03 September 2013

My Mom - A Real Patriot

My world was rocked (in a bad way) on August 9th when my mother unexpectedly passed away. It's been hard to resume my writing, even though while watching the news there is so much to say.

I will try to give you a small sense of who my mother was; I'm sure you'll start to understand why we have all lost someone special.

On August 9th my mother passed away unexpectedly. She and my father raised five children all to be successful and independent thinking people. She was a mother, a wife, a teacher, an artist, and a writer.

She was a proud Jew as well as a proud American.

The Jewish People mattered deeply to her. She was even arrested for protesting the plight of Soviet Jewry during the height of the Cold War. My mom felt that it was a badge of honor to be arrested - she had stood up to do what was right. She told us that it was okay to get arrested - but it had to be for something important.

Being the mother of 5 children close in age was a serious challenge (one that I'm finally understanding with just two kids). She did her best under very difficult circumstances.

From a young age we were all taught to love the Land of Israel as well as the United States and her Constitution.

We were raised wearing t-shirts proclaiming the unity of Jerusalem as the Jewish capital, placing fliers under windshield wipers and talking to complete strangers about why supporting the Land of Israel was so important - and why every inch of the Land is absolutely holy. And even pragmatically speaking, what kind of "partners" in peace did Israel really have?

She regularly handed out copies of the US Constitution to random people she would meet. She even knew the beginning of the Declaration of Independence by heart.

My mother believed in the importance of a Jewish education, knowing where you are coming from - your history, and even started a Jewish educational company with my dad.

She was proud of all of us, what we have become, who we are.

When we were younger, she had us memorize the poem It Couldn't Be Done by Edgar Guest - I think this best summarizes the attitude she wanted to inculcate in us.

I will miss her dearly.

It Couldn't Be Done 

Somebody said it couldn't be done,
       But he with a chuckle replied
That "maybe it couldn't," but he would be one
       Who wouldn't say so till he'd tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
       On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing and he tackled the thing
       That couldn't be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: "Oh, you'll never do that;
       At least no one has ever done it";
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
       And the first thing we knew he'd begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
       Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing and he tackled the thing
       That couldn't be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
       There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you, one by one,
       The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
       Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
       That "cannot be done," and you'll do it.

No comments: