Sunday, January 4, 2015

My Mommy

My mom loved reading my blog and bragged to all of her friends about what a good writer I was and insisted they read it. But she never told me that. I didn't even know that until today, when I heard about it after her funeral.

To me, all she ever did is complain. Why do I write about everyone but her? When am I going to write a post about how wonderful she is?

Unfortunately, I decided to (unofficially) stop blogging before I got around to finally writing that post. And it breaks my heart to have to tell you that this post is actually the eulogy I delivered today at her funeral. And although she wasn't physically there to hear it, if I know my mom at all (which I do), she heard it.

Here it is:

It has been nearly impossible for me to write this for my mom. My husband, Len, suggested that I tell her everything I would’ve said if we had talked on the phone one last time. But that didn’t work because all she really would’ve been interested in hearing was whether my kids had fun at the beach and whether or not I was getting a tan.

So then I thought about all of the things I wanted to say to her and I was overwhelmed by all of the memories I had of the two of us, like how she taught me to read my first word. Even though it’s been almost forty years, I can still hear her voice as she lay in bed next to me: “See this word? It says the. Remember that: t.h.e. spells the.

I wrote a whole speech full of memories like that. I thought it was pretty good by my dad and Len didn’t. They said it was ok, but that it was missing something. My heart.  I trusted them because they understood our relationship best. So I erased it all and started again.

I didn’t even know where to start, so I asked my mommy to help me with this one last thing before she left. And then, long after everyone in my house had gone to sleep, I heard her voice and I realized that instead of trying to write everything I wanted to say, I needed to write everything my mom wanted to hear.

Now I know what you’re all thinking, that she’d want me to tell you about how beautiful was and what a talented singer and dancer she was and how smart and kind and generous she was. And how she was the best real estate agent, wife, mother, and grandmother in the world. And while all that is true, that is not what she’d really want to hear.

Mommy, I know that what you really want to hear is that we will be ok. You don’t have to worry about us. I hope you know that I spent my whole life watching and learning from you. I saw how you took care of us and how you created a home that we always felt welcome in. You taught me how to make people feel that they were loved unconditionally and abundantly. You taught me how to take care of Daddy and all of your children and grandchildren. I watched you light the Shabbat candles every Friday night and say the prayers and then whisper a secret prayer to God for whoever needed it that week and I want you to know that I do the same thing. I’ve learned all of those things from you, Mommy, and so much more. So you don’t have to worry about us anymore. I’ll make sure that we’re all ok. I know I’ve said this to you many times before and you’ve never listened, but this time I really mean it: why don’t you just sit down and rest, I’ll take care of everything for you.

I hope you know that I loved you more than you could imagine and my heart hurts so much when I think that I’ll never hear your voice again or smell your perfumed coat again, or watch your face light up when you saw me and then you’d hug me and say, “Hello my little Cayla-Bayla.”
Wherever I went, when people found out you were my mom, they would get all excited and they’d tell me how much they loved you and how they thought you were so amazing and that I was so lucky to have you for my mom.  They were right…except for one thing. It wasn’t luck that made me you daughter, it was beshert, fate. I was meant to be your daughter and you were meant to be my mom because there is no way that anyone else in the world could have ever loved me as much as you did. 



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