Thinking about tomorrow

What are your wishes and hopes for the coming year? What are you looking forward to? Residents of the Jewish Home in San Francisco and the Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living in Danville provided their insights, which follow.

Power of prayer

All my life I have prayed. It has helped me through difficult times, when we had to leave my country, Egypt, and I carried my youngest child of 9 months in my arms, when my husband died young, and when I brought up my three children with very little money.

Now at the age of 86, I pray again, for peace in the new year and good health for myself, my children, and grandchildren. I never learned to drive, so walking and exercise are very important to me. I am working hard at physical therapy so that I can be more independent. The massage therapy I get at the Home makes me feel good, and I am looking forward to having acupuncture. I am shy, but I speak from the heart, and I know that I have a lot to be thankful for — from the Jewish agencies that have helped me in my life, to the Jewish Home, where I feel safer and more relaxed.

Raymonde Cohen, Jewish Home

Glad to contribute

I don’t really think of the future. I am 89 years old, so I take things day by day. I hope that my kids should be well, and for me, so long as I can walk by myself and not be handicapped, I am very happy. I also hope that the Jewish Home will continue its very high standard of care.

I plan to continue my full daily schedule at the Home: I help in the dining room, distributing napkins to the residents, and making sure that prunes, bananas and water are on the tables so that the residents can start eating while the nursing assistants get busy serving the meal. I also play the piano in three different areas of the Home. On Thursdays I play in the galleria, on Fridays on a Russian-speaking floor, and on my floor, I play every day. I help at the coffee bar every afternoon, and on Mondays and Wednesdays, I help with bingo. I give what I can. I’m just glad that I can contribute.

Ben Lubitz, Jewish Home

Regaining capabilities

Here we are in the year 2005 and I am already starting my second year as a resident of the Jewish Home. My first year ended on a very positive note, mainly because I have regained many of my old capabilities, the best of which is my ability to walk again, albeit with a walker. I look forward to continued improvements, and plan to stick to my daily routine of strenuous workouts in physical therapy, and to make frequent visits to the art room, where I have found unexpected pleasure in painting.

My weekly games of blackjack provide opportunity to not only play a fun game, but to interact and joke around with some of the other residents. There are other activities available to us residents and I may try to participate in some of them in the future.

In the meantime I will continue to enjoy living in a place that is as close to “home” as possible.

Rudy Hooremans, Jewish Home

Caring for environment

I am more aware than ever about our environment. I think about what humans have done to damage the earth. Our luxuries are here for today — we are not thinking about consequences for tomorrow. We want too much. We should place more value on people, not on things. It bothers me that there are so many homeless people. I hope this generation makes a change. I want the best for my children and grandchildren.

I am enjoying being an old lady. I’m the matriarch. My family caters to me.

When my time comes I wish to go out with dignity. (But, I’m not ready yet!)

I do not want to become angry or resentful but just to feel complete.

Doris Levine, Reutlinger Community

‘I still dream!’

There is a song, “When I Get Too Old to Dream.”…. Well I’m 96 and I still dream! I hope and dream of a peaceful world, a world where people will care about one another.

I wish to be more self-reliant to be able to take advantage of today’s technology. This past year I’ve learned a great deal and I also had to unlearn some things as well. I’ve learned to prioritize and I am trying to focus on what is really important. As you get older you re-interpret things in your life. ”

I hope people “Look for the Silver Lining.” … Because there’s always is a silver lining and know there always is one!

I wish people could realize that they may not see it clearly but if you open yourself up and look, it is there.”

Mary Gross, Reutlinger Community

Peace, and learning bridge

I wish to keep healthy, feel good enough and become involved in more activities. I hope to continue to make compatible friends and to be intellectually stimulated. I hope to expand my Yiddish knowledge and conversation.

I wish there were a class where I could learn to play bridge.

I wish to see more progress towards peace in the world, especially in the Mideast and Israel. I hope the U.S. could find a way to reach its goal and get out of Iraq.

Jack Olshansky, Reutlinger Community