We unveiled our mom’s headstone this week. Rather anti-climactic.
Two sons flanked by three granddaughters, the remaining daughter-in-law and a surviving sibling. That was it. No notice to the Jewish News. No fanfare. Small, simple, sweet…by design.

Huddled in a horseshoe beyond the foot of her grave, braving the autumn chill, we recited prayers, shared memories, and left. Exiting in silence, my
thoughts ran decades deep and I couldn’t help but note the symmetry in her life:

Three husbands: The first stole her dreams and the last stole her wealth.
Entering the world in poverty—exiting on Medicaid… (but along the way, when her game was on, a circle of highs and lows that made her life A life).

And two sons: each with one wife and three children.

And one resiliant heart. Her strong suit.

My mother could never stay mad at me. Ever.  One way or another, ultimately, there’d be laughter or forgiveness, or both.

“Bruce, it’s NOT funny!” she’d admonish. (Alas, the lady doth protest too much).

At 4, back in “the old neighborhood,” I told her I was going outside to play. She turned around to see I’d jumped from the second story window.

At 5 I decided to see where the clothes chute went. Mortified, she summoned the Cleveland Fire Department to rescue her first born—stuck between Hopkins Avenue floors.

“You’re not funny! You scared me!”–each time feigning anger but spewing love.

By the time I was ten she had lengthened the sentence:

“Grow up. It’s not funny ANYMORE!” (Stuart had tipped her off that, having received a failing grade in Science, I had run away from home). Per his instruction she retrieved me at Eastway and Wrenford and deposited me at home to wait for my father.

And it wasn’t funny, she urged, when long into our 20’s Hal and I trampled wet feet into her Thanksgiving home after Boobus Bowl games.

“You’re both married now. Go muddy up your own homes!”

And so we did.

*** *** *** *** *** *** ***
When she had it to give…our Mom did.

Monopoly games on the porch. Hebrew School carpool. Chasing to
Huron Road Hospital for Little League injuries. Riviera Club—begging us
to get out of the pool.

There weren’t many single mothers in the ‘60’s, and for those that were,
there were never any rest periods.

Fact is Elaine Hoffman was proactive in our lives when we needed her most—in our youths. Fact remains that my fondest memories of her are of HER brightest days.

And may she rest in peace.

                         “We had joy, we had fun. We had seasons in the sun.”

                                                                    Terry Jacks

One Response to “SEASONS IN THE SUN”

  1. Stacy Bohrer says:

    One of my favorites.

Leave a Reply