Farmer: Rivi Kosover, Assistant Director, Ezer Mizion Jerusalem Branch
“And thank you so much for the lovely gift,” she tried to smile as her visitor left the hospital for the real world. She fingered the soft folds of new robe. “Something to make you feel pretty while in the hospital,” her friend has said. It truly was lovely but it spoke of illness, of helplessness.
Her eyes lit up as I came into view. “I brought you a gift,” I said. “It’s a cookbook for when you leave this place. I hope you’ll find some new recipes and please don’t forget to invite me to taste them.” There was nothing forced in the patient’s smile as she eagerly perused the Table of Contents.
The sentence I planted:
We sat and planned…an orange sherbet recipe which her elderly mother will love when she comes to visit…a whole section of chocolate recipes for the widower who lives next door and lights up when she brings over a chocolate concoction for Shabbos.
The talk turned to Ezer Mizion where I work as assistant director. I told her about the project we have of preparing meals for families dealing with cancer and how we never have enough volunteers. Her eyes shone with anticipation. ‘Put me down for two mornings a week. I’d love to help.’ She hugged me when I left and called me later on my cell to ask some details—should she bring her own apron or do we provide…do we need people to deliver or only to prepare the meals…
“The conversation at Ezer Mizion always centers around nurturing, strengthening sentences. Sentences that plant hope for the future. The woman I visited was dealing with a very challenging situation. She had been hospitalized for a long period and unsurprisingly, perhaps even expectedly, her state of mind was in keeping with that fact. The underlying reason for her profound dejection was the fact that, due to her situation, she was on the side of the takers.”
“All the time I am dependent on other people. I need help for every little thing,” she sighed to me one day.
“I understood her very well. It isn’t easy to be the needy one, always on the receiving end.
And so a sentence or two about her soon being on the giving end made all the difference.
The Sentence that Sprouted:
After some time, with G-d’s help, she recovered and switched sides to become one of the givers. Hours upon hours of volunteering and such joy on her face as she worked.”
“It is all thanks to those encouraging words during my difficult period,” she said. “That cookbook was the nicest gift I received in the hospital. Remember when we sat and planned my volunteer work? Your words suffused me with the strength to see the dim light beckoning at the end of the dark tunnel.”
For further info: ezermizion.org