February 29th and Mom

February 29th and Mom

Since Mom died in November, random events often
trigger poignant memories, which causes me to miss her with
sudden intensity, like the flare of a sparkler on a birthday cake.
Yesterday, for example, my daughter asked me what month it is. And when I told her
March, she said, “February’s so short?”
So I told her that February’s the shortest month of the year, with 28
days, and some years we add a month so there are 29.
“Like when there are 2 Adars!”
And my daughter’s words caused me to travel back 7 years, to that time
I looked up Mom’s Hebrew birthday and discovered that she’d been born during an
Adar Aleph. So the next time we spoke, I told her, “Mom, you know you’re not actually 70! By
the Jewish calendar, you’re actually only 19!” (or however many Adar
Alephs I’d calculated had been since 1943.)
She laughed. And then she said, “Jenny, I like being my age. Don’t
take it away from me! 70 is the best age yet!”
Old age wasn’t easy for Mom. As the years passed, her MS made her life
progressively harder and harder.
But she was determined, despite the obvious difficulties she faced, to focus on the gift of the present.
During one of the zoom calls for Mom’s shiva, I told my family members that I wanted to make a
list of the things Mom used to say.
My mom’s older sister, Sheila, suggested, “Gladys would always say, ‘Look at that! Isn’t
it wonderful? So wonderful!'”


  1. This post was wonderful. I also lost my mom two months ago, these posts are very meaningful.

  2. Wow, her joy is still alive!

  3. You remembered 😉

    I dont have WhatsApp anymore, dont know who’s been reaching out to me, thank you for all your amazingly inspirational work!

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