I wrote this eulogy for my mother’s funeral 10 years ago; my thoughts and feelings are exactly the same today as they were then. If anything, the love I feel for her now is even stronger, steeped as it is in the warmth of ten years’ worth of remembering. Mom, this is for you.
Most of us here today are very lucky people. Lucky, because we had the privilege of knowing Ida Rosenburg, my mother.
Mom was an extremely humble person; she wouldn’t have wanted a ‘fuss’ to be made over her. She wouldn’t have wanted us to dwell on the superlatives of her character. And she wouldn’t have wanted us to be sad because she’s gone.
But for those of you who didn’t know her as well as my brother and I did, I just want to give you a little taste of what this special person was like.
My mother’s selflessness was exceptional. She was the very essence of “giving.” She gave freely, from the heart, and expected nothing in return. You had only to admire something of hers – a blouse, a sweater, a ring – and presto, she would give it to you. No problem; you like it? It’s yours! If there were five people, and only 4 pieces of pie, she would insist on doing without. Or she’d take the smallest piece of meat. She was selfless not only with material things, but with her time. I would call her on the phone: “Ma, do you have a sec?” “Sure!” she’d say. “I got lots of secs!” She was a great listener, always there for you. And her record as a volunteer in many organizations over the years speaks for itself. I don’t think she knew the meaning of the word “no.”
I’ll miss ma’s wisdom an awful lot. She had incredible common sense. Countless times I would ask her advice, and it would be freely given. But if it turned out that you didn’t take her advice, no matter. Never did she say, “You should have listened to me,” or worse, “I told you so!” But I usually did take her advice, and it would prove to be the right thing to do. This woman, who couldn’t finish high school because she had to go out and earn money to help feed a family of ten, this woman was, when necessary, as wise as Solomon.
Yet she never gave advice unless it was asked for. A meddler, she was not.
People as cheerful and optimistic as Ida are rare. When everything looked black, she would always tell me, “Things’ll work out, you’ll see.” It was hard not to believe her.
You won’t often find someone as easygoing, loving and lovable as my mom.
Although her working years were difficult and often exhausting, she never complained, never raised her voice. I only discovered much, much later how hard that time was for her. What an amazing woman. I wish I had realized it back then, when I was still a youngster. May this be a reminder to appreciate our loved ones while they’re still here with us.
Mom was the sunshine of my life. I’ll miss her support, and of course her boundless love. I’ll miss her hearty laugh. I’ll miss the best friend I ever had. I will treasure her memory forever.