I came all of this way to be here to give Bubbie the sendoff that she deserves. While flying here today , I decided to put on a movie that Mom would and did love. So I put on Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye in White Christmas. I was hoping for a little inspiration. You see that was our Mother, who lived like a great movie character. Sure, she had many hardships throughout her life, but like the heroine in the movie , she always came out of it with a smile , a good word , a funny saying, that most of the time we didn’t know what it even meant.
Mostly, our dear mother , had a song for every occasion. While we stood around her bedside, on Monday, it was just a spontaneous response by the grandchildren to start singing all of Bubbie’s favourite songs. Jewish songs, silly children songs, that no one else in the world seems to know. Songs about walking across the street, swinging on a swing, seeing your first robin red breast, enjoying the rain. The grandchildren then proceeded to tell Bubbie all of the things that she had said to them over the years. There was a lot of laughter and a lot of tears. But the overall consensus was that this was the perfect sendoff for Bubbie. This was the perfect scenario for our Mother.
Surrounded by her children and grandchildren , celebrating, in this case her life. And most importantly, everyone was holding each other up. Hugging , stroking arms and backs and just being together as a family. You see that is all that Mom wanted. Her whole life boiled down to her family being close and supportive and loving to each other. Family , included close friend , of every age, that our Mother loved as well. Once you got into the inner sanctum, you were in for life. One of my daughter’s friends , said “she was all of our favourite Bubbie”. She was actually interested in our friends and our children’s friends lives. She remember so many details of so many people’s lives. She knew things about our children that we didn’t know. She knew everyone of her children’s , grandchildren’s and great grandchildren’s birthdays and important milestone.
I don’t know a lot of great grandmothers who travelled to help her granddaughter , Miriam, with her very first great grandson, Tsion.
Our mother also had a great sense of her own personal style. Her fashion sense was ageless. She wore hats all of the time because she ‘had a hat face’ as she told us many times over the years. The last number of years she frequented a women’s cultural afternoon, called the ‘sunshine club’. My friend, Masha, who is one of the organizers of this beautiful club , said, and I quote ” Your mother was larger than life.. So many people loved her and were touched by her. Wow, could she work a room! She insisted that she was really too young to go to the Sunshine Club but only went because she wanted to be there as a friend to the other women.
And was she a friend. To all ages. Until a year ago when she became ill, she had a busier social life than most people half her age. Men and women alike were attracted to her lust for life. A friend of my brother, Avrum, said that he never met anyone who had such joy in every detail of life. Nothing was too small or insignificant to appreciate. Mostly, she loved and thought her children were the most perfect, special people in the world. It was not always easy to go out with Mom because she insisted on telling all who would listen about our accomplishments. But , what a change from many parents who only criticize and demand . She chose just to love and accept us.
The only thing that Mom wanted was her family to be close and love each other. So Mom , I am saying to you now. Your job is done. We are all close and love each other. Mission accomplished. Go to Dad and Marcus , your parents, Uncle Menashe and David. Know , that you will never be forgotten. We will cry a little, but mostly we will smile and laugh when we think of you. Don’t worry, we will always be together, in good times and bad. That is how we will honour your memory.
I just have to thank our caregivers, Roweena, otherwise known as Noy, Josie or Joicey and most recently Vickie, who gave our mother dignity, love, care on a level that we have never seen. You were all sent to our Mother by G-d and gave my sibs and myself real peace of mind over this last difficult year
As well a debt of bv m to North York General Hospital for the wonderful care they gave our mother in the last 36 hours of her life. You are angels.
Mom , please forgive me for anything I may have done that hurt you. I am sorry that I couldn’t have done more. I hope that I can be half the mother that you were. I love you.