In the middle of the night between December 24th and 25th, 1969, the clock on the oven in grandma Edith's house stopped. 43 years ago, my grandmother, Edith, lost her life to breast cancer. The clock in the Grogin kitchen froze at the exact hour. She was only 40. In a time when there wasn't much hope or success at treating, let alone curing breast cancer, she left behind a mourning family including my dad, 18, and his two young brothers aged only 14 and 9.
My grandmother was named, Ehta, and I too was given the Yiddish name, Ehta, in her blessed memory. I was the first grandchild and the first grandchild that grandma Edith never knew. When I was born, it seemed right to name me after her. Grandma Edith is the young and beautiful lady in the black and white photographs with the perfect smile that seemed to invite you to come closer. She was the wife and mother who everyone adored and she never grew old. I remember the year that my dad became older than his mother. Now, at 37, I'm probably the same age that my beloved grandma Edith was when she became sick. I wish I knew more about her. I wish she was here and I wish I could change what happened to the beautiful precious family back in 1969.
I grew up knowing that my grandmother, Edith, was a loving and devoted mother to her three boys. They were her life. I grew up knowing and seeing how her illness and her death effected my grandfather, my dad and my two uncles. The loss of a mother is something that never goes away. My heart aches for my grandmother Edith, for the years she missed and the milestones she never reached. My heart aches all the more for my grandfather who lost the love of his life. Nothing adequate can be said for the loss that my father and his two young brothers suffered. This is where I connect with my grandma Edith today. I see in my heart, the dying mother saying goodbye to her three young children. I see three boys suddenly without the stay-at-home mom who raised them.
43 years later, I'm mourning my grandma Edith - forever young, forever beautiful, forever beloved, and forever missed.