“GET BACK HERE WITH THAT!” my grandmother would yell.
I was 4 years old, darting from room to room in my grandmothers 7th floor condo in Nahariya Israel. My grandmother, who claimed to be jewish, went to a baptist church, and spoke with a forced British accent, would beg me to stop running around the house.
“Barak! COME HERE!” She would yell. In hebrew barak means lightning. A modern day phrase would be “Lightning McQueen”.
My grandmother would call me over, and hand me an ice cream bar. At which point I would stop, and spend at least 20 minutes devouring this tasty treat.
She knew.
It may not have been the best practice, but she knew.
God knows both staff and residents often look like headless chickens. The amount of energy, planning, material, money, people it takes to get through a day at Sparrow is mind boggling. We tend to be like lightening bolts, leaving trails of light and sound. Our remnant is heavy. Making the quiet times so much more eerie. Come 10pm “Lights Out” you would think the place was a funeral home. The humming of the a/c unit. The sound of water spraying inside the dishwasher. Clicking and clacking from the dryer.
The remnant of my grandmother, Mariem, lives strong through my father. Whenever they zoom around, an ice cream will do the trick to keep them stationary. Even if just momentarily.
Zooming here and there can be chaotic, leaving you stretched thin and confused. It takes energy. That energy becomes wasted.
Many of our resident mothers exist in this reality prior to moving in. They know what is needed, what is required. They tire themselves out in systems that don’t seem to work, leaving them stretched thin and confused.
Insert The Sparrow’s Nest. During their time, whether temporary or long term, they get ice cream. Temorarily, things makes sense, and taste good too. They know they are cared for. They know they can pause. They know they will have opportunities to meet their goals.
My son’s name is Abram Torin Shaheen. This is translated to “Father of Thunder of the Royal White Falcon family”. I was the first in our family to extend the family line. What comes after “Lightening”, naturally thunder. He is my remnant. These resident mothers and their children are the remnants of God’s family, Gods will. He can’t wait to give them ice cream, and neither can we!
Jiryis Shaheen