These are things I don’t want to forget:
- I always tried to sit by Bubby at meals and holidays. I liked helping her open the Sweet-n-Low packets for her tea when her arthritis kept her from doing it herself.
- Bubby loved to take me shopping when I was a girl. She would circle the parking lot, looking for a close place to park. I remember being 12 or so and wishing I could just sneak in a little driving, drop her off, and park in the back.
- Also on shopping: she was disappointed that I stopped wearing sparkly clothes. I am 32 now, but when I bought a sparkly shirt (for a show) recently, I thought of her.
- Bubby came to nearly every performance of every production I was in in Pensacola. She and mom came to opening night of my first show in college, Carousel. I knew they were there because I couldn’t reach either by phone that day, which was very out of character.
- Bubby loved giving gifts. One day, I went to Penko (the family business), to meet her (and probably my dad) for lunch. I was a teenager. She was wearing a pretty necklace that I had never seen. I told her I liked it, and she smiled and said, “It’s for you.” I’m sure I told her I didn’t mean to take her necklace, but she had worn it so I would see it, and she could give it to me.
- My favorite thing she ever gave me, tangibly, is a necklace with about 6 inches of tiny pearls. It is small and beautiful and it was hers. She gave it to me at my Bat Mitzvah (and I wore it then) and I wore it at my wedding. Othertimes too, but those I remember.
- At my Bat Mitzvah, at the end of my speech, I referenced members of my family who had died, honoring their memory. I happened to look at Bubby as I mentioned Yay, what we called my grandfather, her husband. She had tears in her eyes. I began to cry and couldn’t stop for a few minutes.
- When we were little, we used to spend the night at Bubby’s (and Yay’s) house. We would wash her dog, Little Man, a toy poodle, in the sink. We went to the Taco House or Sonny’s BBQ. We slept in her bed next to her. In the morning, she’d make cinnamon toast for us. Or we’d go to the Village Inn.
- Bubby used to knit a lot. A lot. She made me a sweater with three rabbit fronts on the front and three rabbit backs on the back. Cotton tails and all. And she made me a cardigan with acorn buttons. Now I have several sweaters, bags, wall hangings, and a coat that she knit or needlepointed. I can’t knit without thinking of her.
- When I was a girl, I thought Bubby was so tall, so regal. I kept growing, and she started to shrink, and we met in the middle.
- When Abraham was tiny, Bubby and Mom came to visit me. Abraham fell asleep in her arms right away. She’d wake up early in the morning and Abraham and I would go into Zoe’s room, where she was staying to talk with her (and let her hold him).
- Bubby always made her bed.
- Bubby never, until the very end, let anyone know she was in pain, though she almost always was.
- Bubby loved deeply and fiercely. She always ended a letter or conversation with “I love you…the most” and what could you really say to that.
Bubby, I love you the most. And I miss you the most.