Thoughts have been piling up – memories I wanted to write about. On Thursday, Shmulik and Elie and I went shopping. Shmulik took a shopping cart – there to buy things for him and his wife. Elie and I went off buying what we needed. It was cute to watch my son buy for his little family. So many things came in bigger sizes than he needed. He wanted one of something; they sold it cheaper in sets of four. A bunch of times, I told him I’d buy the four pack or whatever and he could take the one he needed.
We met up at the meat counter. Elie began explaining to Shmulik that it was so much cheaper to buy a whole chicken and cut it, than to have the store cut it for you. We bought three whole chickens; Shmulik bought one whole chicken and some new, very sharp knives.
We came home and as I put the groceries away, Shmulik and Elie set themselves up. Elie was the leader – teaching Shmulik how to cut a whole chicken into 8 pieces. Elie has been my meat cutter for many, many months. He’s fast and efficient. This time, he was slow and patient. He must have watched how they do it in the store because it was completely different from the way I do it.
The separated the chickens into two pieces, divided the dark meat. And then…well, this is where I say Shmulik is fine and it really wasn’t that deep a cut. Elie long ago stopped using the glass cutting board because he saw the meat slipped too easily. Shmulik is newly married, with very nice, new pots, pans, knives, and a really pretty glass cutting board.
Elie warned him to be careful; Shmulik followed Elie’s lead, and gave himself a really nice (sarcasm, here) cut. We ended up going to the local emergency room (Terem for those who know the Israeli health system).
So, the first part of my memory, is watching my two boys working together. The second was the amazing way Shmulik was treated. First, his friend’s mother was the nurse on duty. She treated Shmulik like a son, like a “VIP” as she called him. They bathed the wound and bandaged it. Happily, it didn’t need stitches or gluing.
“I can’t give you gimelim,” the doctor told Shmulik. Gimelim are sick days off from the army that are bad enough you get to go home. But there was just something wonderful in how they treated Shmulik there, as a soldier, as a son.
That was the first of many twists and turns that day – from happy, to worried, to fine. Days later, the bandages have been removed. He’ll probably have a scar, “another one,” Shmulik said, not at all disturbed by the prospect.
The next day, we celebrated Elie’s birthday with the whole family. L. (our adopted daughter #2) came, made amazing challah [sweet bread] and a really nice birthday cake. My husband’s cousin’s daughter (did you follow that one?) spent her last Shabbat in Israel before returning to the States for college.
It’s hard to imagine someone leaving Israel. I know it can’t be home to everyone and yet, it is so much my home, so much the home I always wanted and have always been a part of…strange to watch someone fly away. More twists and turns.