Yehudis Chava

Based off this week's prompt in The Mending Heart Project: Say Their Name.

For my mother.

Brilliant light, and warmth.
I smell sugar and sweet,
Freshly baked challah
Soft chocolate and cinnamon babka.
She loved baking.
An open home to all. There was never an invite that got a no. Except when she was very sick.
She had this brown leather armchair. Worn out from the time spent on it. I would have loved to take it, if I had the room.
Every Friday night she would sit on this couch with a magazine and fall asleep mere minutes later, her mouth open and the blanket tucked to her chin. My father loved to poke fun at her for that.
“Look, mommy’s mouth is open,” he would chuckle. It was the most amusing thing to him. And endearing. His love for her.
She made the best chicken soup that, no matter how hard I try, I can’t replicate. Although I have skipped many root vegetables out of laziness. She, was never lazy.
She was a beloved school teacher. She treated her students like her own children. They loved her just the same. My sister tells me of the last few days before she died. When she realized, holding the bag of get well letters to her chest, that they didn’t know she wasn’t coming back.
Her pain was palpable. As innocent as her desire to live.
She had really cozy pajamas. She bought me matching sets. 
She routinely caught up on all her TV shows. Some of them, I can’t help but hate, for I know she’ll never know the ending.
She had the softest skin, and the warmest, strongest hugs.
She used to pat my hair and scratch my back.
We would lie in bed on Friday nights together for hours, snuggling. All was right in the world.
In my world. I’ll never stop crying for those.
She was fierce and brave. Protective of her kids, and her husband. 
She was happy with her lot and always praised God for her blessings.
She fought breast cancer, and won, until years later, it crawled back, inching its way into her bones, until it spread like fire. But she never stopped believing. She didn’t close her eyes for two days so she could keep on living.
She loved to play piano, and was very talented at it.
She toured Europe with a guitar on her back. She had many friends and close relationships.
Her children all felt their own relationship with hers was the strongest. I don’t know how she achieved that. Maybe, a combination of endless love and patience.
She liked to read James Paterson books, thrillers.
And Jodi Picoult.
The People and US magazines. Both of which, my father, though always complaining, never missed a weekend to buy them for her.
“Aron, did you get my papers?”
He hid them in her drawers. Top one, to the left.
Or on top of the fridge. It was a race to see who would get them first. But the latter had to give the second magazine to my mom first. Of course, she decided before any of us.
She hated change. Her weekly dinners were delicious, yet consistent. She’d laugh when I tried new things. But then again, she died in her own bed of 46 years, in the home she first moved into with her husband, in her soft pajamas, with her nails painted red, wrapped in her very own linen, she was lowered to the floor, and soon, carried out of her home. 
Her time was cut short at 65.
Or did she complete her life’s mission
With her final breaths,
Her final requests,
Her faith, never wavering
Her love, never lessening
She let out a final gasp
And then, she left.
Yehudis Chava. Purim. March 9, 2020. 

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