This time last year, I was taken off life support. They weren’t sure if I would live or not. But I did wake up although I didn’t know why I was in the ICU. Gradually I realized I was in the hospital. I had some weird dreams while there. I had whole stories going on in my head due to some unusual features in my room. On one side of my room there was what looked a prop from a movie. It looked like part of the inside of a ship below deck. It had vertical compartments just big enough to hide young children. And I wondered if it had been used as a prop in a movie about getting children away from Nazis.
On the other side of the room was a sink with little doodad animals attached to the sink. And there was also an old barber’s mirror, and then there was a very beautiful display of yellow silk. Those items caused me to have fantastic dreams. I mean I still remember most of them vividly. I became part of a brigade on a kinder transport train picking up babies and toddlers – we would stop along the way to put on a vaudeville show but in reality, people were handing us babies with their names on their clothes backstage. That’s when the old mirror came in. We would record the name, age, and sex of each baby on the inside of the back of the mirror. Every morning we would come to breakfast singing a song about what we ate. Eggs, sausage, coffee and bread….. I guess my Jewish consciousness is very strong.
In mid December, I was sent to a skilled nursing facility, since laying in bed had deteriorated my muscles. Did you know that even non-disabled people will lose 25% of their muscle strength every week they are bedbound? I had also lost about 30 lbs, so I had to eat whatever they served, but we spied a middle eastern restaurant across the street and my attendants would go get me hummus and babaganoosh, and baklava if lunch was too gross.
I had Physical therapy 5 or 6 days a week. The therapists said they had never seen anybody work so hard and I explained that I wasn’t prepared to die yet, or worse be institutionalized in the nursing home. I told them I have a pets and a LIFE to get back to, and making my books of poetry and other writings, and art too! I insisted I wanted to be home for my 62nd birthday.
I finally came home on March 15th 2018, four days before my birthday. There were minor issues a long the way, but nothing that hasn’t sorted itself out. I threw myself into painting! Yes, using real acrylics on canvas. I dove into abstract shapes and colors, and continued my love of painting trees, especially deciduous trees in autumn! I hope you enjoy my art and my poetry. Let me know by email if you do, or if you have questions. Tamarmag510@yahoo.com