Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan 6, 2012/ 11 Teves, 5772

Goodbye, Momma

By Linda Chavez



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | My mother died this week.

Death is never easy to accept, much less embrace, but it taught me that the end of life need not be frightening. She lived 90 years — the last three of them in my home — healthy, independent and happy, despite a life that others might have regarded as difficult, if not tragic.

She was born Velma Lou McKenna in Sheridan, Wyo., in 1921. Her mother's family were pioneers who came west by covered wagon. Her father was the son of Irish immigrants and left his wife and four small children to find gold in Alaska — and never returned.

My mother, then barely 2 years old, went to live with an aunt and uncle, while her sister and two brothers were sent to Sioux City, Iowa, to be raised by three maiden aunts.

Over the course of her life, she lost all of her siblings — one in childhood — and three of her four children, one at age 6, another at 15 and one in middle age. Yet she remained an optimistic, cheerful woman capable of charming everyone with her stories of growing up in Wyoming.

In an era when many women spent their lives as homemakers, she always held a job outside the home. Her earnings kept us out of poverty and made possible my education. Sometimes it meant working in bars and restaurants where the conditions were less than ideal. But she met a fascinating array of people in the course of her many jobs.

She spent time with movie stars Elizabeth Taylor and Linda Darnell (whom I am named after) when they traveled to Albuquerque, N.M., and got gangster Mickey Cohen out of a jam once (a favor for which he repaid her with two dozen long-stemmed yellow roses and a hand-written note). When she was night hostess at Stapleton International Airport's restaurant in Denver, she met a young Senator, John F. Kennedy, who impressed her with his good looks and intelligence.

By the time I was in high school, my mother had become an assistant buyer in the finest clothing store in Denver, Neusteter's. Her job meant that even though we didn't have much money, I always had beautiful clothes. If a designer outfit didn't sell or a model stained it during a photo shoot, my mom would get it for me at a bargain. One year, I ended up with a striking red coat worn in the Rose Bowl Parade by former Miss America, Colorado native Marilyn Van Derbur.

My father was killed in a car accident when my mother was just 57, and despite still being quite a beauty, with her natural blond hair and cornflower blue eyes, she never considered remarrying. Instead, she spent her remaining years a devoted mother and grandmother. My three boys fondly remember her visits when they were growing up; she would take them to the movies, teach them how to ride the bus, drive them around Washington — and usually get lost.

But their closest time was over the last three years, when she lived in my home. Having grown frail and mostly blind, my mother couldn't quite manage on her own anymore, so she moved into an apartment in my house. She still insisted on preparing her own meals and shopping for her favorites: ice cream, brownies and frozen enchiladas. She got to know all nine of her great-grandchildren (the youngest born just before we moved back to Colorado this past summer), and each of her grandsons came to see her in Boulder before she died.

She spent her last days in a nursing home after breaking her hip in October. But her spirit never changed. I visited her every day and she always had a smile for me — and a list of treats she wanted me to bring her: more brownies, Christmas cookies, a hamburger and fries. But nothing ever tasted quite as good as she remembered, and she began to whither away.

I spent the last 16 hours of her life at her bedside, stroking her forehead and holding her hand. Her beautiful eyes were wide open, but she couldn't talk. But I knew she could hear everything around her. When visitors commented on how beautiful she still was with her bright eyes and flawless, unlined skin, she'd lift her eyebrows as if to say, "Really?"

Finally, I told her that her husband and children were waiting for her, and that my little sister Wendy had been waiting so long to see her mommy again. She exhaled one last time, and she was gone. It was serene and affirming — and filled me with a sense that death is not so scary after all but the culmination of a life well-lived.

Goodbye, Momma.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


JWR contributor Linda Chavez is President of the Center for Equal Opportunity. Her latest book is "Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

Linda Chavez Archives


© 2006, Creators Syndicate

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles