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March 09, 1990 - Image 33

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-03-09

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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READERS OFTEN ASK
how a certain story in
The Jewish News came
about. Usually, articles
have their beginnings
in meetings, where the
paper's staff mulls over
ideas as we drink cup
after cup of coffee.
"Please, Don't Forget
Me!” began differently.
Through a local
Jewish organization, I
visited an elderly
Jewish woman for 18
months until her death
in January. The woman
was the inspiration for
this story, as she would
often tell me, "You have
no idea how hard it is to
be in a nursing home!"
I thought a long time
about what she said,
then decided to find out
for myself. I arranged to
stay for 42 consecutive
hours at a home for
aged.
Imagine taking the ,
whole world and
smashing it into a tiny
ball and then stuffing it
into one building. The
result would be Borman
Hall.
During my 42 hours
there, I saw everything:
death, family tensions,
humor, tremendous
goodness and bitter
agony. I saw nurses and
aides who were unbe-
lievably kind, and
another who lost her pa-
tience and muttered
curt words as she clean-
ed the excrement off an
old man's sheets.
"Was it sad?" people
asked me after I re-
turned from Borman
Hall.
It was sad. It was sad
because so many
human beings live with
crippled bodies or minds
and the knowledge that
they can no longer care
for themselves.
It was sad because so
many men and women
who, just like us, once
led challenging and
fulfilling lives, now
simply roam the halls of
Borman Hall, living as
ghoSts of themselves.



\

Elizabeth Applebaum

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

33

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