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.