Friday, January 30, 2009


Have you ever put something 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 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.'
'I'm home.'

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!

Shabbat shalom.

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


At 5:16 PM, Blogger PsychotherapistBoulder said...

Dear Sis, I hope that as you share your/our journey with Mom's passing that it might be a comfort to others who have lost loved ones. Much love, David

At 11:20 PM, Blogger Jay3fer said...

Came to this site by random chance from Google (looking for something completely else!), but I was struck by the poignancy of your post, having just lost my father. Your mother sounds like a formidable woman; I'm sure she is still very much with you and your brother in every way. Hamakom yenachem eschem b'toch she'ar avelei Tzion vi'Yerushalayim.

At 7:24 AM, Blogger torontopearl said...

Marallyn, your previous post was sad, but this one made me cry. Your words in this post make us laugh, make us cry and make us think. It has the makings of a personal essay and I believe you should mold it into one.

May the Shabbos candles continue to bring much-needed light into your life, and may your mother's neshama always be there by your side to say "Amen" at the end of the bracha.

At 10:45 PM, Blogger Kath said...

Your post made me cry...Just got to thinking about my own mom, and my sweet seven year old daughter and the love I share with these very special women. I wish my daughter would of gotten to know her Bubbie better, I wish we didn't live so far apart- maybe Bubbie will visit us sometime - we miss her too - so much love to you Marallyn!!

At 8:59 AM, Blogger Geologychick said...

Thinking of you in California...

At 12:16 AM, Blogger Susan said...

Hi Marallyn,

I don't know if you remember me. I'm Penless Writer. I use to visit you soon after I began blogging in 2007 and then lost your link somehow. I was retyping a blog back in April, 2007 and had your link there. I was hoping you were still blogging and came to check.

I wept as I read your post today about your dear mother. It was so touching and I could so relate.

Just wanted to say "hi".



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