Israel Stories

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Grandma Lily

Everybody who is lucky enough to have a close relationship with their grandmother thinks they’re the best, and rightly so. The one difference between everybody else’s grandmother and mine is that Grandma Lilly was the best. Not that there is any competition, its just a fact. But now she has gone, sitting with Papa Jack, looking down on us and smiling with pride at her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. We were all lucky enough to meet her even if some of our kids wont remember the experience, they certainly will always carry a little of her in their hearts.

Our kids will have the photos and they’ll hear the stories and they’ll look at their grandparents and understand that grandparents are not just tools in the fight against their parents especially at bedtime, not just for presents and not just for a safety net when their parents need a night off but an endless source of overflowing love and devotion. Shakespeare quoted the eternal sunshine of the spotless mind, and more than ever this applies to grandparents, who only see the unadulterated, untampered good in their grandchildren, often overlooked by the parents.

Grandma Lilly, as your first borne grandson and naturally your favorite, as you so often told me in a whisper (although I knew that the four of us were all your favorites and of course your 8 great grandchildren) I thought I knew you the best, but the truth is we all saw in you different sides in different circumstance.
When I remember you I can see us in Viceroy, drinking heavily seasoned soup and splashing spaghetti bolognese on a huge dark wood table. I see the little room with my nameplate on it; yes Jonny, Oliver and Andre, I truly had my label on that room. In fact I remember every inch of that flat, as I remember the gardens. That flat was also home, safe, cozy, familiar. I see myself sitting in the back of your mini, Grandma, speeding to the Bullring, I feel myself being dragged around, being introduced to everybody. I remember the milkman, the postman, the groundsman (Mr Gardener?).

And then in Southgate when you came to stay, the pride and love you showered on us after we had davened on Rosh Hashanna, or just in front of visitors. And our conversations. It didn’t matter what we spoke about, could be girlfriends, school, work or even about the most mundane things, I knew you were asking because you cared, not to make idle chatter.

I knew you cared because you loved us, as you loved our parents.

The Rabbis tell us that the sun sets slowly so the people arent plunged into darkness and confusion. We were all lucky that your sun set slowly and allowed us to enjoy you and know you for so long.
Grandman Lilly, I don’t want you to be just a memory, memories fade no matter how much you hang on to them, I want you to be a a part of us, so we can still hear you, see you and speak to you the way you were in your prime. Now you will be one of those dear departed looking down on our smachot with pride and love, together with Papa, who until last week was happily resting in peace!

You always used to stay “I’m only hanging on for your wedding” In fact you lived from Simcha to simcha as you saw your children and then grandchildren and then your great grandchildren, born, married, and spread out in different direction following their own paths. Where ever we were you were with us and are with us. You lived for us, but then you said, “I’ve done my job, let me sit back and watch them and enjoy them.”
We all loved you and will continue to love you, we all miss you and that will never go away. We know you will continue to schepp nachas from your family.

Grandma Lilly, you’ll always ‘be hanging on’ in our hearts.


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