Wednesday, April 11, 2007

WHEN SAYING GOODBYE MEANS FOREVER

My mother-in-law is dying and it's only a matter of hours...days...until Savta Simcha (Grandmother Simcha) will not be part of the tapestry of Macheneh Yehudah.

Now, I know that she is an elderly woman. And I know that she is a mother and grandmother and great-grandmother. But, she is still Savta Simcha and although she has been suffering from the results of many strokes, she is still Savta Simcha to the grandchildren and Imma to her children and to me.

When I married my husband,a lifetime ago, I didn't know what to call my new mother-in-law and since everyone called her Imma (Mom), I did too. I never called anyone Imma before and it was easy to just add my name to the list of her children.

You should have seen the looks on everyone's faces in the beginning. I didn't care. I just called her Imma and kissed her when I walked into her house.

We didn't have an easy road, Savta Simcha and me. And for the past two days of running to the hospital my heart ached for her and for all of us.

Last night I was at my writing class when my daughter called on my cell phone. For some reason I didn't turn it off. She said that her father had called and told her that if she wanted to say goodbye to her Savta she better come to the hospital.

I dropped everything and met her and together we walked from Macheneh Yehudah where she lives and where my class is...passed Savta's darkened windows, and made our way to Bikur Cholim Hospital.

On the way I phoned my two sons and they met us there. My husband and three of his brothers and one remaining sister were there. Another sister-in-law was there. More grandchildren came as the phones reached out through the family.

At midnight my youngest and I left. But first we had to say goodbye. At this stage every goodbye could be forever and I watched my children stand beside their Savta with tears in their eyes. Touching her hand and saying what they had to say from their hearts to hers.

I know she heard them. And me. And all of us.

Sad. But, then I thought. Here is a woman who came from Kurdistan in the 1950's. As soon as they heard that Iraq was letting the Jews out, they ran and made their way to Israel. It is a fascinating story and one I may share with you at a later date.

She was brave. She was gorgeous. And she was tough as nails. She got married at thirteen. She couldn't read nor write. She raised seven children. All of her children are educated and are at the top of their fields. One is an international entepreneur. And the grandchildren are all either in school, the army or university.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

I wish her a peaceful journey. When the time comes to finally take our leave we will do our best to carry on what she started. Hard to say goodbye.

Have a great day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.

21 Comments:

At 2:34 PM, Blogger Penless Thoughts said...

My heart goes out to you at this very hard time. There is no easy path through on this and it's one we all walk so can relate.
Susan

 
At 5:40 PM, Blogger Geologychick said...

It's never easy!!! The women of that generation were all tough as nails! My grandmothers always reminded me of that! Will be thinking of you and your family!

 
At 5:48 PM, Blogger jennifer said...

I am happy to read that she has led a long productive life. I am so glad she left Iraq so many years ago, and I am so glad that you had her in your life. It sounds like she is a rock that many could stand on for strength.
I pray you and your family find comfort in her fulfilling life and are able to be strong as she passes.
And yes, you should write of her later, she sounds like an incredible woman.

 
At 6:18 PM, Blogger Jungle Mom said...

I feel for the family! My own father has been in hospital and had open heart surgery yesterday. I called to say good bye, just in case, you know. I trust all will go as well as possible. I wish I could have met her!

 
At 6:53 PM, Blogger CONNIE'S THOUGHTS FROM THE HEART said...

My heart goes out to each of you. It sounds like even though, hard, she had a wonderful life. She has left quiet a legacy to her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and to you. May God hold you all vey close and keep you . connie from Texas

 
At 9:52 PM, Blogger torontopearl said...

A poignant post. I'm sorry for the sadness that has been happening and more that is to come.
May you all be strong for each other...

 
At 11:06 PM, Anonymous John said...

I'm sorry hear that she has come to her time of passing.

She lived through incredible times.

May her memory bless you and everyone that loved her.

 
At 6:18 AM, Blogger muse said...

So sad.
Maybe your next book should be about her.

 
At 9:14 AM, Blogger Leann said...

her life and family tells a story as old as time.the Lord our God blessed his children.and He has done it on to a thousand generations.
its hard to say goodby to anyone we love.but if they gave us all of themselves we never lose them,for they are always in our hearts.
God bless you and yours as I know He does.and give you His peace and grace to help you in this time of goodbys.
my prayers are with you.
Shalom.my friend.

 
At 10:24 AM, Anonymous Chavaleh said...

So so sorry to hear about your Mother-in-law. My heart and high thoughts are with you and your family as you face this sorrowful time. May the Spirit of the Almighty comfort each of you, mend your broken hearts and dry your tears as you say good-bye to this loved one. "Father in heaven, give this family peace in the midst of their sorrow, amen".

 
At 10:48 PM, Blogger Perez said...

Oh I am sorry about you mum. I wish you warm wishes and send you a hug. Take care-perez

 
At 12:06 AM, Blogger Val said...

Sorry to hear of this painful time in your life, but you have a great attitude about it and it was a very nice written tribute to your M-I-L - I'm sure she knows how much she has meant to everyone.

 
At 10:28 PM, Anonymous Tim said...

My heart goes out to you and your family. While the legacy is great, so is the loss of loved one who means so much to the family.

You are in my prayers.

 
At 11:04 PM, Blogger Penless Thoughts said...

Just came by to let you know you are very much in my thoughts and prayers at this very difficult time. I just posted a tribute to my mother. Hope you'll come and read it when your life gets back to some what normal.

 
At 3:42 AM, Blogger CONNIE'S THOUGHTS FROM THE HEART said...

May God bless and keep you as you and your family go through this trying time. My prayers are with you. connie from Texas

 
At 8:51 AM, Blogger Lemon Lime Moon said...

Lovely tribute ...thank you for sharing your heart with us on this.
You are a special lady.

 
At 7:42 PM, Anonymous Anna said...

Your family is in my prayers

 
At 3:12 AM, Blogger CONNIE'S THOUGHTS FROM THE HEART said...

I have been praying for you. I have come to visit often and have not left a message but I do want you to know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. connie from Texas

 
At 9:53 AM, Blogger Pam said...

May God give you the grace to get through this difficult time and then to carry on. Having just gone through a scare with my own father, I am tender towards you in this your time of preparing.

 
At 2:44 PM, Blogger CaraqueƱa said...

Marallyn...I just read over at Rena's that your dear mother-in-law passed away. I am sorry, "Mi mas sentido pesame" as we say here in Venezuela, which means literally, "My heaviest feelings" God bless...

 
At 11:45 AM, Blogger marallyn ben moshe said...

dear everyone, thank you so much for writing and caring...i feel as if i know you all so well and your posts helped so much...stay safe my dear friends and i hope to talk to you all again very soon...love, marallyn

 

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