Loving Judge Judy

by Andrea Powell, HPCCR Electronic Communications Manager

Judge JudyYou gotta love Judge Judy, right?  Well, I guess you don’t have to love her but you certainly have to respect her.  I mean, she’s made a gazillion dollars by ruling on petty (and sometimes ridiculous) courtroom TV cases.  She’s a self-made woman who is tough as nails and comes across as warm as an ice cube.  So I thought.

We had a very sweet patient under our care, Margot, who thought Judge Judy hung the moon.  Margot had a private caregiver, Leah, who was extraordinarily warm-hearted and devoted.  When Leah knew Margot’s days were slipping away, she made the decision to write a letter to the producers of Judge Judy’s show.  The following is an excerpt:

“I provide 24-hour care to a 91-year-old Jewish woman who not only appreciates the occasional Yiddish word thrown into the show, but uses them herself.  She is now bedridden, legally blind, and under the care of hospice.  We listen to audio books, CNN, play trivia, and anything else I can think of to bring her joy.  However, she spends all day counting down the hours to what she calls “the biggest event of the day”.  Yes, she waits until 3pm every day to listen to the show.  Her primary joy in her life these days is Judge Judy and her sense of humor, unwavering decision-making, and assurance for respect in her courtroom.”

Leah goes on to say that she knows how busy Judge Judy is, but asks if there is any way Her Honor could spare five minutes to call one of her biggest fans.  And guess what?  Judge Judy DID!

Margot was, unfortunately, declining fast but she heard her idol’s voice on the other end of the line.  In fact, it was probably one of the last voices she heard before she died.  I can only imagine how that phone call compared to the “biggest event of the day”.  Most likely, it was one of the biggest events of her life.

You know what makes this story extra special, though?  The caregiver, Leah.  Only a kind, loving, wonderful person would make the effort to write such a glowing letter and try to make an elderly woman’s dream come true.  Only someone with an inherently good soul would also surprise that same woman by arranging for the cantor from a local Jewish temple to come and sing privately for her.  (Yep, she did that too!)  Leah is the type of person we all want caring for us in our final days.  She is thoughtful and compassionate; loving and intuitive.  She truly understands what hospice is all about — relishing every minute of life and focusing on what matters most. 

Maybe Judge Judy understands that concept too.  You know, I don’t think I’ve ever watched an entire episode of Judge Judy.  In fact, I didn’t really know anything about Judith Sheindlin — never had a reason to.  But I’ve always respected her.  And after what she did for Margot, maybe I love her just a little too.

Explore posts in the same categories: awareness, caregiving, end of life, hospice, long-term care, special events

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5 Comments on “Loving Judge Judy”

  1. Leah Says:

    I am the Leah you so beautifully wrote about in this blog. I want to thank you for your eloquent portrayal of a very moving situation for me and for Margot. Your words were powerful and straight from the heart, and I thank you.

    • hpccr Says:

      Leah, you are the one to be thanked! It takes a very special person to care deeply and you obviously do. You were a blessing and a true gift to Margot and her family. It was a pleasure to write this story!

  2. Nancy Cole Says:

    I love this story. Leah is the type of caregiver I hope to have one day, whenever that time comes. How nice it was of Judge Judy to make Margot’s day! Thanks Leah for helping to make it happen.

  3. Beautiful. Proof that there are some amazing people in this world. I was just thinking the other day how there is a Make a Wish program for kids & maybe the world needs more wishes for people of any age going through illness. Thankfully, dreams are coming true through people like all of you, especially Leah & Judy!

  4. Anngie Williams Says:

    This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing what Leah did. It is those types of things that speak volumes of a person’s heart and devotion. iI hope this will enspire others to look for ways to really impact someone’s life in a special way; especially those who are completing their “Final Jorurney”.

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