Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Not seeing the light on Chankah

My dad caught pneumonia. Although the weather is warmer here than in New York, there isn't a concept of central heating in Israel, and the houses are not built with insulation. The cold here is bone-chilling cold because of that. We have heaters in every room, but the house itself is not heated centrally. When he arrived, we all had a flu. He got that bug, and it went into his lungs. I took him to the doctor yesterday. They took blood tests and an x-ray to confirm. He's on antibiotics and is doing inhalations. He's very, very weak. Please Gd he'll get stronger when the antibiotics kick-in.

I'm watching other functions of his also deteriorate as a result of being ill. A little more dementia, a little less aware of the here and now. The appearance of his first bed sore.

A few days ago I brought him to visit some childhood friends on a kibbutz about an hour away. These are friends from his Zionist youth movement (Hashomer hatza'ir) in Brooklyn. Both friends were thrilled to see him, you can imagine- all in their mid-late 80's like my father. But, one recently had a stroke and couldn't communicate and kept falling asleep. The other is recovering from an aneurysm, and although he can communicate, he wasn't "all there". He's in a wheelchair and has catheters...
In that circle, my dad seemed spry.

Why do people have to deteriorate so much before they die? It's awful, and it scares me. Not the dying, the deteriorating.

I watched Sabrina pass away over a week's time. It was a tremendous fight for her, nothing about it was peaceful. Those vivid memories will fade with time, I hope, and only leave me with the good ones.

Death has been accompanying me, yet I am quite alive.

A great toll has been taken on me emotionally, though. I feel on the precipice of a huge depression.
I am doing my best to push it away, though. I need the light of the Chanukah menorah to give me hope in this darkness.

fifth candle of Chanuah tonight
Please Gd strengthen my father.
I couldn't bear to lose him any time soon.


  1. Wishing your father a speedy and complete recovery, and wishing you strength and physical, spiritual and emotional healing!

  2. Refuah Shelayma for your father! I hope your Chanukah lights lift your spirits.


  3. I pray your father has a Refuah Shelayma and that your load is much lighter in the coming year.

  4. Refuah Shelaima Mr. Kashin. B"H he is with you while he is sick. Is Nina with you too? Wishing you and your family light in this challenging time. I wish I could give you a hug. Sending you a big one, Love, Dev