My dear Bubby, our dear Bubby. The bubby of so many more people than your actual biological offspring,
I have always told you that you are the most romantic person I know. You loved your husbands, your kids, your grandkids, your great grandchildren, your extended family, Toronto, Israel, music, good food, nice clothes, tehillim, beautiful days…
I can still hear the love in your voice when talking about any of these things.
And when the romance story of someone so grand, so feisty and so awesome (Bubby loved that word – “awesome”) comes to an end, it’s shocking.
Of course Bubby’s influence is clearly still present throughout the world and will be for long into the future.
For example, hers and our Zaidy’s work as Rabbi and Rebbetzin in Kitchener has changed the course of so many people’s lives in such beautiful ways. More than once, here in Israel, I’ve had people my age get excited when they find out who I am because they’ve heard about Bubby and Zaidy from their parents whose lives were impacted for the good by them.
Her influence is also clearly apparent in her offspring. An unmentionable number of people walk the face of this strange earth with a sense of purpose and responsibility, with big smiles and big laughs and many other traits clearly descended from our dear matriarch.
On the other hand, it will no longer be Bubby herself becoming best friends with the guy who works at the gym or the bus driver. It won’t be Bubby keeping on top of all our lives. It won’t be Bubby saying tehillim for us single grandkids. It won’t be Bubby remembering all our birthdays.
You can’t sum up a 36 year relationship in one farewell. So much must remain unsaid. Bubby, you were a grandmother who had real conversations with us. You were idealistic, patriotic, Zionistic, a proud Jew and you always – always – led by example. You found us solutions, you supported us and, as Tamar Tenenbaum said, you were all of our greatest cheerleader, throughout our entire lives. It’s a great enigma that we really do all feel like your favorite.
And now we will continue on without your physical presence but with your greatness in our hearts. You have clearly been the glue of the family and I hope your inspiration will continue to be the glue. I told my sister Miriam Schwab today that I’m incredibly flawed. My point is that our bubby loved all of us so much despite our flaws. I sometimes lost patience with you, Bubby and it caused me such terrible guilt. And by the end I didn’t call you enough… But Uncle Avrum says that even if there is something to that, I should try to look at the complete picture of my 36 year relationship with you. From my first Pessach as a 2-week old when I was put in a wicker basket in the hallway of your home in Kitchener and someone almost tripped over me (Bubby, you told me that story more times than I remember), to the years when I did make sure to call you around once a week in order to have animated, fun conversations with you (“We do have the best conversations, don’t we! You have such a cool Bubby!” “Bubby, I really do”).
After I said that to Miriam that I’m incredibly flawed, she said, “You’re fabulously flawed.” And I said, “See, that’s my point. Now that Bubby isn’t here, we have to try to think of each other as fabulous in her stead.”
Bubby, you loved more people and more deeply than anyone else I know. You’ve left your mark. You’ve done your job. And I hope that we can continue on your legacy in a way that gives you the justice and honor you definitely deserve.
Please play a game of checkers in heaven with Zaidy for me.
Zeit gezunt, Bubby. Hugs and kisses. We love you and we miss you.