My mother was a lady.
That’s the way people remember her. It’s a recurring theme in the messages of condolence, even from those who hadn’t seen her in decades. And it was noticed still by those who were with her right near the end.
They remember her graciousness, her hospitality, her dignity, her gentleness and her warmth. I probably inherited more of her stubbornness and determination.
Going through my parents’ papers brings history alive. An aged postcard from Lithuania. A slightly tattered marriage certificate. Old identity documents from several countries. Copies of forms filled in searching for missing relatives after the war. Childhood drawings by grandchildren now in their twenties and thirties. Certificates, articles, letters and photographs.
It’s the end of an era.