Banks are not my 'cup of tea', but this one was an exception; firstly, because of its attractive facade, pleasant staff & atmosphere, and location near a garden; secondly, because of an aquaintance of mine who used to work there. Whenever this aquaintance saw me in the bank she greeted me warmly and it was a pleasure to exchange a few words with her.
One day she saw me, and ...ignored me. I told my brother about that as she was the wife of one of his friends. He said that she was avoiding everyone because of their eldest son - a fresh soldier, who had collapsed during an army drill, was hospitalized, and after a while released both from the hospital and the army and put on medication. I asked my brother for details as to the nature of the collapse, but he couldn't provide any as both parents had refused to talk about it even with friends.
The worst was yet to come. During the period of intense worry for her son, this aquaintance of mine, Aliza, a pretty woman about 45 years of age, a top employee at the bank, was diagnosed with liver cancer. I visited her at the hospital two weeks before her death.There was something about her that immediately caught my attention: her beautiful hair was intact, face not much altered, and when she smiled with her pearly little teeth , one could hardly guess she was dying.
It was at the funeral, that the secret was disclosed to me. After the burrial and before leaving the cemetery, her mourning husband whispered in my ear that she had strongly refused to receive chemotherapic treatment. The logic behind her decision was that: Liver cancer is fatal. Chemotherapy might prolong her life with several more months but the price would be too high, it could kill her son. Still not completely recovered from his collapse, seeing his mother, in a highly helpless situation between hair loss and vomiting sessions - it would have been the end of him.
I believe the son is not without health problems today, but he 's got a job , a wife, and two kids. Sometimes, I wonder whether he knows about his mother's sacrifice.
I've closed my account at the bank, one of the reasons being that it fills me with deep sadness to enter this place and not see Aliza's familiar face there. Whenever near the building, I still enjoy, however, having a look at its appealing facade and its compact, modern architecture.