Part of the difficulty with infertility is that you don’t know when it will end. You hope and you envision the moment that you hold your child in your hands, but there is no crystal ball with the answer. As you wait you know that other members of your family are waiting hoping and praying along with you. It is even more difficult when distance makes for the occasional visit and then the treatments prevent you from traveling when you would otherwise hop on a plane.
Unfortunately, sometimes they don’t live to see your dreams realized. Over the past year, Tommy’s Grandfather and now my Bubbe both passed away. They were both remarkable in their own ways.
The following is what I wrote to be shared at her funeral:
A few years before I moved to Israel I took a short road trip with Bubbe. We went to one of her favorite places, Atlantic City, I was the driver. Now this was before the days of GPS and there was a mistake in my written directions and so we arrived four hours after leaving Philadelphia. I was frustrated at myself for ruining the trip. She knew better, we spent most of the day in the car there and back talking about life and trading jokes. Soon after I received a birthday card from her, she wrote”I enjoyed spending time with you. You are a terrific driver.”
Over the years, I learned many things from Bubbe, as a child I quickly discovered the value of bargain at the supermarket and the importance of making certain that you were not over charged at the cashier- a refund of 35 cents was worth a 10 minute wait at the customer service counter.
As I got older I discovered Bubbe’s patient wisdom and confidence that things have a way of working out. “Toby, there’s a lid for every pot!” she’d tell me. It’s not that she brushed off the challenges, she just had a firm belief that things come together as and when they should. Eventually, you reach Atlantic City just make sure you enjoyed the ride.
As can be expected, it was not easy to live so far apart and remain up to date on each other’s lives. We bridged the distance through letters, phone calls and occasional visits- she made three trips to Israel since I made Aliyah and danced at my wedding at 90-years-young. Amazingly,I never felt apart from her and always knew she was a phone call away, each time I’d call she’d excitedly greet me “Tobila! How are you?”.
Last year I received a Birthday card from her that sums it all up:
“I know this idea may seem baffling and new,
but know what? Your Grandma’s ‘been there, done that,’ too.
So when your young life isn’t going as planned,
Talk to your grandma- She’ll sure understand. She”s got lots of love and good counsel to give. She’ll be on your side for as long as you live.
She wrote at the bottom: “Keep up the good life, with that special guy.”
Everyone who knew and loved her, knows that Bubbe was one- of-a-kind. She was the matriarch of our family. Her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will each take with them a piece of her wisdom, patience, humor and special energy. יהי זכרה ברוך- May her memory be a blessing.