Saturday, February 12, 2011
My husband's mother is in a nursing home already for more than a month now. We take turns to be with her everyday. Today I am here. I took her high up to the seventh floor where there is a roof garden. It is very nice here and suddenly I felt the urge to write about it. I have a pen, but no paper, so I write on the last empty pages in the book I am reading. The terrace is full of flower pots and vessels, most of them very large. Many different spring flowers are planted in the smaller ones and they bloom beautifully. I look around and I see pink and purple petunia, pansies with their sweet faces, red and white geranium, small lovely yellow flowers, whose name I do not know, there is blue lavender and light purple rosemary. In between and among the flowers there is a lot of greenery. In the biggest containers grow small olive trees, jasmine, hibiscus, one wall of the terrace is covered with a flaming bougainvillea. I spot roses now, red and yellow ones - and here, oh wonder, is a little orange tree and it is blossoming. I get up and pick one of its petite white flowers, oh that unique smell, like nothing else, this scent is for me the scent of the land of Israel, there is no better scent in the whole world than that of the blooming citrus fruit!
We are almost alone up here, my mother-in-law and I. There is only one old man sitting in the corner, enjoying the sun in his face, he came by himself, leaning heavily on his walker. The day is wonderful, a slight breeze blowing. The sun is not fierce, but warm and gentle, the sky a marvelous bluegreen, like my mother-in-laws eyes in her best days. She is sitting beside me in her wheelchair. She is dressed in a warm pretty lavender fleece jacket. I put the hood over her head and draped a brown big scarf around her neck, a woolen blanket is covering her fragile body. She is napping. Her head has dropped down, her face is flooded by the sun, the light smoothing her wrinkles. I am watching her and I am overcome with memories of my life with her the last thirty years. It is quiet and peaceful up here. It is not always easy to be around her in her illness, but just now it is, and I feel good near her. I close my eyes, listen to the silence and drift away...I will keep this beautiful hour with her in a special place in my heart.