Tuesday, June 23, 2015

My Mother, Two Years After...

Shirley Shankman Spiegelman, 1925-2013

Tonight, the 7th of Tammuz, is the 2nd Yartzeit (anniversary of death) of my mother, Shirley Shankman Spiegelman, שפרה בת אברהם וחיה רייזיה Shifra bat (daughter of) Avraham and Chaya Raizia.  She was born on May 14, 1925 and passed away 88 years and a month later. In some families, that may not seem like a very long life, but she lived longer than any of her siblings (all 8 of them including a younger sister) and over two decades longer than her parents.

My mother was stunning, a great beauty and stayed gorgeous, without any plastic surgery and minimal make-up all her life. She had three children, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren at the time of her death. Since then, another great-granddaughter was born who is named after her. She and my father were married for 65 years.

Besides being a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and and devoted aunt to all her nieces and nephews, my mother loved the theater and performed in many amateur productions in the Fresh Meadows and Great Neck Community Theaters for decades.

My mother could have been called a SAHM stay at home mom, except for the fact that she didn't stay home much. As long as she was home to give us meals, she considered herself "non-working."

Besides her acting hobby, there wasn't an organization she joined that she didn't end up with a major leadership role. She always ended up president, or chairman or secretary, whether a synagogue group, like the Sisterhood, or the PTA, National Conference of Jewish Women or PNAI. As a young child I learned how to fold in order to help her fold notices we put in the mailboxes in Bell Park Gardens, Bayside, NY. When people wanted to get something done, they called my mother and asked her to join the group.

She lived almost her entire life in New York, but when she reached the stage that she couldn't run the house any more, she and my father moved to Arizona near my sister. It was only when she thought of my children and grandchildren when she said it had been a mistake and they should have moved to Israel.

As you can imagine, she was a tough act to follow. May her memory be a blessing for all!


Mrs. S. said...

May her memory be blessed.

Natalie Katz said...

Ah, you captured her so well. That's how I remember great aunt Shirley!

Batya Medad said...

Amen, Mrs. S.

Natalie, thanks