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The forget-me-not plant is a perennial one. It comes back every year and it can last for decades. Its flowers are a symbol of true love, respect and devotion. It also represents never-ending love. Brides like to have them inserted in their bridal bouquets. Perhaps it might sound strange that I chose these flowers as the title of my article, but it will soon become clear to you.

My parents met when my mother was 20, and my father was 25. They came from different worlds, yet melded together beautifully. They shared a common language, not only of Yiddish, but a love of Torah life, where family was central. We children grew up in a house filled with love, understanding and patience. They taught us by example how to raise a family with sensitivity and love.


Our Shabbat table was filled with zemirot and Torah. When I picture them together, I see my mother bringing my father, born in Poland, a glaizale (a glass of tea) while he sat with his ever-present Gemara. As the years progressed, I witnessed her learn how to give my father his insulin shots. She first patiently practiced this on an orange before she attempted to use the needle on him. She kept his many medicines in order, and made him food that he not only loved, but was healthy for him as well.

As the years progressed further, my father became my mother’s caregiver. She had developed Alzheimer’s disease, and he watched over her with his gentle eyes and demeanor. As with the forget-me-nots, they represented a wonderful example of their never-ending love and devotion to each other.

My mother always prayed they would get to their 50th anniversary. They were blessed to have celebrated their 60th anniversary, too. Their love was a perennial one, always there, year after year.

A time arrived when it was decided that they both needed more care. They were moved to a facility where it was provided for them. One day, we got the news that our father was called to Shamayim. My father was brought to his final resting place in the land he loved so much. My sister and I had imbibed our father’s love for Israel, and we both moved here and are now watching our children raise their children with the love and devotion that was passed down to us from my parents.

My brother accompanied my father’s aron to Israel and he was buried in Yerushalayim. We three sat shiva together, first in my sister’s house, then in my house. My brother left for his home in America after a couple of days, so he could sit shiva there as well. Our mother was with her caregiver in America, and we all wondered if my mother could comprehend that our father, her devoted husband, would no longer be sleeping at her side. While we sat shiva in my sister’s house, surrounded by friends and relatives, I went to the kitchen for a minute. I heard the phone ringing. I thought it was someone calling from America to give us their words of nechama.

I could not believe my ears – “Hello Debbie! How are you?” I was in shock and said, “Ma, is that you?” We hadn’t been able to communicate for a number of years, yet here she was calling from America and asking me when will I be coming to visit. It was surreal to hear her voice, as if no time had elapsed at all.

I told my mother to hold on for a minute, and ran over to my siblings, who were quietly talking to a roomful of people. I started yelling to get their attention. “Quick! Get up!! No!! Right this second, come to the kitchen!” People there were surprised at my urgency, but would soon understand it.

I only allowed each of my siblings a minute to talk then took the phone back and called my Aunt Rozie, her beloved sister. I told her not to ask questions, just call my mother’s number immediately. I didn’t know how long this miracle would last and I wanted all of us to at least hear her talking to us.

We were given this gift for a very short time. We were never able to communicate with her again. It was as if my mother was really saying to us, at a time when we needed to hear it. “Forget me not!” It is truly something we will never forget.

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