FOR GREGORY. He was not a VICTIM of ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE, he was a HERO!
PLEASE NOTE: Even though this blog is now dormant there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. Also, check out my writer's blog. Periodically I will add posts here if they provide additional information about living well with Dementia / Alzheimer's Disease.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
I don't know the exact date of his passing as this is how it happens at Lieberman. One day you notice that someone is not at their usual place in the dining room and you ask about their whereabouts. Or you notice that someone is not looking or acting well today. Due to privacy requirements you usually get a whispered, "He is not feeling well." or "He is in bed today." or "He passed yesterday."
So without warning, without ceremony, when you find out that one of your Lieberman Family has died, you privately mourn their passing, you reflect on the years or months of "friendship," and you mentally light a Yahrzeit candle, the Jewish custom of lighting a special candle that burns for 24 hours.
Morse. A quiet gentleman with his black baseball cap firmly in place could often be found shuffling down the hall from point A to point B. He only spoke Russian and a little bit of Yiddish. He would always light up when he saw me getting off the elevator and wish me "Good Shabbas."
Usually "Good Shabbas" would be the greeting from Friday sundown until Saturday sundown but for Morse it was a 24/7 kind of greeting. To him it was like saying, "Hello." or "Good to see you." or "Take care." or "I love you!" We also used "Zei Gazunt" meaning "Be Healthy!"
One time while I was waiting for Gregory to return from physical therapy, Morse and I had a sit down and a ten or fifteen minute discussion. It was totally in Russian as Morse told me his stories. If he frowned as he talked, I did as well. If he seemed happy as he talked, I smiled.
I didn't reply as Morse didn't seem to need me to reply, he just needed me to listen to his stories as he spoke (or for all I knew babbled) in Russian. And a good thing this was since I do not speak Russian! We both enjoyed the conversation and when I had to take my leave, I wished him "Good Shabbas" and in return he wished me"Good Shabbas."
Now, Morse, rest in peace and "Good Shabbas" to you.