I lost the most precious person in my life on Wednesday night. She was not only my mother but my best friend. A little less than two years ago my father passed away; we all gathered here in the same manner to remember a very gentle good man. Today is no different. Once my father passed, life was just too dificult for my mother to manage. Maybe it was the 57 years of marriage and the closeness you have when you work together in business, but she became ill 3 months later. As you all know, Mami was ill for 17 months. We had a few good periods, but it was filled with many ups and downs. Mami was always a very independent person. She loved the work she did in the bakery, but most of all she loved doing it with Daddy. Even though they would have their arguments, she just missed him too much.
My mother's journey began very similarly to my father's. She had to leave Nazi Germany with very elderly parents. She found herself in a beautiful land which she loved. This was Bolivia, South America. This country saved her and her family from religious persecution. Many people probably don't realize that my mother only had a 4th grade education. She basically lost her childhood like many other Holocaust survivors. She also lost her parents at a very young age. My mother met my father in Bolivia. He owned a bakery and she became a saleslady for him. She was a cute red- headed, green- eyed spit fire. She was the true red- head (temper and all). My mother and father married in Bolivia and had my sister, Ruth. Even though they loved Bolivia, they knew that to raise a family they needed to move. They lived there for 13 years. They briefly went back to Germany and then came to the United States. Max and I arrived a few years later. My mother and father eventually went into business for themselves. And as you all know, made Goldman's bakery what it is today.
The loss of my parents in the bakery is very difficult. My father's work bench is almost always empty. No one wants to work there. My mothers desk is the way she left it. I always hoped she would bounce back and help me keep my sales girls in line (and they know what I mean by that). At work my mother was always very strict, she always expected the best from everyone. If she saw you working with only one hand she would question why you were given two. She would come across pretty tough, but those that really came to know her realized she was a good soul. She was tough as nails, but she would be the one I would choose to be in my corner.
Mami was my best friend. When I was a child, I was always afraid that something would happen to her. I was always afraid of her dying. She told me she had the same problem when she was young, but she assured me that as I would grow older that would pass. She was wrong about that.
There are just so many things I will miss. Just the other day I finished a project in my home and so wanted her to see it and tell me what she thought. It always made me feel good when she approved of my choices. I will miss working with her. I will miss her phone calls (and we made a lot of them). I will miss our private conversations; we could talk about anything and everything, and we did. I will miss the nick names that she called us. No one will ever call me by that name again. Most of all I will miss her. I would like to thank all the special friends that helped my mother during her illness. Those that visited and those that took care of her. I met many new special people (some that I will cherish in my memories forver and they know who they are). I am proud of how we took care of Mami. She spent many months in the hospital, but her final period was at home. She passed away with her children with her, and she will be in our hearts forever. We did our best and she knew it. It was very hard to watch her spiral downward and not understand what was causing it. To this day I still am confused but she was old and her time with us had come to an end. Now she can be with Daddy on her birthday which is Monday. What better present could anyone ask for.
There are so many special memories that we shared and they will remain in my heart until the day I cross that rainbow and see her and Daddy again.