Words of reflection from Uri T. (son of resident, Evelyn) about visits with his mom at The Selfhelp Home. His words capture the spirit of the visits, struggles and joy to see our loved ones in this time!
Lehavdil – להבדיל – the Jewish way in terms of differentiation/separateness focuses a lot on time. For example, there’s Havdalah, the service that separates Shabbat and the rest of the week. But, lehavdil can also focus on differentiation in terms of space. The COVID-19 situation has been very challenging in terms of differentiation as the residents, the staff, and family and friends of those associated with Selfhelp certainly know and appreciate.
For example, the current restrictions and limitations on face-to-face visits offer a way of differentiation between the way things were done and going forward. Face-to-face visits in the outdoor tent require a lot of pre-planning and there is always a little stress with people coming down from their rooms. One strategy my family and I have adopted is to come by The Selfhelp Home and wave from across the street (or in the parking lot behind the building) to our family member who lives at Selfhelp. As we wave, we are connected by cell phone and can exchange pleasantries.
Of course, these visits are quite different from our pre-Covid 19 visits of coffee in rooms or ice cream on the 9th floor or even visits in the tent. Yet, these “different” visits can be quite enjoyable and even spiritual in that the visits are unique and special. In a recent visit, my mother waved her hat from the window as a way of making sure we could see her.
Can you imagine my mother waving her hat while we sat in the tent exchanging pleasantries? It was touching and comical at the same way as it reminded us of the queen of England waving to her subjects. Our most recent visit had an unexpected benefit when the neighbor of my mother saw us waving from her window and waved back to us joyfully. Our visit not only at the benefit of being a mitzvah for our family, but also brought joy to another person.