After MONTHS of prepping his body for the surgery: adjusting medications, monitoring his heart, and taking all necessary precautions, the date of his surgery was finalized. (After being postponed numerous times.)

Tomorrow, Thursday is going to be the day that the doctors are scheduled to remove the cancer from his body, or at least the parts that are removable. Shabbat is all planned, a rotation has been set up, assigning different family members different times to be with Zeidy so that he isn’t left alone. With prayers on our lips and hopes in our hearts we anticipate the operation that will hopefully restore his quality of life, relieve some pain and discomfort, and give him a greater chance of survival.

Five years ago at Ben Gurion airport, choked up with emotion, I watched them step foot in the land that they will finally be calling “home.” Bubby and Zaidy made aliyah! They were moving in right next door to my family. How lucky we felt having Bubby an Zeidy so close by after living 6,000 miles away with a relationship limited to infrequent visits and weekly phone conversations.

My grandparents are lucky to be living near us, having the privilege of watching their grandchildren grow up. Additionally, they are fortunate to have my loving parents and siblings there for them at all times to take care of their health and medical concerns. The team is made up of my mom (a geriatric nurse), my dad (their loving son), my sister Ayelet (a nursing school student), my sister Tova (a trained and certified MADA volunteer), and the six remaining grandchildren (professional trouble makers).

Today the hospital sent Zeidy home.

BECAUSE THE DOCTORS ARE ON STRIKE!!!

For months we have become accustomed to walking into my grandparents’ apartment and being greeted by a makeshift hospital room. (To give Zeidy the proper respect he deserves I will not go into detail.) Let’s just say that the man who was a Rabbi, a father, a teacher, a chazan, a principal, and a beloved friend, has become a sick old man dying of cancer. I love my Zeidy so much! He tells me jokes all the time, he repeats the same ones over and over, and shares the racist and crude ones even when Bubby tries to stop him; he can’t really hear her…

aaaIMG_1793 - Edited

Zeidy has a pure and simple trust in God. When he overhears me debating with my father on issues of Jewish faith and philosophy he gets frustrated. God exists and everything He does is for the best – it is just as simple as that. He never (EVER) forgets to thank his wife or my mother for the meal he ate and is very low maintenance, hating when people go to trouble for him. Recently he got a helper from India, Bisnu. Oblivious of current social norms and political correctness, Zeidy makes Indian jokes with Bisnu standing right by his side. He’s a funny man my Zeidy, and all I want is for him to be healthy, happy, and proud.

Today the hospital sent Zeidy home.

BECAUSE THE DOCTORS ARE ON STRIKE!!!

The cancer isn’t on strike, it never stops; it keeps taking over his insides as we watch his iron levels drop dangerously low and his organs losing vitality. His surgery tomorrow isn’t happening anymore!

Oh, no big deal; doctors having an issue with finances? Sure, go put my Zeidy’s life on the line. I do not know the politics, and I honestly DO NOT CARE. There are ways to go about dealing with issues and bureaucracy. Putting people’s lives in danger is NOT one of the methods! It is negligent at the least and immoral at the most.

I’m at a loss for words. Why is this not illegal? Who tolerates this? It is so babyish! Why can’t this financial issue be negotiated in a more mature and civil fashion? Whatever it is, they must find another solution, but they must NOT leave the most vulnerable and needy members of society in a position of absolute DANGER.

Today the hospital sent Zeidy home.

BECAUSE THE DOCTORS ARE ON STRIKE!!!