It’s been awhile since I’ve sat down to write, life has been full of work, and obstacles that have kept me from what I love most…
It’s not just my mom (or my dad,) it’s taking the time to share my thoughts that may keep me focused on what is important and touch someone else to do the same. Family, whether by blood or by choice is the most precious treasure we can obtain in life and have for eternity. Although eternity is a word that’s hard for many to grasp if we begin to accept that what we create today is forever will pave the way for the best future for those we leave behind.
When my great grandparents fled Russia, it was not because they wanted to abandon their homes and families but to make a better future for themselves and their future (and their children.) They tried to do that in the pogroms of Russia, but the Cossacks continued to come in and raid their village, and they had to flee, eventually to America to be safe. It was their strength that built my strong family, and I know many of you have familiar stories as well. Families that immigrate to the U.S. must be strong and rebuild their lives in a new ‘foreign’ country. The new ‘foreign’ country must become familiar with them, and the only way that can happen is when by choice they become our family too.
Too many of us have forgotten our roots and have turned our backs on others that don’t look like us, speak like us, and observe like us. However, the U.S. is a melting pot of us, many people of various backgrounds, and that is what our strength has been built on. My mother in her loving and caring way at the time was bigoted, and she admitted it and apologized. She was bigoted when she felt victimized, often within her group. She was not the stereotypical wealthy Jewish housewife. She worked most of her married life. She did not have a big fancy house, drive a fancy car or belong to the country club. But, she did remember her roots.
My mother believed in Tzedakah, charity. We always had a “pushka,” charity box in the home and spare change was placed in it. But more than that my mother, Bubie the Baker, was always baking for someone, in need or not. There was always an extra chair at mom and dad’s table if someone needed a meal. As a seamstress, although she ran a business, many (all) got a steal of a deal when she charged $2 to do hems on pants and similar prices on other alterations, she never wanted to scalp another person. And if you just needed a little something, DVasha’s door was open.
In my mother’s last months, as she laid in bed, although sometimes not quite aware that’s where she was, she completed tasks as to not to leave any chores left undone. One article she made an attempt to finish was the afghan she had begun for my cousin Rob and placed aside almost a year ago when her hands started bothering her and knitting, and crocheting was becoming difficult. But in her final weeks, in her alternate state she completed not just the Afghan, but projects for the many organizations she had been involved in over the years.
My beautiful DVasha did much more; she inspired me to complete my love and passions here in life and enjoy the results with those that I love.
I will never forget the day we celebrated Hanukkah early, and she finally gave Joel his pony. I think I was over the moon. I also believe my quiet brother Joel still holds his pony, Trigger, close to his heart, imaginary as it is.
I also won’t forget my mother trusting me, her baby, to care for her, hold her when the caregivers had to have her turn, or move and being blind as she was her senses were off. Mom did not know she was blind, but soothingly I would talk to her, hold her, kiss her and reassure her. I cannot imagine how she must have felt, but I would not have wanted her to go through the last months of fear alone.
I will always remember the early days too, scanning through my parent’s photos has been a beautiful trip through memory lane.
I will not forget, and you should not forget…The DVasha Series is about finding the passion inside to love, forgive if needed, and live life as if this if your last day….Include mom or dad!
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