I dedicate this to my Mom :
I want to thank my mom for giving me life. Her love was unconditional and I will always know that she was my biggest fan and supported my hopes and dreams .
She nursed me and my siblings through our various childhood ailments .She carpooled countless trips to school,sporting events,and endless other activities of my youth .
When I wanted to learn tennis she got me a lesson with our pro .When I (as a six year old) did not like some of the instructions given by the pro she became my personal coach . I was not always the easiest guy to be around .But my mom put up with my adolescent mood swings. When she once gave me a haircut (a buzzcut) at twelve years old. I swore ,"that she would never ever cut my (insert four letter expletive).... hair again!!!" . She didn't . Thanks for respecting my wishes Mom .
I loved to see my mom perform on the stage .She took her craft seriously and was on her way to big things as an actor , writer and director . I loved to see my parents dance .They were always the best dancers at parties and I was always proud to see people in awe of their moves.
When I went on the satellite tennis circuit my mom once showed up at a tournament and was my warmup partner before my match . After I lost she drilled me on the court to improve for my next event.After I won a match the next week with her watching I knew her helping me had paid off .
In 1988 she became paralyzed below the waist.Gone were her days of dancing with dad ,playing two sets of tennis with our family,climbing mountains with my brother in some far flung place,trekking off to Italy with my sister.Simple everyday activities became chores and she handled them with grace .When my wife and I got married it was too difficult for her to make the trip to our wedding.I was very sad that paralysis had taken away my mom's independence. My wife Sandra never saw my mom when she was able to walk, play tennis or dance . Eventually mom gained some strength back.
She even learned how to drive a van with the aid of hand controls.
Being in a chair did not stop her from being creative .She produced a documentary with my Aunt Lois on how to deal with being paralyzed .They won an international award for the video . When she proudly accepted the award in Los Angeles I was there by her side and was never more proud of her . When my daughter was born she made a few trips up to New York to see her cute Olivia.
On every family trip to Cincinnati our first stop was always to see my mom . Getting unpacked could wait .Seeing friends could wait .Getting Skyline chili could wait . As time went by and Mom got more frail it became apparent that each visit could be our last one to see our beloved Sha Sha (as her grandchildren called her) .
In 2003 my siblings and I took our families to beautiful Sanibel Island for spring break .During that trip it became clear to us that mom was struggling badly.My brother Doctor Dave flew back to Cincinnati to check Mom into the hospital.
I never believed my Mom would die .To me she was always bigger than life.
My mom had slipped into a coma on a Sunday night at her home.
The news that she had died two days later came from my sister Jeanne , a nurse practitioner who was with her at the end.
Over four hundred people came to her memorial service at Hebrew Union College.
Standing room only.Mom would have loved it.
Mom I miss your love,support,warmth,humor,smiles,phone calls ,letters,visits.I even miss your sadness .I would rather have your tears and sadness than not have you at all.
After five and a half years I still miss you Mom,Marcia,Sha Sha and think of you often.I put the colorful urn on the mantel at our ski house in the Pocono Mountains so you are with us always on our weekend retreats.