Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What about those who I've known Whose memory still lives inside of me.

Passover Seders have come and gone, really they may have been the most enjoyable in years. My aunt was a nightmare when they finally showed up tonight but we ignored her. If you are worried about leaving so late to go home try showing up earlier. Lots of Buby stories and moments of awkward silence but we all felt a lot closer this year. I think it was a last hurrah. Mom said that a lot about Seder tonight. She wanted it to be perfect and make her mom proud, but its always perfect and every year buby was so proud of mom just as mom is now proud of me that I can make a seder meal with my eyes closed.
While mom napped today (we were both pooped) I put in Boo's cd he created in honor of Buby, Eighteen while setting the table. Perhaps while its a great cd to bring out emotions listening to it during an emotional time wasn't wisest. (BTW this song is great in general). I sat in Buby's spot today. My reading hebrew skills are only a touch above her zero reading skills.
We talk of Seder being at my home next year and we'll see how it goes. Mom started passover at her home when her mother was 57. My mother is 56, kinda crazy. I think mom is hesitant because its the rare times she sees her brother. If she starts coming to me for high holidays and passover she won't see him at all. Sure he says he'll come to be but he can't make it to this house til 7 pm, i don't see him flying to STL. I chose to move to STL. Sometimes I'll have less family around, they are responsible for seeing me who left the good old PA.
As we age there is a time that you become the matriarch of the family and see your kids more and your siblings less. I think my mom will be good at being old, she's been acting it for years. (seriously, I have friends older than my mother that are way more youthful) But with buby gone I know thats whats crossing her mind, she doesn't want to be the older generation. Especially as we were raised that once you pass, its over, getting closer to that is all the more scary. (BTW thatnks mom for raising me that way, i hate it)
I hesitate holding Passover because I think I definitely won't see some family members. There is the other side though that if I held it even without them it would be so much more enjoyable for others. They'd have to dedicate themselves to visiting and not working if they did come. I know thats a big if. But it would calm mom too. She let me do passover this year. Its interesting how much more particular I am than her about stuff. I'm young and new at it I supose. Its like going to services, she did it for us kids forever once we grew up her attendance lessened. I'm sure when I have kids I'll do things with more vigor while they are young and lose all the energy toward it after I've dealt with teenagers. Mom also thinks Dad won't come to STL for Passover. While I don't spend much time with him here that would bug me. Its like if I'm in PA at least we get a half assed attempt but sometimes not seeing the half assed attempt might be better. Dunno. I'm rambling. I know if I had seder it would be great. Even if only one blood relative family member there was my mom I know I have friends who'd come and take part in our traditions even if they aren't their beliefs. I know in STL with no blood relatives my family runs strong and that family takes me as I am, crazy mother included.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

She's getting crafty

Thank you everyone for the kind words, cards and emails, the later two still being words. Right before I flew back to PA if finished this little guy for a coworker who's about to hatch. I think her husband may be more excited than her but she's excited about the baby hat that went with it.

I've also been weaving because I need more hobbies like a hole in the head. I'm pretty darn pleased with my results although the few test projects before had some choice words :)

I'm off to PA for passover. I told mom I'd make Seder considering this years events. Hopefully she can release her stress and let me do it. It what I've been trained to do and frankly I can do it. Heck I did it on my own when I was 14 and did it again a few years back. I don't work well with her but on my own I can do it. Next year apparently we'll celebrate in St. Louis so get your tickets now for the turkey and seder of the century :) When your blood relatives lack hopefully your friend famibly can join in the fun. I will totally have an adult afikomen hunt.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Buby 2-13-27 to 3-4-10

My mother asked me to speak at Buby's upcoming funeral. I doubt I'll be able but below is what I have written. It will be interesting to see who comes. She has touched so many but she has also outlived the rest of her generation including her brother Aaron and twin brother Honey.


Once upon a time, shortly after I graduated from college, I gave Buby a memory book filled with hand-drawn illustrations by Zayda, and memories I have of her. I wanted her to know how much I loved her; I wanted to let her know how I would always remember her. I don't recall precisely what is in that book now, as memories change and fade, and new memories have been made, both bitter and sweet.

