Our list is long. The day is short. So many items get transferred to the next day’s list. Constant pressure. Never finishing. Can we even begin to imagine what it be like to have no list? No list at all? No goals? Nothing to work toward? Nothing to look forward to?
For a short moment you picture yourself breathing a sigh of relief. I’m done! But then you begin to think. And you realize how unappetizing a day is with nothing to get ready for, nothing to plan. Just nothing.
So many of our holocaust survivors feel that way every single day. With no family nearby, no more challenges of day-to-day life, they begin to wither. Ezer Mizion’s Golden Age Division attempts to address this situation in a variety of ways. Its newest program is entitled One Wish. Each member is asked,” Is there something you have wanted to do for years but have been unable to accomplish it on your own?” Some were shy and hesitant. Some had been living in a nursing home so long, they hardly realized they even had any desires. Others knew immediately what they would ask for. It was not long until everyone began to express what had only been a dream. Could Ezer Mizion make it real? We can and we did! Some requests were relatively easy – although nothing is really easy when it comes to transporting a frail, elderly person anywhere. Others were a challenge, some a major challenge. Ezer Mizion is used to challenges and, with ‘all hands on deck’, each one was met.
Like to know what they asked for? The requests were as varied as the people themselves but each one meant so much to the one asking. Here are a few samples.
A man always dreamed of going to the Kosel (Western Wall) tunnels to pray opposite the Beis HaMikdash (Holy Temple) . Alone he was unable to manage. With help, a lot of help, Ezer Mizion made it happen.
Another ached to visit her parents’ graves. A simple request, right? But not if they are buried in Chevron! All strings were pulled with security entities. All precautions taken and another dream became reality.
A physically frail but emotionally vibrant lady was a music lover. A music lover who had not been to a symphony in over seventy years! ‘Would it at all be possible…’ she stammered.
A fourth was the adventurous sort. Her spirit was adventurous but her aged body often could not comply with her spirit’s wishes. She wanted to go on a boat. Logistics abounded but each challenge was met with 100% safety and, for several hours, she became captain of her ship.
Days became alive as each participant suddenly had lists galore. Weeks of planning, research, discussions, decisions. Each Big Day arrived to be re-lived over and over with pictures, videos and animated conversation again and again with Ezer Mizion staff and volunteers.
Ezer Mizion provides services to over 660,000 of Israel’s population annually in addition to its Bone Marrow Registry which saves the lives of Jewish cancer patients the world over.