To Sadie on Her Eightieth Birthday

Sadie80February the 14th twenty sixteen would have marked your eightieth birthday, who knows how we would have celebrated or what plans we would be making today. Perhaps Ada and her family would have arrived this week and we all would have celebrated with a huge Friday night supper with Billy giving one of his short speeches. Yes I know, Billy doesn’t do short speeches but what the heck. My guess is we would be planning a huge braai at Ian and Claire tomorrow, or probably two braais with one just for Kosher meat, as they open up their wonderful home to everyone. I am pretty sure I would have spent the last few weeks making one of my very strange videos to you.

The crowd would have been so big, so many of your friends, so many people whose lives you touched and changed. All there to celebrate your day with you. Selma, Shirley, Diana, Francina and her family (Michael and David) school teachers from years gone by, customers still talking about your wool shop and your patterns, old school friends and of course countless new friends you would have made in the thirty two years since you passed away. Mavis would have been there, certainly Amanda and maybe even Brian, cousins, nephews, nieces, Myrna and the boys with their children too.
Daddy Blogger Daddyblogger Blog Mom Mommy MommybloggerYou would have been surrounded by all your grandchildren, from wonderful young men to laughing little girls; it’s the one picture I would love to have. So funny to think that two of the girls would have had different names, both named in your memory. They are all such wonderful children, Yoni and Dani studying Torah, Sheina and Rochi such beautiful girls with huge smiles and hearts to match, Hannah and Rachel so talented so pretty just amazing young ladies and of course Sasha, well Sasha is hard to describe but not easy to miss, I see so much of your beautiful warm spirit in her when I watch her interact with other people.
There would of course be a few empty chairs, people that have passed away and are missed by all of us. Uncle Joe, Big Mike, Ronnie, Eveline and so many others. We would have proposed a toast, shed a tear or two and laughed about so many of the wonderful times we all shared.
Ian, Ada and I would be beaming; walking around chatting to people we haven’t seen in ages and probably should try and see more often. Isn’t it sad that we bump into each other at the cemetery and the occasional Simcha and promise we will all get together but somehow, never do? It’s not because we don’t want to or that our words are insincere, it’s just that life seems to fly past so quickly.
I know you would be proud mom, for all the reasons that mattered to you. You instilled in each of us a sense of kindness and charity and a love of life and the people around us, a respect for people and a love for family. We have all had our ups and downs, our own personal challenges and the occasional setback (who hasn’t?) but I think you would be more than pleased with your handiwork.
I have a confession to make, I look on Facebook and I see those beautiful pictures and those words “mom, not a moment or a day goes by when I don’t think of you or you are in my thoughts” and I know that many days go by, maybe even weeks when I don’t think of you and you are not in my every thought. Does this make me a bad person? A lousy son? I don’t think so. I am just human as I know you would like me to be.
There are other times, today for example, where you are in my head and my heart constantly. Birthdays, Jewish holidays, things I see that remind me of you, a name, a place even a dish of food. You are always in my heart and soul if not always in my head. I know you mom, you would not want any of us walking around haunted by the past or what might have been, that would never be your way.
So from all of us, happy eightieth birthday Sadie, you are loved, you are certainly missed and today I will make a very special effort to celebrate your life and your kindness in a way that would make you proud. Today Sasha and I will visit you at the cemetery, she is already talking about “meeting” you for the first time and placing a stone for you. I only hope I can hold it together, but hey, I doubt it…
PS mom, happy Valentine’s day too
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