My Mother and the Head Nurse Dina Rosiansky – The “Angel in White”
By Lina Broydo,
Although I am an only child, my mother had thousands of children, all loved and cared for by her. They affectionately named her “Deenush, our Angel in White.” (Remember the times when the nurses wore all-white uniforms?)
Deenush, aka Dina Rosjansky, the beautiful young nurse in Municipal Hospital #4 in Vilnius, Lithuania in the Soviet Union, and later on the head nurse of the oncology department in Tel Aviv’s Hadassah/Balfour hospital, had dedicated her life and career to taking care of cancer patients, some as young as three years old. Cancer does not discriminate, all ages fall under the spell of this mysterious disease.
The pain, the sorrow, and the ordeal of the patients, their families and friends were eased by the confidence of Dina’s superb medical knowledge and skillful treatment, and softened by the caring love she bestowed on all.
The warm touch of her strong hand, a reassuring hug, the chicken soup and a sandwich for those waiting all night in the hospital’s corridors to hear the fate of their loved ones, have made this incredible woman a mother to so many.
Exhausted, after 12 to 14-hour workdays, my mother would rush home, often walking seven miles. She would climb to her fourth floor apartment, just in time to cook supper and bring a wonderful smile and loving Yiddish greetings “Mein lichteke and tayere kind”(my bright and dear child) to her only child.
Inserting my hand into her handbag, I would always find an apple or an orange, a real treasure in those “good old days” in Vilnius. I knew that she always thought about me.
And as the times changed, modern technology added a high-tech elevator on 45 Kaplansky Street in Givatayim, Israel, but Deenush still enjoyed climbing four floors of stairs to her beautiful apartment #10.
Sadly, I lost my beloved mom ten years ago. Holding her in my arms until, with her last breath, she whispered in Russian, “Ya tiebia ochen’ liubliu” (I love you very much), I tearfully parted with the world’s most admired, loving, and adoring mother. On this Mother’s Day holiday as we gather via Zoom with my family for this special festivity, Deenush is and always will be a part of our lives.
In honor of the May 10th Mother’s Day and the International Nurses Day celebrated globally on May 12.