GOOD NIGHT MRS. KALABASH...
Have you ever put something away...in a safe place...and then forgotten where you put it? That's how I feel this afternoon about Bubbie Channah Z'L.
I know she's somewhere...I just can't find her. Sigh.
It has been such a very long journey. Six weeks of running to doctors...eight weeks in the hospital...one week of Shiva (mourning)...and then today I finally finished a week of clearing out her apartment. Sigh again.
I find myself running to the phone to tell her something. I find myself running to answer the phone thinking it is her.
Silly for a sixty-four year old woman to need her Mommy so much. But, see...we weren't just mother and daughter. We were friends. We were great friends. And we spoke on the phone at least a thousand times a day.
'Marallyn, I'm off to Hamashbir to get groceries.'
'Marallyn, I'm back. Want to know what I bought?'
'Marallyn, I'm going to MacDonald's.'
'Hi,Marallyn, I'm back. I splurged and got the ice cream sundae.'
'I'm calling to tell you I'm going to throw out the garbage.'
And on and on the days went. Until they became dotted with other phone calls. Phone calls crying for help. Phone calls in the middle of the night. I hated those phone calls. But, I rushed to her aid and did what I could.
Today it is done. She is gone. She is buried. My brother and I sat Shiva. Her apartment is cleared out, cleaned up, and ready for new tennants. I handed over the keys.
My brother David taught me how to take back my energy from the house. But he hadn't reckoned with Bubbie Channah.
She talks to me. Don't ask. We now won't have to worry about phone bills. The first time she contacted me was right after we came back from the cemetary after getting up from Shiva.
David and I were beyond exhausted and decided to take a break and grab a little nap. I no sooner closed my eyes when I heard her saying:'Don't be sad about leaving this place. I'm coming back to your house with you. And tell David, I'll come visit.'
Yahoooooo! Ma is talking to me! Yahooooooooo! I don't have to be sad. Yahooooooooooo she's what??? Coming back to my place???
Don't laugh. My place is now filled with her. Her samovar that is a family treasure. Her pictures that she painted. Her brass candlesticks. Her raincoat that I couldn't bear to part with.
Everywhere I go there she is!!!
I just can't find her. See I put her in a safe place. Bye Bubbie Channah. Talk to you soon!!!
Oh, I forgot. About a week and a half before she passed away I called just as shabbat was coming in. We used to phone each other every shabbat and wish each other a gutt shabbess. That Friday, out of habit, I phoned her cell phone and she was lucid enough to answer. We spoke for a few minutes and she did the best thing ever. She asked me to bentch licht...light candles...for her. Wow!!! Finally something I could do for her. I told her I would bentch for her forever.
Now, it's over a month later and I no longer get hysterical about not being able to wish her a gutt shabbess. Now we bentch licht together. Thanks Ma. Oh, by the way in case you forgot...I love you!
Have a great day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.