photo by Liora Green