Monday, February 2, 2009

Some more chanukah fun.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Chanukah Party!!

They peeled, grated, mixed, flipped and eat the best potato latkes.
We played Dreidle and a great game of Chanukah bingo!
Thank you to all the volunteers that came to help at each event and make this Chanukah so amazing for the senior residents in West Orange and Livingston N.J.
Text Color

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Found in a residents room after he passed away.

Crabby Old Man
What do you see nurses? . . . What do you see?
What are you thinking . . . when you're looking at me?
A crabby old man, . . not very wise,
Uncertain of habit . . . with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food . . . and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . . . . 'I do wish you'd try!'
Who seems not to notice . . . the things that you do.
And forever is losing . . . A sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not . . . lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . . .The long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking? . . .Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse . . . you're not looking at me .
I'll tell you who I am . . . . As I sit here so! still,
As I do at your bidding, . . . as I eat at your will .
I'm a small child of ten . . . with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters . . . who love one another
A young boy of sixteen . . . with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now . . . a lover he'll meet.
A groom soon at twenty . . . my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows . . . that I promised to keep.
At twenty-five, now . . . I have young of my own .
Who need me to guide . . . and a secure happy home .
A man of thirty . . . my young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . . with ties that should last .
At forty, my young sons . . . have grown and are gone,

But my woman's beside me . . . to see I don't mourn.
At fifty, once more, . . . babies play 'round my knee,
Again, we know children . . . my loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me . . . My wife is now dead.
I look at the future . . . I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing . . . young of their own.
And I think of the years . . . and the love that I've known
I'm now an old man . . . and nature is cruel.
'Tis jest to make old age . . . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles . . . grace and vigor, depart.
There is now a stone . . . where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass . . . A young guy still dwells,
And now and again . . . my battered heart swells
I remember the joys . . . I remember the pain .
And I'm loving and living . . . life over agai! n .
I think of the years all too few . . . gone too fast .
And accept the stark fact . . . that nothing can last .
So open your eyes, people . . . open and see.
Not a crabby old man . . .Look closer . . . see . . . ME!!

Remember this poem the next time you meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within . . . . . we will all, one day, be there, too!
PLEASE SHARE THIS POEM The best and most beautiful things of this world can't be seen or touched. They must be felt by the heart.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

New Friends

Today I visited my buddy. She invited me to lunch and it was her husband's birthday (he's also my buddy) It was my last visit for a few weeks since we are travelling to Israel on Monday.
Every week we call their family in Israel and when we are there we will be visiting them. So today was "paparazzi" day. We took tons of pictures to give their family. We'll also take photos there to bring back. So very soon I will be part of an extended buddy family.

I will have another buddy to visit when I return so I will be going twice a week. I am looking very forward to making that connection too.

I love the opportunity to spend time with my buddies. They have so much to give us. I am fascinated to hear their stories. Some are sad and some are not. Stories are important to the storyteller and a privilege to the listener.

During one of my visits a friend of my buddy came to visit. We were speaking about different things and she remarked "Ach, I am finished, there is nothing for me to do here in life anymore". A bit later I asked her about her life in her country. She told me some stories and I told her about my grandmother's experiences in that same country.
I noticed that before she left to go back to her own room she sat up a little taller in her wheelchair and kissed me European style on both cheeks and gave me a loving hug.
I realized that when we listen to people tell the stories that make up their life to a listener that is really hearing their story, something almost magical happens to both.

The SOS program has been one of the biggest gifts I have received. Thank you SOS.

From A Volunteer

Hi Altie,
I wanted to get this email off to you before we leave.
After thinking it over, I have decided to also be a buddy to Gita.
So I will use Tuesdays and Fridays for my visits.
The Teishmans will have Tuesday as their day and
Gita will have Friday.
I am really happy about this arrangement. I love the
Teishmans and find Gita a really lovely and compelling
woman. She is Russian and I am second generation
Russian from both my parents so it makes a special heart connection.
Russian was even my first language but today I remember nothing.
We are having lunch and a visit together since it is my last visit until I return.
I'll begin my 2 visits a week when I return.
Altie, this program is so good for me. I think I may get
more out of it than my buddies. Last week I was feeling
a bit off thinking about my son being so far away and
some other things. I was grateful that it was my day to
visit my buddies so I didn't need to "wallow".
The visit was uplifting and I left smiling.
Gita came into the Teishmans room and we had
some serious "girl" time. It was lovely.
Bye for now. Be well.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Smile On Seniors to the Rescue

After reading the article from Austin, Texas, -about the way Smile On Seniors makes such a difference...I wanted to share a story. Something that I was a part of last summer....
Every Shabbas, various SOS volunteers visit a local senior facility here in West Orange, NJ. I was one of those volunteers on a day in July. Looking back, it's pretty amazing to me that when I awoke on that particular day, I had no idea that I was going to make such a difference to one particular person in my life.
I had seen my SOS buddy the prior day and she had agreed to meet me in the lobby of the building for the Shabbat program. Well, she was always on time. She said she would be there, and I was sure she would be. I waited, trying to stall the start of the program for everyone...and began to worry. I phoned up to her room several times, but no answer. I thought that perhaps she went out for the day. No one had seen her recently. Not knowing what to make of it, and just to be sure all was okay, I decided to take the elevator up to her room. As I stepped on to her floor, approaching her room, I heard moaning. Her door was unlocked. I entered, calling her name...only to find her face down on the floor of her apartment. She was concious, but in pain. I pressed the button on her wrist alert band--with no response. I didn't see the phone...I yelled out the door for assistance, and an employee came. I had the employee stay with my buddy, certain not to move her at all. I had to get immediate medical attention. I have never run so fast in my entire life. I knew what I had to do. Within minutes, a full medical staff was there as my buddy was taken to the ER via ambulance. Thank G-d I was in the right place at the right time. Fortunately, she recovered from her fall with a broken wrist and nothing worse. It could have been much worse. She said she was walking to the bathroom without her walker. I'm sure she never did that again. And that day was confirmation of how very much the Smile On Seniors programs, throughtout the world, can really make a difference in the life of a senior. I am glad I was able to help.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Lancman's West Orange NJ

Copy of letter sent to SOS Headquarters:
Dear Rabbi Klar,
Happy Holidays!
I want to thank you for the Smile On Seniors Program. My mother, Phoebe L., lives in Brighton Gardens . Her mood improves every time she had a Chabad visitor. Yesterday she was able to say the blessing with the Lulav and Etrog – it was a wonderful day for her.
Please use this small donation to support this great program. It makes a HUGE difference.
Barbara L. ( Plantation , Florida 33324 )