Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Don't Give Up

Sailorman 2005
Originally uploaded by savtadotty.
Just after Thanksgiving, 2000, my bachelor brother Sailorman collapsed at home in Southern California. Thus began a long sojourn from hospital to hospital to rehab to "independent living" to full-service nursing home.

During those years there were many times when he was taciturn (which was normal for him), disoriented and depressed. Visiting him was an unrewarding and sad experience, and none of the family looked forward to it. Sailorman was the oldest of my two older brothers, and the younger one (now deceased) seemed to have inherited a disproportionate amount of geniality and sociability.

Through the intervention of good doctors, good social workers, and good luck, Sailorman gradually received proper medical and social services. Last year he amazingly developed a "crush" on his glamorous activities director, the one we refer to as "Stupefyin' Jones," who fortunately is both fond of him and good-hearted.

The Jewish Family Services case worker I found for him is a gem, and she recently set him up with a volunteer visitor to the homebound elderly (Sailorman is 79).

Last week I happened to call him when the volunteer was visiting, so I cut short my call and followed up a few days later. I wish I had recorded that conversation as a reminder that where there's life, there's hope.

Me: How's your girlfriend?
Sailorman: Which one?

Gmar Hatimah Tovah!

1 comment:

The Lioness said...

I remember the stories you told me abt Sailorman when you came to see me on the kibbutz.