Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Mom, Love Eric (Your Favorite Son-in-Law)

When I met my beautiful wife Dona, it was love at first sight.  For me.  Not so much for her.  In fact, it took a lot of energy to finally convince her to marry me.  And through it all, my staunchest ally and greatest supporter was my mother-in-law to be, Ada Young.  She had my back.  Sorry Dona, I guess you have Mom to blame.

And so we became a family.  Ada and Jay lived in Forest Hills, and when we moved to Plainview, it was an easy drive for them to come visit, which they did very often, and we were very close.  I can still picture Jay sitting in our rocking chair, with the newspaper and the little nub of a pencil he always carried, reading every article and underlining things and writing notes in the margins.  To my dismay, he always did this before I had a chance to read the paper.  And all the while, Ada would be busy cleaning and cooking and, most importantly, looking after our children...she really was a second mother to Elissa, Lauren and Evan, and that’s how they will remember her.

When Jay and Ada eventually bought a place in Florida, and sold their home in Forest Hills (or should I say Dona sold their home, of course) they became snowbirds and began to spend the warm weather seasons in our fact, that’s where Jay passed away one summer’s night in 2008.  But Ada stayed on, and we became even closer.

Now, you’ve heard about various aspects of Ada’s life, and I’m not going to revisit them...I’d like to take a few minutes to talk about some of the special time I spent with her in her later years.

It partly began with a remarkable event in the spring of 2009: for the first time ever, a female member of my household sat and watched a baseball game with me.  Ada did this because she wanted to spend time with me, and knew that I enjoyed it, and so she asked questions about the rules, and the players, and she became, to some small extent, a Yankees fan.

This all changed, however, the day she discovered The Game Show Network.  From that point on, the two of us spent many evenings together, many hours together, often while Dona worked, agonizing over that most important question in life: deal...or no deal?  She loved that show, but nothing could match the happiness she felt when Steve Harvey and Family Feud would come on.  (By the way, my brother-in-law Russell, the dentist, swears that Steve Harvey’s teeth and mustache are fake, but that’s another story).  Anyway, Ada and I watched together every night.  Once, I remember, she actually began to answer most of the questions correctly before the contestants did, and I turned to her and said “Mom, you’re getting really good at this game”, and she looked at me and replied “Not really, I watched this episode this morning”.

My mother-in-law was a good-hearted, happy person who liked to laugh and to bring joy to the people around her, which she did quite often and quite well.  She will be greatly missed, and remembered with love forever.


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