Wednesday, April 21, 2021

100% Lillian: Harry has a Family

Look Up: The Centennial Celebration continues! This Friday -- April 23, 2021 -- marks the 100th anniversary of the day Lillian (Eisen) Sokoloff was born. It's a day to remember, and what better way to celebrate than with a few Mom stories?

Well, there is one better way: We'll wrap things up on Friday with a gift from Mom to you! Stay tuned for that. 

But first, today's story ... 

When Mom lived at Village Shalom, I took her to most doctor's appointments. Once, when the girls were young and I was overwhelmed by work and life demands, I reminded Mom that I wasn't the only child she had in town. Couldn't she ask Harry to take her? Just once? And she said ... 

"Oh, Janet. Harry is working and he has a family." 

To this day, my brother thinks this is one of the funniest things he's ever heard in his life. I am less amused. 

But you're laughing, aren't you? Well, fine. You're right. It is funny. And when I think about Mom, moments like these are what I remember. The moments that were classic Mom, whether she was making me crazy or making me laugh. I miss her daily. 

And, just for the record, my family --  yep, I really do have one -- misses her too. (Are you listening, Mom? Are you laughing? Ah, you are. All good.)

Mom and her favorite son. 

P.S. Do I really think Mom is listening to me? I do believe in souls, and living on in some manner. And I was hugely comforted as we approached this landmark week by my dear friend, Rabbi Vered Harris,  who told me, "Your mom was and is so proud of you."

Doesn't the present tense of that make you happy?

P.P.S. Vered was helping me through an unexpected whiplash of grief. If you had asked me two weeks ago if I was through crying over Mom's loss, I would have said, "Yes. My active grief was done long ago." But then, something out of the blue reminded me of Mom, and there's my birthday, and her birthday, and Mother's Day on the way, and ... WHAM. Waterworks. 

P.P.P.S. Mom first saw Vered years and years ago, when the synagogue I attended saw the power and potential in this young rabbi. Mom -- who periodically mused about the propriety of referring to God as "He" when God could be a "She" --  was very impressed with "the girl rabbi" and loved the idea that the rabbinate was no longer an all-boys club. Trust me, Mom is dazzled by Vered today




Teri said...

Grief is sneaky. My dad has been gone 15 years and I still have those tearful moments out of nowhere. Of course, I have lots of funny moments out of nowhere too. A friend of mine had a very vivid dream about her dad two weeks after he passed away. She was talking to him and asked him to tell her about where he was. Tell her about Heaven. His answer in the dream was, "It's closer than you think." That dream has given me a great deal of comfort over the years! Here's to Lillian!

Jan said...

I love that story! xoxo