This is what my sister and I shared about our mother on her 80th birthday:
• When I was about 6 years old, we went downtown to the garment district on a hot August day to try on winter coats because Aunt Ruthie had a connection for a great deal.
• Mom knit yards of kelly green yarn into the most beautiful dress, poncho and beret for Susan to model in her 4th grade fashion show.
• She volunteered to be Cookie Mom for our Girl Scout troupe, and made us line up case after case, sorted by type of cookie, in the empty living room.
• Mom's eyes gleamed when she honked for us to come down to the garage (meaning “Come get the groceries”) and surprised us with Dunky the cocker spaniel.
• Mom ordered a special box for me of supplies and booklets that explained how a girl grew up to become a woman. She wanted me to be knowledgeable but she didn’t quite know how to explain the birds and the bees. When Susan grew up a couple of years later, and Mom asked her if she had any questions, she said "I'll ask Jill!"
• She struggled to get into and out of her wedding dress with us both in anticipation of their 25th anniversary party.
• Mom took me to lunch just before I went to Israel at age 17 and told me that whatever I decided to do with my life, I should pursue my dreams.
• When we were little girls, Susan and I used to play dress-up in Mom’s wedding dress. Mom mailed it to me to see if it fit. It was stuffed into the original cardboard box, with great-great-Aunt Dora’s diamond rings folded inside, and insured for $100 because she didn’t want to call attention to it in the mail.
• When my parents moved into their new apartment after leaving their house in Cincinnati, Mom said she felt like a new bride.
• Susan came home one night when Mom was babysitting, and found her young kids running around, with Bubbie nowhere to be found. They were playing hide and seek, and Mom was hiding under the dining room table!
Here’s to Mom’s resiliance and determination!