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60 years ago my Baube, Ida Olshansky Friedman, passed away, I was just nine years old. Just days before I was in the car, my mom was taking Baube and Zayde on errands, and when we dropped them off at their apartment at Blackstone Manor, Baube promised they would see me for my birthday on March 4th. However, I never saw Baube again. She suffered a massive stroke the day before my 9th birthday and passed on March 9th, 1959. Tonight according to Jewish tradition is her Yarzheit, I will light a memorial candle that will shine for 24 hours to remember her. (The Yarzheit date is based on the Jewish date of passing.)
March 9th has another solemn significance as well, my father-in-law very much a father to me, passed away in 1987. Edwin Peter Hale hung on through my birthday barely able to wish me a Happy Day, but in his humorous way congratulated me on my 39th year, two years early. I will be 39 forever, thank you, dear Mr. Ed.
The loss may stay with us forever. However, it is time that allows us to look back and appreciate the love and special moments we were able to spend with one another. As a young child, I spent many days with my Baube and Zayde. I use to call them my old fashion grandparents as they never learned how to drive a car, and they share stories of the old country, Russia. My zayde read the Yiddish paper (in Yiddish) and sprinkled Yiddish into his English conversations. My Baube always appeared more American at least in my company she spoke only English. She was a short, plump lady who could give you that soft loving hug even from across the room (or in your memories.) She was a cook, a baker, but not a candlestick maker. I loved her (and still do) despite our short time together.
My father-in-law was only in my life for a short time. He also taught me love and share big bear hugs along with words of wisdom that he learned in the school of hard knocks. Edwin was a gentle giant, and I am so blessed to call him father!
So today I remember life as it was 60 years ago and also 32 years ago and I hold their memories close to my heart and share with you that they were two special people who guided me on my path to today.
Time does heal sadness and loss; it doesn’t take it away it provides us a way to hold it near and dear with fewer tears and more smiles as we see the shadows that provide us strength.