I realize this is off-topic, but I need to post it.
I had to go up to Connecticut on January the 12th quite unexpectedly
because my great-grandmother Ethel, someone I was very close to, died
that morning, at 93 years old. She was an incredible woman. I was
asked to be one of the pallbearers.
Her ultimate goal in life, and one she fulfilled every day, was to
make people laugh. She truly enjoyed life, and everything about life.
She never despaired or cried, and when her time came, she knew, and
left this world smiling.
My Bubby (Yiddish for Grandmother), my Dad's Aunt Bev, and my dad's
Aunt Charlotte (Grandma Ethel's daughters) were with Grandma Ethel
when she died. I remember Bubby telling me that the last thing
Grandma Ethel did was hold their hands and say:
"It's okay. My husband's here now. It's okay. I'm only going to
cook with him. I love to cook. I love to be with him. And I am."
Those were my great-grandma's last words. I may not have heard them,
but I know that's what she said. I believe my Bubby. Those words are
I remember how she used to be. She loved to call herself "an old
crow." It was always funny, and always made my brother and me laugh.
She also loved to cook, and was incredible at it. Long before I was
born, before my father even met my mother, Grandma Ethel and her
husband owned a bakery. I'm sorry I was never alive to enjoy the
bakery, because dad and his family would rave on and on about it in my
lifetime. And Grandma Ethel would always tell me stories about the
food, making my mouth water! Italian food, Kosher food, pastries for
all the Jewish and, yes, Christian holidays, and so much more... the
Zwerdling Bakery was a true phenomenon in Connecticut, and very
popular. They even had a chain!
She only cooked, in my memory, a few times, thought, before she was
too old. What she did cook, however, as simple as it may have been,
I remember one thing that always stuck in my head. She once told me a
secret. Her favorite band was Led Zeppelin. At the time, I wasn't as
big a fan as I am today, but I was a fan, nonetheless, and I knew all
about them. And it shocked me, because whenever I saw her, if she was
playing music, it was classical or Klezmer!
She was an example, and still is an example, to all who live. You
should never fight. You should never despair. And you should never
be miserable. Always laugh. Always joke. Always be happy. This is
what my Grandma Ethel taught, and what she wanted everyone to see.
She always laughed. She always joked. She was always happy. Please
remember this. No matter how much you want to cry, or to fight, or
to curse, or to disappear, remember that laughter is better than
fighting, crying, and being sad. Laughter is what will get you
through. This is what Grandma Ethel taught everyone she touched. She
did not fight growing old. Maybe it had to do with her having
Alzheimer's. But she didn't the whole time. She only had it at the
end. When she knew she was growing older, she accepted it. She
laughed about it. She joked about it. And she didn't fight when it
was her time. She was ready. She was, and still is, a shining star.
A light in the darkness. I know she is happy with her husband, now,
opening the bakery, and treating those who come to incredible food. I
love you, Grandma Ethel, and I'll never, ever forget you.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I appreciate everyone
here letting me get this out.
See Me at my YouTube Channel:
Received on 2007-01-17