Waiting for Shlomo: A loving tribute to Erin’s mother

By Erin, Isaac’s mama

My Mom passed away on Sunday.  My Mom.  My Mother.  My Mama – I usually called her Mama, just as I like Isaac to call me Mama, not Mommy – my Southern roots show with that.  My Mama – what a wonderful woman.  I don’t know what I am going to do without her every day for the rest of my life.  We lived 5 minutes away from each other, and talked on the phone every day – most times more than once.  She struggled with a long, mysterious, chronic illness that caused her physical and mental pain and suffering.  She struggled every day just to live a normal life, and spent many hours in bed, despite the fact that she also spent many hours just living her life through the pain.

She was diagnosed with shingles about a month ago, and the pain of shingles and the side-effects of the medicine caused her to regress further into her pain and suffering.  She hardly made it out of bed, and only out of the house a couple of times to visit the mail box and once to the grocery store with my dad, over the last three weeks.  On Sunday morning, she passed away, and is finally out of her constant pain.

She had a lovely funeral on Wednesday – graveside with nice weather, wonderful words by my Dad and my sister, and a perfect eulogy from our Rabbi, Jacob Adler.  I also spoke, and here is what I said about my wonderful, amazing, dear Mama, Sharon Myers:

Mariah (my sister) and I had the best mother that anybody could ever have – she loved us unconditionally, always put us first in her thoughts and actions, and showered us with love, praise, compliments, attention, and affection.  When we were little girls, one of her favorite things to do was to call us to her as if she needed us to hurry to tell us something very important.  She would say, “Hurry, Hurry, Hurry, Come here, come here – I need to tell you something . . .” Then, as you rushed over to her, she would say, “I NEED a HUG!”  She continued to do this with Isaac, and I continue the tradition with him today.  Mom never NEEDED anything from you  — she just NEEDED to give and give and give.

I could stand here and talk for hours about my Mama – I could tell stories all day long.  My Mom was beautiful, but always the most comfortable in her casual blue jeans.  My Mom was so smart, competent and talented, but she was humble about her professional and personal accomplishments.  The therapy, care and guidance she provided as a Speech Pathologist, to her patients and families was incredible – she helped so many children learn to communicate or function more fully in the speech and language arena; however, her care to the family never ended there.  She was always available for guidance toward other caregivers or therapists, other services and organizations, or anything else that a family might need.

My Mom was the best listener – you could talk to her for as long as you needed, and she was always willing and able to pay attention and stay fully interested.  Many of you probably remember fondly my mother’s wonderful way of peppering you with questions.  Some people might come off as nosy with the constant questions, but it was easy to see just how interested she truly was in those that she came into contact with.  Whether you were her closest friend, friend to her children or husband, or a casual acquaintance, Mom would never fail to chat with you, ask you questions about your life and experiences, and be truly interested in hearing your answers. 

My Mom and Dad were married for 39 years.  Just like most REAL marriages, they had their share of problems.  I learned from them that a REAL marriage is not a piece of cake – a real marriage takes hard work and commitment, and can stand the tests and trials that life brings.  My parents were more in love than any other married couple that I know – they were each others best friend, but most importantly, they loved each other so much – their love is full, it saw the test of time and trial, and it was passionate and so real.  I just hope that Michael and I can love each other as fully and fiercely as my parents did during their life together.

Mariah and I will miss our Mom so much – we don’t know how we are going to get by without being able to call her every day and seek her care, guidance, love and wisdom.  Our boys are so lucky to have had her for a grandma – she took me through our difficult time with bringing Isaac into this world, and she was with Mariah the very first time she met Jonah – you could never find a better Grandma. 

Mom, we miss you so much already.  We love you and we are so thankful to have you as our mother.  Although we will miss you every day of the rest of our lives, we want to thank you for giving us enough love to see us through.  Our greatest hope is that we can both be the kind of mothers you were to us.  The world will be just a little bit better, as long as we remember to live by the example you set for us.  We love you.


  1. Erin, this is amazing words and you are so gifted to be able to describe it so wonderfully. I am sure you will be just what she gave to you and your sister and what a wonderful legacy to leave your children to give to their children. God Bless you and I pray for your family on this sad loss of a dear person. Patsy McKinney

  2. Erin,
    You are a gifted writer. You blew me away ok Wed. when you read this, and now again I am filled with emotion. Keep writing!
    You have been in my thoughts and I have been praying for you and your family. Please know that any encounter I had with your mom was a pleasent one . She was a lovely woman and I feel I know her even better now through you.
    I am so deeply sorry for the loss of your Mama,
    Much love and blessings, Lauren

  3. Erin,
    We are so sorry for your loss but I want you to know that I can already see your mama’s legacy living on in you.
    You shower Isaac with love, praise, compliments, affection and attention. You “pepper” us with questions about our lives – and I never feel it is nosy! You and Michael have had tests and trials – but you are committed to one another and do the “work” that a marriage requires.
    I admire you! We love you! We are praying for you!

  4. Sometimes, when our bodies are in such pain, we are no longer able to be who we came here to be. Your mother personified love, and the pain was a huge distraction for her in fulfilling the reason she came to be here with you — and the rest of us. I know that love has no beginning and no end, and I know that she is better able to love you now from behind the thin veil that separates the physical from the nonphysical. Write to her, talk to her, sing to her. All you have to do to feel her is to feel the love you shared. It flows back and forth forever.
    That’s how come you already know, as you so splendidly said at the beautiful service, that she gave you enough love to see you through.

  5. Erin – What a wonderful, sweet message you had to say about your Mom. This is what every Mom would like to think their children think of them, and I’m sure it would please your Mom to know this. (I bet she already did) It’s not easy losing your Mom – but she will be with you, in your heart forever. We are thinking of you and your family and wishing you love and comfort.

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