Goat Milk vs. Cow Milk
Much More than Joy

Hospice Nurse

Hospice Nurse 12.6
I had every intention to prepare an emuna body-soul health vid for today, but Hashem had other plans for me. I had to get back on a plane and return to the USA to perform a mitzva that no one else can do for me - honoring my 93-year-old Mama, may Hashem bless her.

I have been blessed with awesome sibs, each one a star in his/her own right. While I've been in Israel, they've been caretaking for Mama, who has already been fighting a long and tough bout with congestive heart failure. After careful consideration and consultation - while taking into account both Mama's wishes and Jewish Law and Bioethics - we've taken Mama off the remedy-seeking agenda and put her on a comfort-oriented agenda. In other words, she's in hospice care, usually administered when the attending physicians feel that the patient is approaching the final stage of life on this physical earth.

It's now my turn to care for Mama. Temporarily, the rabbi health & fitness coach is now a hospice nurse. The above image is real, showing the type of meds I must pre-prepare daily so that Mama can have them in times of crisis and/or as regularly scheduled. The responsibility is prodigious, but it's a gift from Hashem to enable me to give back a tiny bit of love and gratitude to a young lass who escaped the Holocaust to become a mother that raised her children with unbelievable dedication despite indescribable hardship. Therefore, everything in my life has come to a temporary halt with my entire focus directed at taking care of Mama during each precious extended moment of life that Hashem grants her on this earth.

Our sages tell us that properly honoring our parents is the most challenging mitzva in the Torah; they knew exactly what they were talking about.

G-d willing, I hope to write a post about hospice care and Jewish bioethics in the near future. In the meanwhile, thanks to the support and cooperation of my cherished wife, may Hashem bless her always, I'll be here in the USA until the end of the month trying my best to keep a smile on my Mama's face just as much as my wonderful three brothers and one sister have been doing. May Hashem our parents wonderful health and help us all to properly honor them always, amen. 

Comments

Yerachml

Please contact me if you need matza from second day seder (matza Refuah)

If anything can do to help please contact. My wife is a nurse if you've got any questions. As you are well aware your mother can pull out of this given the correct bruchot and kavana. Is she awake and aware? Are you able to learn with her (even to sing to her)?

Our blessings and prayers for her complete refuah and (if absolutely outside of the plan) for haShem's will to be done in the best and easiest way possible

Channa Coggan

Dear Rabbi Brody

What touched me the most in your post is that both of us are Israel-based children of a 90+ year old parent of the Greatest Generation who is in hospice care in the States.

Dad tells anyone who will listen that he's "98 and a half" with the accent on the "half". He fell a month ago. and when the hospice nurse asked him if he'd hurt anything he answered -- in character -- "only my pride." He, too, has congestive heart failure. If frightens me to hear the rattle in his throat and see the severe edema in his legs. His condition was much better only 3 months ago, the last time I visited him.

My sister, a true Eshet Chayal, bears the brunt of liaisoning between him and the assisted living center and hospice staff as she lives close by. My brother flies in to visit for a few hours at a time every now and again. I've taken it upon myself to phone him every day, including his moetzei Shabbat. Rabbi Brody, it's a miracle every time I speak with him, and I thank Hashem every day for the privilege of being able to give cheer to my father. My standard joke is to answer "you've got it wrong again, Dad," when he answers the phone with a "good evening". Most always it makes him laugh.

One last thing: Before leaving for the airport for my flight back to Israel he told me "I appreciate you living in Israel". Now, he's an ideological reform Jew, very Zionistic, and had expressed many times his pride in me living here. Yet this was the first time he told me he "appreciates" me living in Israel. It took me a month until a few days before Pesach to realize the tremendous merit of his words: All of his siblings' descendants are assimilated. His son, my brother, is childless. One of my sister's boys has a non-Jewish girlfriend. On the other hand, Baruch Hashem, not only do all 4 of my children live in Israel, but my married son is a chassid of Rebbe Nachman with 3 children of his own. I realized that Dad sees us as the bearer of the family's flame of Jewish life and tradition.

May each of us be privileged to merit much more quality time with our dear parent.

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