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The Fonzie Church

Monday, May 13, 2013

These Days are Ours... ours.. ours....
Happy Days!

I can't help myself. I just have to interrupt my own math homework to slick back my hair, strike poses and sing "These Days are Ours... ours, ours.... Happy Days!"

Lawd help me when I run a nursing home.

Yesterday morning was Mothers' Day so it was our idea to lavish attention on the wife of a patient. She has Alzheimer's. I massaged her feet while she watched a TV game show in which very large people in strange, shiny, custom-made swimsuits "dived" (more like prayed while falling) off a diving board. She hummed gospel music. I asked her what the name of her church was again and said maybe I could get permission to drive her there one Sunday. I vaguely remember she went to a tiny Pentecostal church way the heck out of town. I doubt I'd really get permission. But I can pretend I can, can't I? Just to make her happy?

She brightened up quite a bit. She loved the choir there! She and the other ladies carried on so! ... but she couldn't remember the name of the church... oh, just give it a minute... oh, oh, darn... oh... oh... "Happy Days!"

I kept a straight face and we talked about it some more. She was convinced that was it. Ah, well. I picked octopuses off one navy midshipman's trousers once and threw them off the balcony because he was afraid they were coming after his face. He was happy once they were gone. If this lady wants to believe she had a church led by the Fonz, more power to her!

In fact, I like this power of positive thinking stuff. I doesn't appear to be working for my thigh-slimming, but maybe if she can get Fonzie for her church, I can get more entertainment at my shul. When my rabbi retires, I want Jon Stewart and Bette Midler to be co-rabbis at my shul. Not too much to ask, is it? Eugene is a beautiful place. Very green, good for the lungs to breathe such nice, clean air while jogging along riverside paths. It will rejuvenate them after breathing in LA fumes. I think I'll start writing my letters to them now...
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    We had a "Pillar of Fire" church in our old neighborhood, so a "Happy Days" church is a possibility. It certainly has a more inviting name.
    2165 days ago
  • DARLY55
    Funny and very heart warming! Great blog!
    2165 days ago
    LOL - I worked at a crisis center (call in place as well as outreach) - a hospital called and needed us to take a patient to the psych ward at the other hospital, the man was in their ER saying his stomach was full of ice and it was freezing his blood. My partner and I set out for the ER. The lady on the phone asked what to do with the patient til we got there. Our wonderful phone guy, all of 19 yrs old, said, "Give him some coffee and tell him it'll melt the ice."

    Loved it!
    2165 days ago
  • OWL_20
    LOL, I love everything about this blog. You're a good woman!
    2165 days ago
    LOL. emoticon

    2165 days ago
    emoticon love this blog! God (or maybe the Fonz) Bless you for being such a giving & attentive caregiver! People with any form of dementia are told "no" so many times in a day! You need to pick your battles, as you have and let her have some things her way! It didn't hurt anyone but you made her day!

    Now the pick your Rabbi concept.... TV producers? Are you listening? Lol it could be the next reality TV series! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2165 days ago
    Well, there really should be a "Happy Days" Church!

    My mother was in a nursing home for almost 3 months following her stroke and for some reason I became known as "Nurse Nancy" among the "schoolmates" (which was what I called the other occupants.) My mother was so out of it mentally that the only way to stop her from being agitated was to tell her that she was at school. The schoolmates, who knew that they were in a nursing home, started to call me Nurse Nancy although I am not a nurse and my name is not Nancy. Just like my mother decided to go with being at boarding school, I went with being Nurse Nancy.

    My mother had seriously bad aphasia and could not remember our names so my family became like characters from a Beckett play--we were called Early, Easy, Thelma, That Little Boy, and You Know.

    Nurse Nancy did no harm and in fact eased many a person who was lamenting the sundown. But Nurse Nancy was fat and had no time for exercise. Nurse Nancy was desperate. Nurse Nancy needed her own nurse but did not have one. Nurse Nancy was grieving. So I have very ambivalent feelings about my career as Nurse Nancy.

    But I trust that you can carry out your role with aplomb.
    2165 days ago
    GREAT story, I loved hearing about Happy days church! And kudos to you for helping your residents despite their dementia. I am so glad there are kind and loving caregivers like you, you are much appreciated! (as are the caregivers in my mom's nursing home). Also appreciated your "pick your rabbi" inspiration!
    2166 days ago
    I choose to think it was the Fonz she was dreaming of!

    Pick your rabbi? I wish!
    2166 days ago
    She watches and LOVES Happy Days the TV show and sings along to it. I think she meant Happy Days, the TV show. She watches TV all day long.
    2166 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/13/2013 2:01:56 PM
    I am laughing aloud and can't stop. Each subsequent thought and image is priceless. Can we make an ongoing game of "Pick Your Rabbi?" May we make allowances for those we love and whose names have the proper ring even if they aren't authentic? If so, I'd nominate Bruce Springsteen as just one of mine. I understand that Dinah Shore may qualify, but I don't think she'd be all that much fun.
    Now, my dear, the bad news. Rather than the Fonz, your lady may have been referring to a song called "O, Happy Day." At least, the phrase is part of the lyrics. I believe it does qualify as gospel, but it may be a spiritual. I used to understand the difference between gospel and spiritual music, but am fuzzy on it now. Unless I'm Fonzie on it now.
    2166 days ago
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