An open letter to my family:
In three days, it will be February 28th, and traditionally (except for that odd Leap Year) I, much like you, would call MOM, our DVasha, or Auntie Dorothy, and wish her a Happy Birthday. For me, it is especially bittersweet as I will be lighting Baube Friedman’s Yahrzeit Candle just two days before. I have taken over the family torch of keeping their memories and their lives burning brightly not just in my heart but in my home. However, it is even more poignant as mom, and I always shared a birthday cake and this year it will be a different form of sharing!
Many of you remember the KIKI who cried on my birthday, especially at my birthday parties, well this year may be no different. The tears have been bottling up inside since early this month with Dad’s Yarzheit, remembering cousin Gloria’s first birthday without her, followed by Grandma Jen’s Yarzheit. In between remembering those that have played such a big part in my life, and touched me in so many loving ways, I have chosen to keep growing and share what I have learned creating the DVasha Series.
My mother gave me a gift. Alex, my wise young son pointed it out to me the other day when I was feeling a bit blue. He explained, her illness gave me the opportunity to get to spend time with her in a way that brought us closer together. It’s not like she planned it, but mom always saw me as her baby and would not have allowed me to ever care for her. But the time I spent with her gave me the opportunity to show her not only how much I loved (love) her, exhibiting how strong a woman I have become.
Mom’s illness also brought me closer to my both my sons. I have always loved and cared for them equally, however, during this time I saw how extraordinary these young men are. They are on different paths in life, and I must let them soar in their directions. When they know I am in need they are always there for me; I have learned not to nudge!
I am so grateful to my mother for the love she shared with my brothers and me. I wanted to celebrate 97, 98, 99, and at least 100 years’ young with her! But her days were not to be, and I will celebrate without her (as I hope you will too.) My mother would want us to be Happy on Her Day, whether it be February 28th (29th) or even March 1st! Let me share the following:
In one of the many conversations, I had with mom before her passing she claimed she wasn’t very special. I defended her by saying she was incredibly unique. Let’s begin with her cooking and baking. Her sewing, knitting, and crafts were often beyond compare. When my mother took on a job whether paid or volunteer, she did it to the Nth degree. And, despite her spicy mouth and attitude, she had more friends than Carter™ had liver pills. If that isn’t being special, I’m not sure what is?
My mother (your mother, Baube, Aunt, Friend) was the matriarch of the Moss/Freedman family. She is missed, but not forgotten. I will never forget her or what she left with me. My mission in life is to spread the DVasha (HONEY). My gift to my mother on her birthday and every day is to share the kindness and help us age in grace.
Dear Mom –
I hope we provided you the grace and dignity you wanted.
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