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Ode to Goldie

April 9, 2016

The Letter G


I love the challenges posed by Blogging A-Z…not only the challenges it poses to me as a writer and blogger – but the call to action presented with facing the topics that I choose to write about – and what that brings up emotionally, for me.

Today’s post is a tribute of sorts, a revisiting, not of an event, but of a person, a very special, significant person in my life.

Her dark brown hair, her searching, cat-like, hazel eyes…gave absolutely no visible connection to the name she was given at birth. As was the tradition in her family at the time, children were named after someone close, like a grandparent or elder aunt or uncle, who had passed. It was a way of honoring them…keeping the name alive as it were.

Gitty and Goldie.jpg


Thus, Goldie was named after her father’s mother of the same name, Sarah Golda to be precise…but for the sake of generality, Goldie will do. She may not have looked the part, but she sure lived it. First, she married into it by marrying my father with a last name that ironically contained very similar components    – getting people who were close to her to continually joke about her being ‘SOLID GOLD’.

But she took it way beyond that, as her epitaph reinforces…when it states, “Heart of Gold.”

My mother, Goldie, was the most selfless human being I have ever known. Ironically, I found, later in life, that so much of what drove her was her intrinsic and insatiable need to be needed.

Yes, that may need more clarification, I know, believe me…I know.

That is part of what makes this particular entry such a tremendous challenge for me.

I am more like her both….than I have ever hoped to become and also than I have ever feared of becoming… TALK ABOUT IRONY AND DICHOTOMY.

I struggled tremendously about these attributes that seem so entirely polar opposite to one another. How, I ask myself, can a single person be so entirely giving of themselves, and also needy? Yet, I know from my life’s experience, I have been witness to both.

She always answered the call of others, whether it was driving down a street and seeing a person who looked as if they might need a ride (of course this was in days gone by when it was fairly safe to behave this way) or when it might be answering a phone call way before the days of cell phones when we could simply put the phone done and walk away from it – Yes…I recall more than once time when a friend of hers would call, just needing to do little more than simply unload, and she would place the phone receiver, spiral chord and all, in the closest kitchen drawer, while she continued to prepare dinner – making sure to return to the drawer with the ‘speaking phone receiver’ ever so often just to act as if she had been listening to the tales of woe of her friends all along.

Goldie gave everything and anything of herself….entirely selfless, right?

Well, maybe not…because as I grew up and began to understand motives and what drives us, I realized that Goldie was burdened with an incredibly insatiable need to be needed…in other words, she did as much as she did for other people because her own esteem was so completely intertwined within its corridors as to permit her to do nothing less.

There sure as heck could be a lot of things worse, I tell myself. This is more or less the poster definition of an enabler…and learning more about the lives my grandparents led and my mother Goldie’s role in all of it, I am more understanding of how this role was cut for her in the very fabric of her life.

So here’s to you, Goldie. The person who taught me to be selfless and also care for myself in ways that most others may not understand and come to realize. Here’s to you…the person who reached me on levels that nobody else ever has nor will be able to in my entire life.

Here’s to you, Mommy Goldie – heart and soul of gold!

  1. A beautiful tribute to your mom! Loved it!

    • Thank you Nancy.

      I truly appreciate your comment.
      Hope to see you again.

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