Photograph by: Kenan Tekin
A short story highlighting the wonderful work of "Grannies in Demand" and the older folk they help in the care homes of Israel.
Evening at the Nursing Home. I help Rika as she painfully pushes her steel framed walker back to her room. We make our way carefully across the dining room where, cleaning up after dinner, workers slosh water in soapy puddles.
We walk slowly past rooms whose doors are slightly ajar, revealing elderly residents in various stages of getting ready for bed. As she passes each door, Rika gives a small knock and wave. With a tired but beaming smile, she announces her safe return from the terrors of the emergency room where she’d spent the past ten hours.
We push on and make it to her room, where she lands softly on her bed, still smiling. Her roommate is being helped into her diaper and pajama pants. Friends from other rooms, hurry in with arms outstretched, calling blessings for their friend’s safe return.
The love and excitement are uninhibited and real. A small round woman in pink sweatpants and sweatshirt, with a sleeping hat over her white hair bounces into the room joyfully calling, “You came home, you’re okay, thank G-d, thank G-d!” They had waited all day for word, reminding each other that ‘no news is good news’.
They’d made it through another winter day. They would sleep more peacefully knowing they were all accounted for. Most of them had family members somewhere but here, every live-long day, they had each other and they were not alone.
Meet Phyllis Becker...
Phyllis Becker has been accused of being "Hallmarky" or a Polyanna. It's because she looks for the good in people and situations, encouraging others to see the silver linings.
Phyllis lives in the center of Israel, teaching English. She runs a service providing help to all ages in all situations. Her group is called, "Grannies on Demand". Her team does anything needed from driving kids, feeding the cat, to helping the elderly and ill.
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