Monday, February 8, 2010
Quotes from Bluma...
My dear friend Bluma has been in the hospital for about a month now. She's an older person, and has a neuropathic disorder that has severely affected her balance and motor skills. She's in the hospital because she contracted pneumonia, and since her family is far away in Rochester, I've been visiting her as much as possible.
This lady kinda reminds me of her...
She is an awesome, hilarious, crotchety jewish lady, who swears more than I do and cracks one-liners non-stop. She is a talented musician, who sang and played both flute and guitar. She also worked for years as a music teacher and an arts educator, both here in Toronto and in New York, and has about a million stories and tons of advice to share. She's become a real mentor to me, and has been totally supportive of my switching over from the arts to teaching.
I biked over there in between classes (the hospital is real close to school) and found her sitting up in the sun, going through some of her papers. Her illness has been a real kick in the teeth, as she can't play music or sing anymore, and pretty much feels like she won't be able to again. Instead of getting real depressed or gloomy, she's been pretty realistic and her amazing sense of humour keeps her from going completely crazy.
She was feeling a little sleepy, so after i got her a coffee and a couple of timbits, she said, "OK, what words of wisdom can i impart to you today?" Here's what she had to offer-
"I loved it. The children, all the different kids, shining like a garden. Their responsiveness, and their differences -- that is what i loved most about the work."
"To feed them with the things that they need, and to be sensitive to who they are."
She told me that even as a child she strove to "make the unfamiliar familiar." And that's what we can be doing with our kids, too.
Pretty awesome...but she didn't even swear once.