On April 17, my mom, Rhoda Schneider, 97 years old, passed away due to COVID-19. She had been living in an assisted living center in Michigan near my youngest sister.

It has been very surreal as I could not fly out to visit her when she first got sick and we had a Zoom funeral in New Jersey with only my New Jersey sister and her family present.

I have a mahogany desk that was shipped to my house in Lamoine when my mom moved from New Jersey to Michigan 10 years ago. Actually this is the vanity from my parent’s original 1940’s bedroom furniture. I can still see my mom sitting at the vanity, putting on her makeup and getting ready to go dancing with my dad. I also inherited a cut glass vase from my mom that she inherited from my grandmother. My grandmother always had dried hydrangeas in it as I do now.

The real inheritance, though, is not material possessions. It is the love of baking and cooking along with her recipes, the organizational skills she passed on, her ability to work with numbers – she as a bookkeeper and me as a high school science teacher – her sense of style, her fairness in treating all people with respect, and her sense of humor. She was one of nine children and taught us the importance of family. She taught us to appreciate nature and the change of the seasons.

I am who I am because of who she was! Thanks, Mom.

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