We'll Meet Again
We’re back to visiting with Mom by video call after another worker tested positive, although the residents at Mom’s Alzheimer’s care facility all tested negative.. We were lucky and delighted to catch her in a good mood. She smiled and sang along with us. And most importantly, she recognized my dad. She called him her darling lovely man. Then, somewhere in the conversation, when she thought he hadn’t answered her question, she told him that his upstairs was empty.
If that’s not a metaphor for Alzheimer’s, I’m not sure what is! It’s also a case of the pot calling the kettle black.
I still remember so vividly at the start of this journey when Mom knew something was wrong with her memory. Visibly shaken, she came into my arms and cried that her brain wasn’t working. It was the first indication for me that our roles were reversing and that I would be caring for Mom instead of her caring for me.
One of the songs Dad sang to Mom today was word-associated from Mom’s rambling conversation that we’d meet again soon. Off the two of them went singing, “We’ll Meet Again,” a 1939 hit by Vera Lynn as soldiers were being called up for WWII. Dad knew all the words, so I’m pretty sure his upstairs is still quite full.
We’re trying to keep the distance between us as infinitesimal as it was when I hugged Mom last week. It’s hard in this time of pandemic to feel that anything has really returned to normal. Yes, in Israel after three weeks of country-wide quarantine, restaurants are open as are malls and selected theaters. But plane reservations are extremely limited and hard to navigate. My brother thought that Passover would be the perfect time to finally come and see our parents, but the restrictions of entering the country are so tight that he’s not eligible, even after being vaccinated.
We are waiting impatiently to be able to extend our arms wide and embrace our family unhindered. We pray that the wait won’t be too long.
One of our favorite courses on Friday night is a round of various salads that we scarf down with challah. I’ve featured on this blog matbucha, humus, zhug, and eggplant salads. Here’s one I make especially for my dad. It’s a simple tomato, garlic and onion salad that adds a piquant taste to humus when you eat them together. Try it!
Saba’s Tomato Salad
My dad can’t stomach (literally) many of the salads that we love to eat on Friday nights. This one, though, is one of his favorites.
1 large tomato, chopped
¼ onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
You can either chop these ingredients and mix them together in a small bowl. Or, place all ingredients in a small food processor and pulse until almost pureed. Your choice. Spice and serve.