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Mother’s Day: A Great Grandchild's Tribute to her Bubbe

Maya and Bubbe

Published in ChicagoNow, May 7, 2015

This is my first Mother’s Day without Mom. When my mother died last month, my 9-year-old granddaughter asked many questions about what would happen at the funeral. I told her my brothers and I would talk about Bubbe. I explained this was called a eulogy and we would be celebrating her life and sharing our memories. Maya asked if she could write and read her own eulogy for Bubbe, and I thought, why not? My mother would have loved it.

Maya adored her Bubbe. She drew this picture of the two of them the last time she saw her:

I totally love the picture and will always treasure her sweet eulogy:

My Bubbe is so special. She helped me inherit the gift of being good with elderly people. When I was very little, she used to crawl on the floor to play with me and my sisters. She didn’t miss a thing. Every time I made something, she put it on her refrigerator. I felt very close to her. When I have children in about 21 years, I will name one with a name that starts with an E to remember my Bubbe [Evelyn]. If she was in a Harry Potter house, she’d be a Hufflepuff, loyal and kind. I miss her so much. One time I went over to her house, and there was a big bowl of candy as always. I took a caramel. It calmed me a few days later when I needed it. When she broke her hip, and nobody thought she’d walk again, she did. I loved and love my Bubbe. Her spirit is in us, and we remember her in the way she wanted to be remembered.

When we went to Mom’s apartment after the funeral, I saw that Maya was right. Several of her drawings adorned the refrigerator. There was a card Maya made for my mother the last time they saw one another at my niece’s wedding reception. It read, “I love you so much about a trillion much. I missed you so much. I can’t believe we have to be apart. I send my love to you every day and night. I cherish your love for me. I hope you cherish my love for you.”

Even at a younger age, Maya sent a home-drawn birthday card on which she wrote, “Happy birthday. You are the sweetest, kindest, hugiest person I person I ever met.”

For her 91st birthday last August, Maya freed Bubbe from her walker and shared, “I love you so much! I wish we could visit more often. Miss you. We will visit.”

Created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 as a tribute to her recently deceased mother, and adopted as a national holiday in 1914, Mother’s Day is now a huge commercial boon for the greeting card, floral, restaurant, and gift-buying industries. Perhaps in all of the hoopla, we have forgotten what really matters here.

After Mom died, we couldn’t really determine which of the things in her apartment had been Mother’s Day gifts. The commercial cards and floral bouquets were tossed long ago. But the handmade cards my granddaughter made for her great grandmother were still on the refrigerator.


by Laurie Levy
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