Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Thank You Marilyn
This is the chair my mother-in-law, Marilyn Weinblatt would sit in when she came to visit.
She won't be sitting in that seat any longer, as she passed away and as our new favorite rabbi put it, was "returned to the bosom of the earth." That phrasing will stick with me the rest of my days.
You might think that a deep, personal loss like this would put a crimp in this week's Think Positive theme.
But you'd be wrong.
The knowledgeable rent-a-rabbi, who, prior to the service was a complete stranger to all of us and came to us only at the behest of the quick-thinking funeral home, was a great source of wisdom and comfort. He quickly pointed out the passing of one's life is an opportunity for friends and family to be grateful.
No one could be more grateful than me.
I met Marilyn and Bob Weinblatt many years ago. In fact, it seems like it was in another lifetime despite my 44 years of age.
They were what I like to call "Nice Jews." They were from Minneapolis, and were unlike any of my shrill NY relatives who were fond of yelling, screaming, fighting and more yelling.
They had a strange, easy-to-be-around midwestern demeanor. And reminded me of the characters in the Coen Brothers, A Serious Man, which I will now have to watch again.
In essence, this denied me a great fount of humor. Because I never had the stereotypical overbearing mother-in-law.
Marilyn was never one to interfere. Or raise her voice. Or bust my balls in any way, shape or manner. Many a Borscht Belt comedian would have a field day with those kind of mother-in-laws. Thankfully, I did not.
Apart from the small profit she made on her apartment at Seizure World, or unless we find a secret stash of thousand dollar bills stuffed in a secret compartment of the case that contains her Mah Jong tiles, Marilyn was never wealthy. At least not in the conventional sense.
You see while she never had a stock portfolio or a held titles to various real estate properties, she had something more valuable. She had the pride of raising 4 incredible daughters, the sweetest, most kind-hearted women I've ever had the pleasure to meet. And I had the good fortune and foresight to marry one of them.
From that branch of the family tree, which is now thankfully part of my family tree, sprung 8 equally caring grandchildren and one recently born great grandchild. To spend any time with them is to know laughter, joy and love.
In short, Marilyn left this world a little nicer, a little sweeter, and a little better than the world she was born into.
In my book, that's about the noblest any of us could hope for.
One more thing to be grateful for, in the wake of this weekend's incredibly attended funeral, with family and friends from all across the country, there was a truckload of leftover corn beef, pastrami and Jewish Deli cookies.
In Marilyn's honor, I'm going to make sure it all gets eaten.