The C2S blog draws on the arts, the social and biological sciences to explore the many meanings of health and "dis-ease." Designed to be a locus where patients, their families and professionals can meet on a level playing field, it is the natural off-shoot of the Cell 2 Soul Online Journal. We encourage the submission of ideas, essays, poems, stories, humor, and timely reviews relating to the humanities and health care.
So there I was, sitting on the curb outside the Farmer’s Market pharmacy in Los Angeles, minding my own business, waiting for my anti-nausea drugs to be filled, when out of nowhere a Baptist woman and her two children surrounded me. She asks if they could pray for my eternal soul. There was no mistaking the fact that I was not in good shape, reeling from the side effects of chemo, looking pretty peaked, complete with scarf-covered bald head and paled face to match. Surprisingly I had the wherewithal to respond.
“Well…you can pray for me if you wanna lady, but I have to be honest and let you know that I’m a proud, agnostic, gay Jew. Now…if you still wanna pray for me, then you go right ahead. I figure it can’t hurt.”
The woman moved quickly, instructing her children to take their positions.
“Robert, you take this nice lady’s left hand, and Vanessa, you take her right. Now children… close your eyes, bow your heads down, and listen to my words.” My head was bowed down too…between my knees…trying not to chuck my cookies. I heard the woman say all sorts of incredibly kind religious things. "Lorrrdy this and Our Fatherrrrr that..." She made beautiful wishes and dreams for me, for my future and for my health. I felt like I was a fancy dinner, being said grace over. Finally she concluded with a resounding “AAA-men” and her children followed suit.
“Amen”. That was me… the last ‘Amen’.
So…you might want to know… did it help? The prayers? The good vibes? Who the hell knows. One thing I do know is that they felt better for doing it, and I felt better for letting them. Then I went home and threw up. Pills and all.
About Marla: Her Web Site. A student at a Canadian high school wrote this to her after hearing a presentation. "I feel obliged to thank you for you have given me insight into how to speak with friends and family when they are ill or sad. I'm not sure if it was the brilliant inspirational words or your charming, charismatic aura that made me so enchanted with your story but I hope to see more of you soon." For student's full letter: Download Hello Marla Lukofsky
On April 18, 1912, my father, Albert Zuflacht, was 20 years old and working at Gimbels department store on 33rd Street in New York City.
He was approached that day, and asked if he knew how to operate an electric car.
He answered honestly. “No.”
“Well,” they said, “you will learn.”
And he did.
Carpathia at W. 12th St, Pier, 4/18/1912
That very day, he drove the electric car, filled with blankets from the store on 33rd Street, to Pier 54 in Manhattan. The Hudson River pier at Little West 12th Street was where survivors of the Titanic disaster would be brought by the Carpathia that evening, three days after the “unsinkable” ship sunk on its maiden voyage.
I often wonder if learning to drive that day led to my father’s career choice.
My father became one of the first taxicab drivers in New York City. It was he and several other drivers who successfully lobbied for taxicab insurance in the city. And when the bill was passed, he became president of the first taxicab insurance company in this country: The 20th Century Taxicab Insurance Company.
That company eventually went bankrupt in the Great Depression, but he remained in the taxicab insurance business for the rest of his working years.
There was a time when every cab driver in New York City knew the name Albert Zuflacht.
Author Bio: Betty Zuflacht Elpern resides in Bronxville, N.Y. only six miles from where she grew up in the Bronx. Her memories tie us to a time our young readers can only marvel at. You may email her at BZE.
Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife, Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray; Along the cool sequester'd vale of life They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.
Clayton W. Nesbit, M.D. (1938)
Born: 10/15/10, Pittsfield, MA Graduated Pittsfield High School, first in class, 1928 Graduated Williams College, Phi Beta Kappa, 1932 M.D. Harvard Medical School, 1936; Internship Albany Hospital 1936-37;Residency St. Luke’s Hospital, Pittsfield, MA, 1937-38 Marriage to Marion Bastow, July 2, 1938 City Physician, Pittsfield, MA 1938-1942 U.S. Navy, Active Duty, 1942-1946 General Practitioner in Pittsfield, MA 1946-1965 Incapacitating Stroke: August, 1965 Death: April 6, 1982
"My father was the kind of doctor about whom people today often reminisce wistfully, an old fashioned family doctor in all the best senses of this phrase." Read Jennifer Shapp's moving tribute to her father: Download My father Clayton Nesbit
"My college offers a special term abroad in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Along with four other students I have the unique opportunity to intern in one of the most challenged countries in the world. My program is with the Global Child- a school that provides a rigorous education for former street children. This non-profit provides these kids not only with an education but also with life skills, a cultural understanding of their country and its traditions, and training for employment and citizenship.
I am overwhelmed with both excitement and nerves. I have already fallen in love with the students dedication, maturity and adorable demeanor. Seeing their smiling faces always brightens my day. They have experienced so much turmoil at such young ages, and yet they come to school with such positive attitudes. The Global Child is certainly a school of "today's children, tomorrow's world."
A Separation (in Persian Jodái-e Náder az Simin, "The separation of Nader from Simin") is a 2011 Iranian drama written and directed by Asgar Farhadi. It focuses on an Iranian middle-class couple who separate, and the conflicts that arise when the husband hires a lower-class caretaker for his elderly father, who suffers from dementia.
David Thomson for The New Republic wrote: "You cannot watch this film without feeling kinship with the characters and admitting their decency as well as their mistakes. The American films made this year that deal with the internal detail and difficulty of family life are airy, pretty and affluent compared with A Separation."
This should be enough to induce you to see this amazing film. You will carry Nader, Simin, and the other characters away with you.