Thursday, February 16, 2012

Not Just One Mother - Remembering Debbi

In my life, I have been very fortunate to not just have one but many mothers.  Women that come into my life, who whether they know it or not, have a pivotal impact on me.   One of these women is my mother-in-law, Debbi.  While I was only blessed to spend five too short years with her, the impression she made on me will last a lifetime, if not more as I know the lessons she imparted onto me and my husband will be passed down to our children.  

Debbi and I at my shower she helped plan 

Today is Debbi's birthday and while she is no longer with us, I wanted to pause and take a moment to remember her.  It seems that not a day goes by when I do not think of Debbi or am reminded of something she did or said, but on her birthday, I thought I would share a little bit more with you.

When I first met Aaron, I had no idea that I would be gaining a very large family as well.  It is not at all intimidating It is just damn scary to meet his three other siblings as they act in their "wolf pack mentality" (as Debbi would say).  But Debbi took me under her wing at once.  And when I say this, I do not mean she coddled me.  Instead, she treated me as her daughter - we had long talks on the phone, AIM (yes AIM), and at her house on the Cape.  She imparted words of wisdom and taught me how to make challah and rugleach (all the necessities to being a Jewish wife and mother, of course).  And when I was wrong, she told me. I did not get any special treatment.  When I acted like a child, she treated me like one giving me a full reprimand of shouting and all, which today just makes me laugh and smile fondly.

Picking out my wedding dress, all smiles

That was just who Debbi was.  She was a mother to her four children but to so many more as well.  She was a nursery school teacher teaching to low income children, most of whom came into her classroom not speaking a word of English and while she did not know their language, all of the children spoke English by the time they left her   She cherished her family above all else.  They were her pride and joy and I am honored that she let me be a part of that group.  

So today I remember the little things.  Debbi...
-  driving me two hours to get my hair and makeup tested for my wedding, just because;
-  being able to pick out the head piece for my wedding among hundreds when I was overwhelmed;
-  yelling at Aaron to put me on the phone before we had ever even met so she could tell me how to dress for an impromptu dinner; 
-  hurdling us all into the car to go to brunch at the Cape because if we waited just one more second for me to change out of my workout clothes, we would be caught in the line;
- telling me never to name my child just Debbi because she did not like that name, "No Debbis" she said and reminding me that when I am pregnant to promise to just step on the scale backwards (she knew I was a bit crazy).

Passover Seder.  Sure it is a really important holiday but that does not mean we can't dress up and have fun

 Aaron and I reenacting the plaques

These are not the most monumental occasions;  I could talk about those - graduations, birthdays, or weddings.  But that is not what Debbi was about.  It was the little things - sharing a book, teaching me how to knit, going shopping, etc.  that I remember most and that come into my head time and time again...

This morning Aaron sat for over a good two hours playing video games.  I asked if he would still be there when I got home to which he responded "No I will have beaten the game by then."  Aaron I said, what would your mother say.  He responded she would say "Oooo Aaron" in the certain sing-song voice that only those who knew her can now hear.  I told him, I was thinking the exact same thing....

 I hope you have all been as blessed as I to have a Debbi in your life.  I challenge you to take a moment and remember him or her now.

If you are reading this and knew Debbi, she some stories with me.  If not, share some other stories of people you love.  You can also go visit Debbi anytime and remember.  She blogged about her journey here and I am thankful I have that to cherish always and to show my future children.

One of my favorite memories is Debbi and my aunts and sisters-in-laws throwing me this shower...

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