Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ode to Martha Soffer

Wow, it has surely been too long since I've blogged!  And so many good things have happened and so many things to write about, but right now, I'm going to post what I said at my grandmother's funeral yesterday.  I loved my grammie very much.  She lived to be almost 93 years old and had such an interesting life:  from the artwork I have all over my house that she painted and sculpted, to her tiny miniatures that she crafted from scratch (truly remarkable stuff!), to the teddy bears she made from scratch, to working in her mother's dress shop in Coney Island, NY and even running some family carnival games on the beach at Coney Island...but that's not what I talked about yesterday.  I just talked about what I remembered about my grammie:

Dear Grammie,

I can hear your deep laugh and see the glimmer in your eyes when you smiled.  I picture myself in your kitchen, poking through your cabinets to see what you had to eat and your telling me, "Eat this because if you don't eat it, I'm going to eat it and I don't need it, so you'd better eat it!"  And I can see you cooking big meals in your kitchen, always at ease in the kitchen.  And I can remember being one of the vultures to grab little bits of whatever you were carving as we waited for dinner.
And I can see myself in your house with a copper watering can watering your plants all over the house.  I can also remember making dollhouse furniture with you and Harris and being able to play with your dollhouses in the house.
And I can remember being sick and home from school and watching The Price Is Right while drinking warm Coke and eating Ludens cough drops with you.
And I can also remember trying to complain about mom to you and your reply was, "You only have one mother."  You didn't yell at me and you didn't correct me.  You simply and calmly stated your point and moved on...not that you didn't have a quick wit or sharp tongue, you just never used it on me.
And I can remember your staring at me as a little girl and when I asked what you were doing, you said you were studying me.  And then, when we came to visit you a month ago, and you couldn't even talk, you were studying my kids' faces with your eyes like you were drinking them in...and you seemed more peaceful then.
I can remember my revelation after moving to New York that you weren't always wearing black because you weren't fashionable, but because you WERE fashionable!
I have memories of you at your strongest and at your weakest.  I also remember being mad at you for not taking care of yourself after grandpa died.  I was selfish.  I wanted my artistic, beautiful, kind and wonderful grandma to keep it up and never stop!  But I get how much you loved grandpa and how hard and tiring it must have been taking care of him and his needs.  But even though you tried to give up, your body was so strong!  It wouldn't let you leave this world.  Otherwise, you would not have met my kids nor would they have had a chance to know their great-grammie!  And EVEN THOUGH you weren't as active as I remembered you, your personality always came through and I know that the people who took care of you really knew that same vivacious lady I always knew and loved!
I've missed having long conversations with you and getting advice from you and doing things with you for some time now, but now that you are really gone, I miss you so much more!  I know you are resting peacefully now, and I'm glad that you had such a long life...and the secret is that through whatever comes your way, KEEP EATING...even if you might not need it!

I will love you always!