My mother passed away on February 6, 2016. On February 19th, we held a memorial service. My sister-in-law, Doris Cahill, was one of three to give a eulogy. Here are her words in honor of my mother.
Thank you Andrew my husband of 30 years for having me speak on your behalf. A very satisfied person, never raised her voice, never complained, nor criticized me for how I raised her grandchildren. Always welcoming. I often wish she was more noisy and disruptive like other members of my family. It was not her way. She was not bitter for things she did not have, nor did she compare herself to others. It was not her way to disparage others character. Its hard to recall a time she wanted anything material. Edith married in 1952 and very much wanted to have children. She experience no less than 3 or as many as 6 miscarriages, when after a medical procedure had Andrew in 1959. Edith gave me my husband and my two beautiful daughters; Sharon and Natalie, thank you… There is some debate on how many miscarriages with my Sister in Law Cindy, so I will agree to 3. Andrew’s memories are often about their first house on Bay Road, we brought a nice black and white picture for all to see. More often than not Andy insists we make the drive by his first house in Stoughton MA as if it were the first time and then get our ice cream and Crescent Ridge Dairy, just down the street. We still do that drive by and suspect we always will. Statuesque and beautiful, Edith kept herself meticulously.. Even in her final days barely a wrinkle or gray hair. It was only in the last years due to her battle with cancer she no longer came out to visit. She enjoyed a party, bright outfits and never missed her weekly hair appointment. At our wedding she wore a black beaded dress edged in gold beaded trim weighing 10 pounds. I did question who wears black to a wedding?….Edith smile emoticon. A lover of cats, my girls and I were often given cat motif gifts. Cat sweaters, cat music boxes, cat clocks, cat pins,,,,everything cat. Not a single visit to her home or our home was empty handed, she always came with our favorite dishes; Noodle Kugel and Sweet and Sour Meatballs. Edith celebrated the holidays and our children’s major life events. My youngest Natalie would try to get the recipe for sweet and sour meatballs and Edith would only say “a jar of jelly, a jar of chili sauce and its as much as it needs” Edith was most proud of her poetry. It was a great personal achievement when a few of her poems were published. She called our house with great pleasure, that her work was in print, she was so very excited. Never wanting of material things and soft spoken, I want to be like Edith, yes I want to be Edith. Allow me a moment and read the two poems written by Edith. (placing the cat music box on the podium)
“Pet Eulogy to Kitty,” by Edith Zelman
We once had a cat named Kitty
She was black and white, very pretty
Kitty was our reigning queen for over seventeen years
When her time came to leave us, we cried “crocodile tears”
She was smart as a whip
Wouldn’t take any lip
Although known notoriously to stage a sudden attack
We’d do anything in the world to have her back
Some may have found her offensive
She was merely being extremely defensive
Kitty may have caused a bit of havoc and harm
But in her own way she possessed elegant grace and magical charm
The Fears Gone By
by Edith Zelman
At twenty I was immature
By thirty I didn’t know much more
Forty was quite a shock!
It left me with a mental block
Fifty came and I felt blue
Now I was a real old shoe
Then came sixty and I was frightened
Would I ever be enlightened?
At seventy I’m still alive
I worry as to how much longer will I survive
With all my complaints and fear
I am thankful to the world that I am still here.