Once again, their yahrzeits are upon us, Ivan’s the 15th of Kislev and Mom’s the 16th.
Eight years. It’s just a number but it represents years of loss.
I was recently talking with the owner of the medical center where my husband was the physician. He said, “Ah, there was no doctor like Dr. Mauer. He didn’t just take care of patients when they came to the office, he looked after them when they went home. He would tell me to get them on the phone, he wanted to know if they were taking the medicine, how they felt, if they needed anything. You don’t find doctors like that anymore. Even then he was a rarity.”
And just a few weeks ago, a doctor that I do not know did me a tremendous favor just because he found out that Ivan was my husband. It was thanks to the high regard in which people held him, that this doctor extended a big favor to me.
For eight years every day I look at your picture, Ivan – whether at home or on my desk at work – and sometimes I just dream that you are also at work and we will soon meet again at home. Of course, reality knows this is just a dream, but it makes me smile.
Your religious soul speaks to me when I’m confused. People might not have realized how religious you were, because it wasn’t the outer trappings that defined you. Always I thank Hashem for the gift of you and I thank you for having given me so much.
May your memory forever be blessed and may your neshama continue to have aliyot from all the mitzvot that your children and grandchildren do.
Mom, I also look at your picture every day in my room and at work, and I thank Hashem for giving me the blessing of having had you for a mother. You were so different from all the other mothers and I always felt so close to you. We shared our love of singing and we harmonized so often. We also shared the written word. Your articles were exceptional and when you liked an article of mine, I glowed in your praise.
You were deeply religious and very spiritual, but mostly without the trappings. You quoted Shakespeare as if you had memorized all of his writings, but you were equally at home quoting Torah. In fact when you wanted to make a point or admonish me or Hindy, you used a Torah quote, and that worked for both of us more than anything else would have.
Recently when I was in Israel I was visiting Nadia Matar, of The Women in Green organization. The occasion was the engagement of Nadia’s son, Amichai, to my granddaughter Elisheva, Dovid and Julie’s daughter. I was making a little speech in honor of the occasion, and I mentioned that many years ago Amichai’s grandmother, Ruth Matar, the founder of Women in Green, came to New York and my mother interviewed her and went to some functions with her. Nadia quickly said in wonder, “Your mother was Irene Klass?” She then spoke so highly of you. The years fall away when a person is known for their good deeds. Both you and Ivan left tremendous legacies.
Hashem blessed you with long years and you used them so wisely, always looking to see who you could help. And there, in the joining of our families with this engagement, you came alive through your good deeds.
And so our generations continue, as we try to follow the examples set for us by our parents.
We think of you always and try to make you proud. May your memory be forever blessed and may your neshama continue to have aliyot from all the mitzvot that we try to do.