Mom…

You make me crazy, you love me unconditionally, and you have sacrificed so much in your life for myself and my brother, Philip. You have endured the death of two husbands, the loss of a child, and watched me struggle for my life on multiple occasions. You also were our biggest boosters, came to our defense, taught me not to let my physical shortcomings (my partial blindness, and partial deafness) be an impediment to achieve anything I wanted to. You accepted the women I have loved in my life irrespective of what religion they practiced.

You taught both of us how to appreciate music, even if we didn’t quite appreciate it when we were very young. You took me to your singing lessons as a young boy. You encouraged our artistic pursuits as we got older, Philip with music, me with acting.

You have become a doting grandmother, and yes, if you look up the definition of a Jewish mother in the dictionary, your picture is probably there.

Recently, you have taught me the meaning of courage, having broken your leg, enduring surgery, learning to walk again, and pushing through the pain that accompanied it. It mirrored my own struggles with my illness and transplant, and recovery, as I needed to learn to walk again. If I inherited anything from you, it was perseverance in the face of the odds. You came to see me in the hospital in Rochester, twice, walker and all, and all of your 83 years.

We love you very, very much…even if you do drive us crazy from time-to-time.