This was written in 2007 and read at my mom’s funeral. It comes from my heart and brings tears to my eyes 6 years later.
Friday was a difficult day for this family. My sister Abbey, whom, my wife Marilee and I thank so much for shouldering much of Mom’s care these last these hard years and I lost our only mom. My brother-in-law Max and Marilee lost their second mom, Uncle Marty his only sister, Alisa, Helaine, Hope, Barrie, Wendy and Dara lost their last grandma, and 14 children lost a special, special great-grandma.
Only in this crazy family could three sisters and a brother name their first born the same name, Rozy. To differentiate them, they were called Big Rozy, Little Rozy, Moe’s Rozy, and just plain Rozy. Ours was just plain Rozy, but there was nothing plain about her. To my knowledge, she only earned two prizes in her lifetime: one, a beauty contest when she was a little girl and the other bronzed booties for warming our hearts and feet when she was 90. But she was a world-class mommy, grandma, and great-grandma
My friend John Ungashick related to me that when George Washington died, The Federalist Party said it had lost its tent pole. He held up his political party, the Federalists. Indeed, a few years after his death, the Federalists disappeared. Our family won’t disappear without our Rozy, but it won’t be the same.
In many ways, my Mom was our tent pole. She was tough; she was brash; she was loud, she could embarrass; she was fiercely loyal to and defensive of those she loved; she was so real; she was so warm. She not only held us up; she held us.
I can still remember at about the age of seven while waiting in line to see the Christmas Show at the Radio City Music Hall being squished between her warm body and her Persian lamb’s wool coat as only she could squish. No one could warm you like my mom. I touched her after she died and that warmth was still there. It seemed that even death could not take it away
Mom was lucky… she lived a long life; she got to see 13 great grandchildren in person, and she saw Xena’s picture which I showed to her just hours before she died. I know she saw it. I know it made her happy. I watched her open her eyes and felt her squeeze my hand as each of my daughters said goodbye to her. Between her pained breathing she mumbled something each time. It was so hard to understand, but one time I could make it out, and it was “I love you.” That’s what mom was so good at — loving you.
For her great grandchildren: I give you a little history lesson
When she at your age Xena, the Titanic was being built
When she was as old as you Sita and August, WWI started
When she was as old as you Harry and Ruben, the 1916 Model T Ford was first produced for $250
Sophie, the Russian Revolution broke out when she was your age.
Orlando, when she as a old as you she survived the 1918 Spanish Flu Epidemic
Jack, when she was ten, women first got the right to vote
Amy at your age in 1927, Charles Lindberg was the first to fly solo the Atlantic
Casey and Brooke, she was 18 when 1929 Great Depression occurred
Robert, at 21 she voted for her first President, FDR
David, 22 it was a good year. Prohibition came to an end
At Jeff’s age, things became terrible for this world as Hitler invaded Poland and World War II began.
Grandma survived WWII, the death of Kennedy, the landing on the moon, 911 and almost made to the end of “Bush-that bastard’s” (her term) term of office.
She was with us a long time, but not long enough. I always say at occasions like this “There are so few people who love you. It is such a loss to lose one.” This is one helluva loss.
Mom, you knew how to love. Oh how we will we all miss those hugs. Mommy, I love you so much.