During the latest 11-day skirmish with Hamas, we were allowed to visit Mom with the knowledge that if a siren sounded, my dad and I were encouraged to enter the reinforced safety room while Mom would be returned to her slightly protected space in the main dining hall. I had already decided that I’d stay with Mom if we were notified about incoming rockets, though I wasn’t sure how all the logistics would work. Thankfully, we were never tested.
When we asked Sylvia, the social worker, how the Mom was reacting to the sirens, she told us that Mom was concerned about them but did not appear panicked. She said that they had started telling the residents the siren was really bells to announce a wedding. I have no idea if they bought that story.
One man, Sylvia said, expressed his anxiety by explaining that he’d had trouble parking his F16 in the parking lot and could she please call the prime minister to arrange for additional space.
Mom is one of the more talkative residents. Sylvia says that after every encounter they have, she’s taken to writing down some of Mom’s comments to see if she can discover any undercurrents of meaning in her word salad.
When we visited yesterday, Mom told me to be sure to tie down my sheep. She also thought I was her mummy (as the British call their moms) and gushingly told me she loved me, kissing my arm over and over, squeezing my hand and lovingly smiling at me. I didn’t want to dissuade her from her affections so I went along with her mix-up until we segued into other topics.
We sang some songs, and Mom kept amazing time by drumming with her fingers on the table. It was such an upbeat visit that Dad and I both walked away smiling. Her good moods affect us exponentially. We are content in knowing that Mom is being well cared for and we pray that our presence also impacts positively on her moods.
The war is over for the time being. Mom is safe. We sit close to her now and hold hands. It makes our visits so much more intimate. Though we are still required to wear masks, the nurses turn a blind eye to our contact when we sneak in some hugs as we’re leaving. We tell her we’ll be back soon, that we love her and we love visiting her. And that surprised, slightly coy, genuinely happy reaction is enough to carry us through the week.
One of the highlights of visiting America recently was dining with truly wonderful friends. Not only were we able to catch up but we were also served the most amazing meal. As an appetizer, we were served broccoli coleslaw. It was so good that I requested the recipe and I was delighted that I could recreate the dish in my Israeli kitchen. Thank you, Judy and Stuart!
This recipe is based on a recipe posted on the site TulipFleurs.wordpress.com. I didn't use cabbage in my recipe because I forgot to buy it. Next time. Who knew you could grate broccoli stalks?
1 packet ramen noodles, crushed
2 carrots, peeled and grated
3-4 broccoli stalks, peeled and grated
¼ small purple cabbage, grated
¼ cup margarine
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
¼ cup sunflower seeds
2-3 spring onions, chopped
¾ cup oil
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 ramen noodle seasoning packet
Toast almond slivers in a small pan over high heat, shaking them in the pan as they slowly brown on all sides. Set aside. Crush ramen noodles. Melt margarine in pan then add ramen noodles and toasted almonds and sauté for a few minutes over a low flame. Grate vegetables in a food processor. Meanwhile, shake together dressing ingredients in a closed-top container. Combine all ingredients in a bowl then pour dressing over salad and toss to coat. Garnish with sunflower seeds and spring onions.