My mom, Shoshana, was my most avid blog reader. Starting with my very first post, she read each and every publication, commenting, discussing, sometimes sharing. Some posts she liked more, some less, but she always made me feel heard and respected. When I wrote my posts I always had her in mind. Sadly, my mom will not be reading this post. She passed away last week, leaving a huge hole in my heart, my life, and the lives of many who knew her.
My mother was not like other moms. She never baked cakes for me to take to class. In fact, she never really liked baking. She wasn’t fond of cooking, either, for that matter, and yet we were never hungry. She didn’t knit or embroider, but when I wanted to learn both she found people who could help me, and later bought me an entire series of crafting books. When school authorities made new demands, she didn’t blindly follow the rules like other parents did. She pointed at the lack of logic, argued, stood her ground. By doing so she taught us to think for ourselves and to fight for what we think is right.
My mother did read us story after story, raised us on synonym and word games, and—like her father did for her—bought us every book we ever needed. Our house looked like a library and served as one, for us as well as our friends. She encouraged each of us to pursue our own interests and explore our own way. Unjudging, she gave us the tools we needed to seek our paths. When I wrote my senior thesis in high school (on the use of trash as a subject and material in modern art), she hand-typed all 134 pages of it, and then the bibliography, too. That was in the bygone days before computers, and whenever she made a mistake (or I made revisions) she retyped the page all over again. I am not sure I would have done the same for my kids.
A certified lawyer, she chose to set her career aside and put us children at the forefront. She supported us in whichever way she could, and without interfering in our choices. She gave advice if asked, but let us make our own mistakes. Her love was unconditional, and her existence a safety net. Throughout my life, she was always there for me, accompanying me on each and every single milestone. Even when it meant flying thousands of miles to reach me. Once I had kids of my own, she championed them as well.
My mom was smart, sensitive, emotionally intelligent, and empathetic to a fault. Wise, kind and reasonable, she gave sound council. She was also strong, brave and caring. By personal example, she showed us how to be good, honest human beings. Everything I know about mothering I learned from her.
With her passing, I lost my strongest supporter, my best critic, the person who knew me better than I knew myself, my cheerleader, my best friend. I will miss her greatly.
Perhaps she is now reunited with her other half, her soulmate, my dad.
This is a beautiful and loving blog post. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing and for the wonderful photos. Best, Sylvia
Thanks so much for your kind words, Sylvia. It means a lot.
My deepest sympathies for your loss. This is a great tribute to her and even greater that you recognised and appreciated all that she was.
Thank you Beryl. I am incredibly grateful to have been able to visit her shortly before she passed, and to have had the chance to tell her all of that and more in person.
Sharing your sorrow and joy, I better understand how you became the the thoughtful articulate woman that you are. As I recall her insight regarding color in your work it is clear she was a powerful and positive influence. Thank you for sharing her story.
Thank you for your kindness, Gale. Yes, my mom was a very positive presence in my life, and influenced my art, too. I always enjoyed tossing ideas with her.
Made me cry, you are so expressive. I hope it gets better.
It’s going to take a long time to process. It still doesn’t feel real at all 🙁
I was moved to tears by your beautiful eulogy for your mom. She obviously raised you with an abundance of love as your love for her shines through every word. What a blessing to have had her and your dad in your life.
I am surrounding you in healing light, be gentle with yourself in the weeks and months ahead. In the wise words of Kahlil Gibran, “Remember, when you are sorrowful, look again in your heart and you will see that in truth, you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”
Such beautiful wise words and so very true! Thank you for much for that and for the virtual hug, too. Much appreciated!
What a eulogy. I am sorry for your loss. I love the photos of your mom and dad. Very sweet. As a dear and wise friend said about the departed: They’re not here but they’re not far.
I share your friend’s feeling. Not here, but inside our hearts. Thank you for the reminder!
Zwia! Thank you for sharing about your relationship with your mother. Your closeness and gratitude is wonderful to witness. I feel like I continue to say hello and goodbye to my mom, who died in November 2015. All the best, Becky
I was lucky to be able to say goodbye to my mom, and tell her how grateful I was for everything she did for me throughout my life. It’s hard not to be able to talk to her anymore, since even in the couple of weeks that passed since she departed, there were already multiple things I wanted to talk to her about. I guess I will need to have these conversations in my head now. I’m starting to feel what you’re talking about…
I was moved by your touching account of your relationship with your mother. Thank you for sharing and helping us remember our own experiences. I was blessed to be able to care for my mother and father and husband during their last days and count it as holy duty. Use your memories to light your way forward.
I am so sorry for your losses, Martha. It is a comfort that you were able to be with your loved ones when they needed you most. It sounds like it was a true blessing for them as well as for you. Thank you so much for your precious advice. I will do my best to follow it.