role model, my mom

Thanks, Mom!

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Unfortunately, my mom, Evelyn Marianne Liberman Wolff, passed away on June 11th, 2014.  And, I have missed her ever since.

There could not have been a better wife for dad, or mother in our lives: mine and my brother’s. She had so many fine qualities about her. We knew, in a short period of time, she would be gone due to pancreatic cancer. How extremely difficult it was to say good-bye.

I would love to share with you why Mom was a fabulous role model to me all of my life. I feel blessed to have her until my 61st birthday.  Yet, it was not enough.

Mom was always kind, caring and compassionate. I know that was a fine inheritance from her mom, my Bubbie, who I knew until my early 20’s, when she passed away.

Who knows what else makes someone kind, caring, and compassionate? I am sure it is many factors as one goes through life. Surely, it has something to do with her upbringing, family, and genetic make-up.

Mom grew up during the depression era, so she learned quickly about finances and being money savvy.  She was a “stay-at-home mom” until my brother and I turned 16 and 14, respectively, since we were both in high school. Most afternoons, with her instructions, I would start dinner. I loved cooking with Mom for the Jewish Holidays. This is when I learned how to cook, as well as my love for cooking.  I enjoy her delicious recipes, while the scrumptious smells still live on in my mind. To this day, because of her, I love to cook! Thanks, Mom.

She and I had many similarities, too. We both loved the beach, so after dad passed away in 2000, we had many beach trips together, waiting until after Labor Day.  Hotel fees were cut in half or more after the holiday, giving us spending money for shopping and dinners. Also, we did not have to schlep chairs and an umbrella. It was her treat. Thanks, Mom.

Since my parents could not afford to send me away to college, I attended and graduated from the local community college. Once I got a full-time job and was on my own, I still lived home. Never the saver that I should have been, Mom charged me minimal rent and gave it back to me as a wedding present, a few years later! Thanks again, Mom.

As a married woman, I went back to college at night for five years to get my Bachelor’s Degree. Who reviewed my papers? Mom! Who helped me with various assignments? Mom! Whose shoulder could I cry on while working full-time, attending night college, having a baby in between all of this, and feeling overwhelmed? Mom. And, who paid for my college education (again)? Mom! That was such a nice thing for her to do. I am not sure which one of us was more proud of me. When I graduated in May, 1983, I sent Mom flowers to thank her for everything. She called and yelled at me for doing that, saying I should have kept my money for me! We laughed about it until her dying day.

There was always a certain empathy mom had when a friend or family member passed away. She would do whatever she could to help the family get through this rough time. So, when I was older, I remember taking charge, unfortunately, at too many Shiva houses. She taught me that I needed to be there for the grieving family, as it was the most difficult time in one’s life.  Thanks Mom!

On the lighter side, I do not know where I would be today if it weren’t for my mom. Such a kind, caring, smart woman, even without a college education! 

So, I say thanks Mom for always being there for me, showing me right from wrong, providing my college education, and our many beach trips together. I carry you with me, and cherish you in my heart.  You were the best! I loved you then.  I love you now.

Read more by Marlene Wolff Solomon.

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  1. Love this story about your mom. Your love for her, and vice versa, comes through loud and clear. Also, love the photo of 3 generations.

  2. Dear Marlene…although I did not know your mom very well, your tribute to her helped me know her much better. Because I do know you well, I can see how much you are like your mom, because of this wonderful and revealing article. I can feel the love and respect while I read this, over and over again. I am so happy she was the way she was, and you are the way you are. You learned from the best! Love, Rhoda

  3. My bubbie, your mom was the absolute best and I am so thankful we called her ours!! She was so with the times and I love sharing my memories about her w my kids!! Love this poem so much!!

  4. I so free enjoyed reading this because I could feel the love throughout., as well as your warmth and caring and that of your moms. Beautiful writing especially how are you thank her for each memory you shared.