Sunday, December 4, 2011

Your mother in 50 years

I've been visiting a distant cousin of mine lately at the local hospital. The first time I walked into her room, it was my first time meeting her. She is a lovely woman, unfortunately suffering of physical old age illnesses, but mentally she is perfectly healthy. It's a pleasure to talk with her about the family members that were before my time, and I tell her all about my occupations and my family.

Tonight her son came into her room and I had the pleasure to meet him too. He is my second cousin, but about the age of 54. I learned that he is a lawyer and is not observant at all.

What surprised me though was the way he addressed his mother. His attitude was all but saying I'm happy to see you're doing okay mother. He treated her like she was completely senile to the point where I started feeling uncomfortable.  I felt uncomfortable to see her being put down by a son to whom I know she has provided great care and education ( I know the other son who is a renown neurologist).

It made me sad to see that one could disregard the value and meaning of a mother to whom we owe so much, if not all.


  1. When I was in yeshiva I used to go to an old guys house every day during my lunch break to put teffilin on with him. He has both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. I had met one of his sons and he had asked me if I would mind going over to his father daily to put teffilin on him. I used to hate it when one of his kids would come over while he was there, watching the way they would treat him was painful... It sort of brought to mind what we say in davening "al tashlichaini lais ziknah"...

  2. how sad. it is wonderful that you visited her. i am sure that it meant a lot to her. its a bigger mitzvah than you can even imagine.

  3. This guy probably doesn't even realize that he's teaching his own children how he should be treated a few years down the line...

  4. Now that you mention it, im not even sure he is married or has kids.. there was no mention of a wife or kids, hmmm...

  5. I noticed that when my grandmother A"H was in the nursing home, the staff, all of whom were kindly and generally nice people, tended to talk to the patients there as if the patients were small children. It broke my heart to hear it. I don't know whether it's a defense mechanism or a true worldview.