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.

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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.

3 Comments:

Blogger Tempest ina Pot of Tea said...

First I am so sorry to hear of your loss, loss sucks. And second, I spoke at my grandmother's funeral (a woman who would have loved your Buby) and I am so glad I did. It made me feel honored to speak about someone I loved so much to people who understood that love.

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Daiva said...

I'm so sorry. (((Hugs)))

8:58 AM  
Blogger KymberlieBlu said...

i'm so sorry for your loss. this is beautiful. she sounds so vibrant and full of life in your words... thank you for sharing. you are a lucky woman to have these memories--hold them close and visit them often. :)

6:04 PM  

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