I received a phone call several days ago that my father had fallen and was taken to a local hospital.
My father has not been well for some time now. It's not a specific illness, but rather a general sense of non well-being. A touch of high-blood pressure here, a fall there, a heart thing somewhere else. Over the past, say 10 years, he has been hospitalized on a number of occasions, most of the time for a couple of days and always returning home and back into the fabric of his life with relative ease.
But this time, the phone calls have had more of an urgent tone to them. Thank G-d he is stable. But he is not recovering as quickly, isn't cooperating at the hospital and according to my mom and siblings is at times disoriented.
Herein lies the obvious dilemma for someone like me. Some who made the decision to move thousands of miles away from aging parents.
I guess it doesn't really matter at what age you move to Israel. Even if you are young and your parents are fine, eventually we all age. And if your parents haven't followed you to Israel at some point you will have to deal with their aging from a distance.
It's hard to watch from the sidelines. I am lucky I have siblings who are there who can advocate and care for my parents, and I know it must be harder for them. Maybe they even wish they lived thousands of miles away. They are figuring out ways to be with my father as much as possible as they navigate their own lives. With the holiday looming, this means two days of my father possibly being alone if he is not released--and it does not seem likely at this point that he will be...
All I can do from here is worry. And feel guilty. And try not to annoy my siblings by being a know-it-all from far away.
When this started, Isaac told me I should consider "hopping over there for a few days". But that is not so simple. I know some people have the resources to fly in and out for a couple of days to check things out, but we don't. That, and everything that needs to be done to get ready for Pesach. I have to decide if it's a true emergency, if it's imperative that I am there. There will likely come a time when it is, but I'm thinking this isn't it.
But when I spoke to him and he said, in a weak voice, "Hello, Bailkaleh" using the pet name of my childhood, I have to wonder if I'm making the wrong call.
Because you never know.
My father's name is Moshe Ben Devora. He could use your prayers.
8 Years and Counting
8 months ago