I'd love to hear from you!

I'd love to know who's reading my blog, so please post a comment and share this with your friends.

I can be contacted at
To buy my latest book, go to http://www.artscroll.com/Books/womth.html

To purchase Bridging the Golden Gate, go to

To view my videos, please go to: videos4content.com

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The H Word -- appeared in Binah

I tend not to do things very quietly, which is probably why when I chose to lose my balance and fall, it was right on the corner of Kikar Shabbos, on Erev Sukkos. That morning, I had realized that I was actually ahead of schedule and decided to run up to Geula to purchase a few presents for the einiklach. (Which was really dumb. No one in their right mind runs up to Geula on Erev Yom Tov, but bubbies have been known to do crazy things to get their grandchildren to smile! And besides, in my last column, I did point out that despite the wrinkles, we still have lots to learn.) And then, smack in the middle of the Erev Yom Tov rush, I crashed to the ground and succeeded in spraining my knee, finger, and elbow, as well as twisting a few ligaments.

It was not a pretty sight.

Two weeks after Simchos Torah, I was scheduled to travel to the United States to visit family and friends. It is a long trip, with a two-hour layover in Boston, and although I was looking forward to seeing my family, I was dreading getting there, especially the hassle at the airport. My leg still throbbed. Walking, or standing in one place, was very difficult, and  I knew that between security and customs, I'd have to do a lot of that!

My husband suggested that I request a wheelchair and disabled priority seating.

I was aghast. Me? A wheelchair? Disabled? No way!

But I listened to reason, and what can say? It was an amazing experience!

Instead of standing in multiple lines while juggling purse, hand luggage, and papers (and often resorting to using my teeth as a third hand!), not to mention removing my shoes and maneuvering my belongings onto a conveyer belt while somehow keeping my balance, I was treated like a queen. In Tel Aviv, my escort swiftly pushed me through the first class priority line, and within minutes, I was seated at the gate, awaiting my flight.

The same scene repeated itself in Boston. When my escort, a young man named Mohammed, spent over half an hour pushing me through what seemed like endless airport corridors, and across a busy street to get to the proper terminal, I realized that I could have never done it alone.

Well, actually, I probably could have, but I would have ended up exhausted and frazzled. And it would have taken me a week, if not more, to recover, and by then it would be time to return home.
It is humbling to ask for help. It means that we’re not invincible, that as we get older we are no longer that incredibly capable superwoman that we aspired to be (but really never were). But at the same time, it's even more humiliating to have the contents of your hand luggage come tumbling to the floor while trying to open it and place that tiny bottle of hand cream into the Ziploc bag that you can't possibly unzip with one hand, or trip over your shoe laces since you knew it would be impossible to balance on one foot to tie them, or watch the security officer try to hide his disgust as you remove the passport from between your teeth and hand it to him, slightly damp… Shall I go on?

I participate in a monthly telephone support group for women dealing with Parkinson's disease. In our last meeting, we talked about how difficult it can be to have to rely on other people and how we tend to push ourselves beyond our limitations, and then end up collapsing. It's 
easy to ask for help. We are used to being the nurturers, the quintessential Yiddishe mamas.. 

But, like most people, I still have a lot to learn, and one of them is to accept help graciously. Yes, it's true, I could have traveled around the world without assistance, but would it have been worth the price? Cleaning help, paper dishes, ready-made food (believe me, no one will ever mention in your eulogy that you actually bought most of Shabbos!); they are all there to make life easier. 

Grandchildren and friendly neighborhood teens who come to help with the shopping or tidying up are a gift in disguise, but the question is, who is the recipient? Perhaps through accepting help graciously, and with dignity, we are providing the next generation with an example to look up to and emulate. 

No comments:

Post a Comment