By Phyllis J. Lubin
We have been sitting in this hospital room way too long. Roommates have changed along the way, but we are still here. It’s July 3, and we, or rather my dad, has been stuck in this place since June 4. My brother Jacob has been here a few times visiting from Israel, and my mom has been by my dad’s bedside almost nonstop. The kids and Leib have been coming and going throughout the weeks. It has taken a toll on all of us.
The bikur cholim house at South Nassau Hospital in Oceanside is lovely. It is decorated beautifully and the beds are comfortable. Alas, my mom and I have spent way too many Shabbosos at this particular address.
It’s an interesting world we have been living in. We have met all the nurses on D2 East, and they are mostly attentive. They have a difficult job! We have heard many sad stories as time has passed. Way too many families have lost loved ones since we began our time here, while fortunately many have gotten better and moved on.
The kosher room at South Nassau is amazing! It’s been a place for us to bond with other concerned families and get chizuk from people in similar situations. For Shabbos there are plentiful food choices, and I have personally enjoyed the hot cholent from the warmers supplied by Achiezer and Gourmet Glatt. We pretty much spent the month of April here, as my readers may recall, and the fact that they were able to supply enough kosher-for-Pesach foods for everyone visiting was amazing. My dad had to spend the entire Pesach in this hospital. Then he came home for a couple of weeks, and was rehospitalized at Long Island Jewish Hospital for another week.
My dad, my mom, my brother, and I spent Shabbos together at Long Island Jewish. Rabbi and Rebbetzin Baruch Wolf of the Chabad House in New Hyde Park opened up their home to us for Shabbos, and Mom and Jacob spent Shavuos there as well. Members of the Young Israel of New Hyde Park community extend themselves by visiting patients and monitoring the bikur cholim room, and we enjoyed a delightful Kiddush there that particular Shabbos.
After only one Shabbos home, my dad had to return to South Nassau Hospital on June 4. It’s too much. As nice as the accommodations have been, it’s truly time to go home.
My father is strong; my father is remarkable; my father is good-hearted. In all this time, there have been no roommates who haven’t received a friendly greeting from my dad. All of his nurses and doctors and even the phlebotomist (he has blood taken a few times a day) know my dad as the kind professor, and they are usually greeted with a smile. But these long hospital stays are affecting our spirit. Hopefully it will soon be time for him to go back home. Please keep my dad in your prayers: Aharon David ben Lea Gittel.
Phyllis Joy Lubin is an attorney with Maidenbaum & Sternberg, LLP, who resides in Cedarhurst with her husband, Leonard. They have six children—Naftali, Shoshana, Rivka, Rochel, Yosef, and Lea—and a daughter-in-law, Nina. The author welcomes your questions and comments at MothersMusings@gmail.com.