Who brings their grandmothers to college with them, and takes them traipsing through a large historical park with their professors? Me, thats who. I remember the day she stayed at my apartment while I was in class and made me and my boyfriend, now husband her special recipe of spaghetti and meatball sauce. I remember I later found out that she folded and reorganized all my clothing drawers much to my chagrin — Bubies shouldn’t have to fold their grown grandaughter’s underwear. Buby has been to each of my homes and apartments in my life. Each time she visited I felt that it was my turn to spoil her: she had already spoiled us for so long. It was time to make her the special one, to let her have 8 days of hannukah gifts, to let her have fondue that would probably send her sugar through the roof.

Everyone will have different memories of Buby. But let's talk about the memories everyone no doubt shares — The sweetness, the gushing. Buby made every child she met feel loved and special. Not just her own children and grandchildren, but every one she meets. She was Buby to all. None of my childhood friends called her Shirley or Mrs. Wagner, she was simply Buby, even to my professors.

Some people mourn about the relationships they never had with the departed. Today, we mourn the loss of one of the greatest relationships we’ve had. Buby would do anything within her power for anyone. I can now picture her arthritic hands peeling sweet potatoes for Passover, or placing her rummy tiles carefully on her dining table, or donating her time balancing books for Ort. And who can forget: her most important and cherished annual task — creating the dessert plate for Passover.

The sweetness that was Buby includes the love and the spoils she poured upon us when we visited every Thursday. She would have Tastykakes, Entemann's and Pepperidge Farm cakes, either the vanilla cake with chocolate icing or coconut icing, usually defrosted by the time we finished a hand or two of rummy tile.

During Yom Kippur we would celebrate both my cousin Matt’s birthday and my own at the end of our fast. One year while we fasted, someone decided to eat our birthday cake. When we pulled out the cake for celebration, we discovered ants were crawling all over the cake — they just couldn’t fast for 24 hours or 27 hours depending on the synagogue and the rabbi. Buby was so upset and thought she let us down, but the rest of us just laughed so hard.

This is a somber event but I can’t help but think that there is nothing Buby loved more than to laugh with her family. We’re Jewish after all, and humor is in our blood.

Every Pesach was filled with laughter and was the holiday that brought the Wagner and Tobias family together. I can remember Buby now: with whatever magnifying glasses she could find at mom’s house, reading the English parts with the family. Singing Hadgayah in a single breath was not her strong suit, but she always finished the song laughing. Ultimately, we will certainly not only remember Buby with lots of tears, but, most of all, we will remember Buby with lots of laughter.

When Zayda passed away, a 6 year old girl slept between her mother and her Buby and she complained that she felt like squooshed matzah. Today, that’s how my heart feels. I’ve got a squooshed heart, Buby, you will always be very special to me, and I love you very, very much.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Pepperidge Farm

Once upon a time when I finished college I made my Buby a memory book filled with illustrations her husband made and memories I have of her. I wanted her to know how much I loved her and would always remember her as. I have no idea what is in that book now as memories change and fade and new memories have been made, both good and bad. Hell, who brings their grandmother to college with them and takes them traipsing through tower grove park with their professors? Me, thats who. And the day I didn't bring her to school she stayed at my home and made me and my boyfriend (now husband) her special spaghetti and meatball sauce and later i found out folded and reorganzing all my clothing drawers. Luckily there was no guilty items in the underwear drawer as there was no guilty activities at the moment.
Buby is currently have issues drinking water and has to have a thickener in it. Gross right? Jello water. This girl hate jello and buby used to try to give it to use for dessert with fruit in it. If she really loved me she'd give me tasty cakes, oh wait she did! Also entemann's and pepperidge farm cakes. That was the real decadent dessert, either the vanilla cake with chocolate icing or the vanilla cake with coconut icing. Thursdays were Buby days and they were the days we got soda, meat, and dessert, all things not often in our diet unless you count hot dogs for meat. Every Thursday we went. My brother later stopped going but mom and I always went. All other plans were on hold for our regular thursdays. We'd play canasta, rummy tile etc. I kick ass in rummy tile if your granma needs a friend.
Right now I'm imagining the taste of those pepperidge farm cakes and how they'd be a tribute to my buby if i ate them after she passes. I'd cry all the way through but they were just one way I knew that she loved us and we were oh so special to her because she's a buby, and spoiling us rotten was her gift. I grew up not being anyone's bestest friend or favorite person but I was hers and I know it and am damn lucky for it and lucky that I know i had all that while she was still sharp as a tack (more so than my mother is now) and pretty good as a rummy tile player. I still kicked her ass though and no, she didn't let me win...