On the 8th night of Chanukah in 2011, the year Glen was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, our family gathered together with friends to light the menorah and celebrate the victory of the Jewish people in their fight for religious freedom more than two thousand years ago.
Rabbi Jack Zimmerman recited the blessings and reminded us why we light the candles:
Although they were few in number, the Jewish people defeated a mighty Seleucid army. They were about to light the holy menorah to rededicate the Temple but could only find enough oil to last one day. In faith, they lit the menorah anyway, knowing it would take eight days to make more oil. According to legend, the light miraculously lasted for the eight days.
To commemorate this miracle, a menorah with eight candles is lit every year on Chanukah. There is a special ninth candle, in a higher position, called the ‘shammash‘ or ‘servant’ which is used to light the others.
Sometimes we caregivers wonder if we have enough ‘oil’ to make it through one day… let alone eight days … or eight years … or more!
Nonetheless, we gather our faith, put on a smile, and continue to serve others day after day. The light of one person can seem so dim, but if we work together and support each other, we can illuminate the world and shed light on the work and dedication of caregivers.
Glen loved singing and recording Christmas songs, but always wanted to record “Chanukah” by Marty Goetz. Sadly, Alzheimer’s robbed him of the opportunity to ever properly record it. Here, for the first time, is a home video of the only performance of Glen singing this song, tenderly assisted by Lev Shelo recording artist, Corry Bell, with Gary Bonner on piano.
The meaning of the lyrics and the love and support of his friends and family as he struggled to remember the words moved Glen to tears.
The light of Glen’s love and his sweet spirit will surely shine on for generations to come.