Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My Summer of Remembering

With my mother’s death earlier this summer, I’ve become my family’s “Keeper of the Yahrzeit List.”  So, while some of my friends may be having a summer to remember, I seem to be having a summer of remembering.

First it was Grandma, my mother’s mother, whose yahrzeit falls on July 25th.  She’s in my heart always, and in my writing frequently.  You can read some of my reminiscences and reflections about her here and here and here.

Next was Uncle Irv’s yahrzeit on August 7th.  He too has been the subject of my musings.

Tonight is Tante Mina’s yahrzeit.  My sister Amy is named for her—Leah Meryl—but I didn’t know anything more, so I asked Aunt Claire, my mother’s sister.  Here’s what she had to say:
Tante Mina was a cousin. I don't know how she was related. She was a very short lady and we always used to measure our height against hers. At a very young age we found ourselves taller than her. To know her was to love her because she was so sweet and kind. She was widowed at an early age.  I never knew her husband.  She was rather poor, and as she got older she arranged to go to a Jewish home for the aged. She was very happy there; she loved the arts and crafts classes and also volunteered to feed those people in the home who were unable to feed themselves. She was a "gutte neshumah," a good soul.  We try to remember her because there is no one else to do so.
And so it is that earlier tonight I lit a yahrzeit candle (that’s it up there on the left) for Tante Mina.  As I think about her on her yahrzeit, may her memory--like those of so many others--be a blessing.


  1. I'm enjoying your musings, Jane, but especially this one, posted on the day of MY mother's funeral. Now, as I join the ranks of mourner, I'm looking forward to reading & relating to more & more of what you write. Thanks!

  2. When I used to ask my mother how we were related to someone, the standard answer was, She's a cousin. How she was a cousin, I never knew.

    So apparently in another generation (and mine is that of your parents), if you were part of the mishpocha, it didn't matter how you were part of the mishpocha.