Monday, August 16, 2010

And so, 90 Years....

Dear Mom,
I’ve been trying to call you but your phone has been disconnected. I tried to write to you but my letter came back. And I would have e-mailed you but you never did understand how the electronic post office worked. Remember when we tried to explain it to you and you still thought Jeffrey had to go someplace to pick up the (e)mail. Remember the first time you saw the kids on an iChat and you thought you were watching a video until Joyce asked you how you were feeling. You said “she can see me? The kids can see me? Look at how I look. I should have had my hair done.”

Technology kind of passed you by. We did finally get you to play poker on line, but you beat the machine so often that it wasn’t challenging. And it certainly wasn’t like playing with Aunt Helene, Aunt Sophie and Aunt Peppy. It was no fun yelling at a machine that wouldn’t yell back.

Remember when you left for Seattle and I asked you if you wanted to stop by and see the house one last time. You refused. “That is what was,” you said. “I’m going to do what is.” After you were settled in the West, we cleaned up the house and put it on the market. There was so much stuff. It’s amazing what you collected in 57 years. And don’t worry, what we couldn’t sell we gave to charity – like your clothes. Honest to God, Mom, there were pants and dresses that still had the tags on. We’re just waiting for Hagar pants to go out of business, because without your monthly order, I’m not sure they can survive. Anyway, there are many, many people who will stay warm this winter. You must have had 25 coats, 75 sweaters, and we didn’t even count the pants. They just kept coming and coming out of that basement closet.

We sold the house. Joyce and Ronnie worked tirelessly to make sure that happened. They wanted you to be able to support yourself wherever you were. Being independent and able to care for yourself was always a priority. Which reminds me, I’m sorry about the driver’s license but after you hit the parking meter on Main Street, with all the kids in the car, we thought it was just too dangerous. Oh, and before we left the last time, we hid pictures of you and dad, and Jeff and me in the basement closet so we will be a part of the house for all eternity.

So after 90 years, all that’s left of your life is a carton full of things to give away. Whew! It’s not easy having to go through all the leftovers and deciding who gets all the things that only have value to a few of many people. Like, who gets the long black shirt with the over sized diamonds. Or the myriad of leopard skin scarves and robes and jackets. Who gets the sparkly glasses and the plastic onions, which we promised we would never throw away. There are things with which we cannot part but we it’s too painful to see them.

But unlike so many families who lose an important person, we will always have you on “The Gefilte Fish Chronicles”, waving a knife, fighting with your sisters, and laughing at some secret you all shared.

I’m going to stop calling you. Aunt Peppy says it’s time to move forward. Now we have to think about what we write on your headstone. I’m thinking it should say,
“Beloved wife, sister, mom, aunt, Nana, and Gigi. (Great grandma). She always glittered.”

By the way, send our love to Daddy. Hope you two will forever dance with the stars. We’re just sayin’…. Iris


Eric Rose said...

"All that's left of your life is a box of things to give away"??!! Take a look in the mirror!

Eric Rose said...

I have a question for David. What does he have to say about this article:

I am sorry I put it here but I don't have his email.


Anonymous said...

Iris, so sorry for your loss. That post was so touching. I'm gonna call my Mom right now and tell her that I love her.

Kathy Chamberlain

Iris&David said...

You are so lucky to be able to do that. Little did I know. We just have to keep telling all the people we love how important they are to us.
Biggest hug, miss you, love you,