Thursday, January 25, 2007

Lend This Guy An Ear

I received an email with a cute song, "Thank G-d I'm a Jewish Boy." So I went to search out the singer/songwriter. You should too. Listen to the clips...and you'll smile -- I promise. And if you're familiar with the stylings of the late, great, Allan Sherman, you might see some similarities.

I didn't listen to every selection, but did listen to and enjoyed BIG NOSES and MY FAVORITE THINGS.

A Presence Is Indeed Often a Present

I've taken the time to now comment on the comments of my last few posts. In case you don't go back and read them, I'm copying one that addresses someone's presence alongside someone who is ill. I thought you ought to read it.

Thank you all for your comments.

Yes, someone's presence can in fact be a gift.

I have a cousin whose grandmother (my great-aunt) had been in a nursing home for a few years. Even though my great-aunt was often sleeping or simply "out of it", I would visit, just sit with her, hold her hand and say a few words...whether she heard them or not.

I asked that cousin one day: "Do you visit your grandmother? Do you take the kids to see their great-grandmother?"

I got a very flippant answer: " wouldn't make a difference anyhow. She's so out of it, she wouldn't know who I am or who the kids are, and wouldn't know I'm there."

I never forgot -- nor, in a way, forgave -- that cousin for that shi**yattitude. If that attitude prevailed throughout this world, people who were sick would simply die earlier.

The truth is that one never knows when their presence can make a difference. And I can tell you another story about how one's presence had an impact...

IN 1981 after my dad was operated on for a brain tumor -- benign -- he was barely conscious for the first few days after. But I happened to be there one day and a nurse was asking my dad simple questions to test his cognition. She said, 'Mr. A, there is someone in the room with you. Do you know who it is?"

In barely a whisper, and with his eyes closed, he said, "My daughter...Pearl."

I was astounded; I might've said something to him when I walked in but thought due to the heavy painkillers, he couldn't hear me or sense I was there.

How wrong I was! And that memory has stuck with me, among several others from that time, for these past 25+ years.

So nobody should ever say "It doesn't matter if I'm there or not."IT DOES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(phew, now that I got that out of my system, I can move on to something else)

Rethinking that Last Post of Mine

After I'd posted that news item and my own comment, I imagined a much different scenario...on El Al, or any other "Jewish" airline...

1. Parents board, a three year old and an infant in tow. As they try to store their hand luggage in the overhead carrier, the infant begins to wail. Mother hushes the baby, who doesn't cease wailing. Flight attendant approaches, a big smile on her face.

"Oy, what a bubelah. Looks just like my Meira at home in Tel Aviv. Let me hold her, while you finish packing away your stuff." Flight attendant rocks the baby, tickles her under her chin and receives a big, toothless grin for her effort, along with some drool on her collar. "Don't worry about that spot. I'll just use Tide, instant spot remover, when I'm back in the galley. Enjoy the flight, and if you need me to look after the baby, come and see me back there. I'm Dahlia."

2. A four-year-old is jumping up and down on his window seat when he excitedly sees another plane off on the horizon. This child, mind you, is quite the obese little boy, and his movement makes for some turbulence. Over the loudspeaker: "Please fasten your seatbelts. We have a first-time flier in seat 14D who is just a bit excited. As soon as he calms down, we'll fly just a bit smoother. Let the boy have his fun, okay?"

3. In the line to board Flight 224 to Miami Beach: a gaggle of children become unruly, pushing and anxious to be on the plane already. The airline clerk says over the loudspeaker, " Would those children wearing the Bais Avraham school shirts please sit down NOW!" Stunned into submission, the dozen children do as she instructs...and do so quietly. After a pause, the clerk can be heard again, chuckling over the loudspeaker: "I didn't say 'SIMON SAYS' !"

Halevai , if we could travel on airlines that imbue such warmth, such haimeshekeit, travelers might just very well be happier people.