This one is for you, Mom!
As a daughter of immigrants who arrived in the U.S. in the early 1900’s, when your parents’ lives were threatened abroad in pogroms, you were raised with compassion and kindness, teaching you the importance of love and family. During the Depression, money was so tight but food was always on the table. You taught us about this unconditional love from your parents. And taught me to care and fight for the present day immigrant who came here to survive and have love and family.
You taught my brother and me well, by your deeds and words, about seeking fairness in the world, about standing up and fighting for justice. About not letting the bullies win, about being ourselves and true and honest to each other and ourselves. We learned from you to help repair the world, Tikkun Olam, by watching you volunteer at non-profit organizations, at schools, camps, hospitals.
You worked tirelessly in your employment that honored you and your work ethic, to do the right thing, not just because it was a 9-5 job, but because you cared, because of your passion for all you set out to do and accomplish. You worked long hours so I could get an education. Always encouraging me to stay on the path as you valued education so much—when in college and law school, and the quitting urge was there, you always stood by me, the original feminist, “you can do it, we are behind you, we support you….”
By way of example, you shared your creativity, as an artist, you shared your beauty with the world. And you shared your love of songs, music, theatre, opera, and ballet.
We grew up understanding that the world was considerably larger than just our house. Your concern about the world’s inhabitants was so poignant when you shared your caring and understanding of the depth of the despair of November 9, 2016, and called your children to reassure us it will be ok, “we have lived through the historic things in the past, we will live through this.”
You fought for me, going to bat for me, all my life, fighting the principals, fighting for principles, any time there was an injustice you were right there, right away, speaking out. Your actions taught me that we can make a difference.
Thank you for teaching us always that life goes on, life is precious, we must continue, we must give, we may lose, but we must continue to give, to find the right balance in life, to excel. And always to remind us to find the humor all around us.
Rest in eternal peace, my lovely, loving Mama, you are sorely missed.
December 12, 1922 – October 11, 2017