Friday, May 6, 2016


(My mom passed away almost 40 years ago, but I still like to talk to her.)

Mom, remember when I was a little kid?  I was always up in a tree or playing in the mud.  One time when my brother was sick, you had called the doctor to come & see him.  (By the way, doctors don't make house calls anymore.) Anyhow, you got a wet washcloth & started to clean my face.  I didn't want it clean.  I yelled, "Put that dirt back on my face!!"

I still loved you, though.  I wrote you this poem as a child.  Obviously before I knew how to use a dictionary.  I wasn't sure how to spell "angel" so I didn't take any chances:

Mama is an angel
Can you hear the birdies tweet?
Mama is an angle
Because she is so sweet.

One year you were in charge of cookie sales for my Brownie troop.  I can still picture those cookie boxes stacked against the dining room wall, almost to the ceiling.

My brother got almost every childhood disease known to man.  I didn't.  You used to throw me in bed with him so I'd catch it as a child & be immune as an adult.  I still didn't catch them.  I did get measles the semester I was entering college.

I remember us being a very loving & demonstrative family.  We would practically kiss goodbye when we left the room to go potty.  Bud's family didn't show a lot of affection.  I had to teach him to hug.  You'll be happy to know he was a good student!!  Once while we were dating, he had to be in the San Francisco area for a while.  He wanted me to come up & spend the weekend with him.  You had what you believed was an excellent excuse for not letting me go.  It was, "What will people say?"

You were so excited when Nameless, your first grandchild was born.  We called you around 1:00 am & you & Daddy met us at the hospital along with Bud’s folks.  She was born at 4:10 am & I guess everyone was pretty tired, excited & punchy by that time.  My obstetrician, Dr. Weinberg, was a very large, stern-looking (but funny) man who spoke with a thick German accent.  He came into the waiting room & announced that I had had a beautiful baby girl.  You excitedly asked him who the baby looked like.  He thought for a minute, said, “She looks like me!!” & turned & left the room.

That feeling apparently continued.  I remember you were at Bud's sister Jackie's house for Thanksgiving & Bud & I walked in with three week old Nameless.  You asked if you could hold her &, of course, I handed her over.  You took her & ran, like a kidnapper.  You had no idea of where you were going; you were just so excited to hold her!!

Do you remember years later when you called Jackie & her maid answered & told you that she was sick & resting & couldn’t come to the phone?  You asked Pressie what was wrong & then proceeded to tell her (in depth) how to take care of her.  When Pressie told Jackie about the call she said, in all seriousness, “I didn’t know fishducky's mother was a doctor!” You weren’t a doctor--you were simply a Jewish mother.  Pressie apparently hadn’t had too much experience with those.

You had so many friends that loved you.  You never got a driver's license but you were never home.  Your friends were happy to pick you up & take you to pan & mah jongg games.  For a couple of years you were president of a charitable group that helped retarded children.  

You were a great grandmother, although you didn't live long enough to be a great-grandmother. My kids still remember the family sized Hershey Bar that you kept in the china cabinet drawer that they were allowed to help themselves to.  They remember the pony rides & stuff at Kiddyland where you & Daddy took them every Saturday--& then out to lunch.

You baby sat for me once a week so I could have some free time away from the kids.  I enrolled in a workshop & that's when I learned I had some artistic talent.  It meant so much to me that I did the same for Nameless when she had her children.

Even your son-in-law thought that you were a great cook.  When Bud & I were first married he was in the Army & we lived on post.  I called you when neither of us made very many long distance calls (too expensive) but wrote letters, instead.  You were concerned that maybe Bud or I was ill, or that we were having marital problems.  It was much more serious than that--I needed your recipe for chopped liver!

Happy Mother's Day!!----fishducky