Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sweet Story written by Phyllis Zelcer

My mother's evening bag....... by Phyllis Zelcer

I cleared some stuff out of a bottom drawer to make room for some scarves. There, under a pile of stuff, was mommy's white beaded evening bag!

I opened it. Her aroma hit me in the face. Inside were kleenex...and astonished, I could clearly see a few bright red, clear impressions of her mouth!

At 79, I seldom cry. But tears and memories flowed freely.

Her sweet smell evoked sweet memories of her proudly toting that little bag down the aisle, hand on my father's arm, at some of her children's weddings, her face all lit up with her super-bright smile. That little bag had been happily placed on lots of linen tablecloths at the celebrations of her many friends. She had suffered through pogroms in Russia. She had suffered through the Great Depression with five children, working alongside of my father in their valiant attempts to scratch out a living in one small, failing store after another until finally settling into a ladies' wear business. But nothing had dampened her immense capacity to enjoy being alive.

Who Should I send the bag to? Three of my children named their first-born after their beloved bubby: Esther RAZEL, Sarah ROSE, and SHOSHANA.

Why did my kids love their Fun Bubby So much? She was permisiveness incarnate. Staying overnight at her place, they had chocolate donuts for breakfast.

When my Miriam was born I had 4 children under 6 years of age. My mother announce that I needed a break one day a week.

Every Monday, she hopped on 2 streetcars, and opened the front door with, "Give a cheer, Bubby's here!"

By the time i got home, my house was cleaned, dinner was on the stove, and the kids were full of stories about their day with Bubby and our dog 'Fritsky' at the park.9 Oh, and she also phoned her friends to join her that night for cards at ther apartment.)

I remember thanking her and asking how I could pay her back. she said, "You'll do it for your kids."

And that is how the tradition of Bubby's Day was born in our family. I gave a Bubby's Day to my daughter-in-law Jenny, and later, to my daughter Lori. When my husband Joel retired, he joined me for many memorable years of Bubby-Zaydie Days. As they grew older, we picked the kids up after school, took them swimming, out to eat, and back to our place for an overnight. ' Zayd' helped with their homework while 'Bub' organized the snacks for our movie. Next morning Zayd got them up ,and supervised while they did their morning ablutions. After they ate cereal (nope, no donuts), he drove them to school. (I hate to admit it, but I slept in).

In Israel, Bubby's Day lives on as a testimonial to my mother's abundant, overflowing good-hearted energy. Jenny gives a once-a-week Bubby's Day to her daughter-in-law. Facebook pictures of Bubby Jenny, laughing her way down a slide with three delighted grandchildren were posted this week by our son, Zaydie Randy.

I sent the purse to Easther Raizel, my Miriam's eldest, with a note, explaining the significanxce of the kleenex. I told her the ways she resembles her great-grandmother: hardworking (both at her job and at home), generously good-hearted, and overflowing with joie de vivre, no matter what difficulties life sends her way.

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