{Out of the Mouth} ~ of Babes

Daniel Y. Dodek reflects on a recent visit by his 5-year old son at the hospital where Dokek serves and the transformative effect it had upon one, 101-year old patient, Anni.  Anni had visible basal cells which she frequently scratched and suffered from severe dementia.  This made her irritable, agitated and uncooperative towards Dodek {"To be honest, I am a bit scared of her: being screamed at in German is uncomfortable for a Jew," notes Daniel Dodek}.  Dodek is apprehensive for his son.  However, the old lady's attitude and manner changes dramatically at the sight of Dodek's young boy.  She melts into a nurturing, caring old lady who wishes to be 'Tante' {aunt} to the boy.  This remarkable transformation has Dodek reflecting on how his son's interactions with the woman can inform him and other professionals when dealing with seemingly difficult patients.
Charcoal rendering of a young Jewish boy who is happy and runs enthusiastically to meet the old lady.  He waves at her in recognition, but there is a layered symbolism for his fingers are extended in the gesture popularized by Leonard Nimoy as Spock {Live Long and Prosper}.  I had remembered an interview where Nimoy had narrated how, as a young boy in synagogue, he had looked back at the rabbi during the religious ceremony and noted the rabbi making this iconic gesture of benediction.  It seemed the perfect, cultural gesture and reference here.


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