My mother, Bobbie Lavender, died on the last day of Chanukah 2015. She was nicknamed Bobbie by her brother at a very young age. She was born in England towards the end of World War 1 in February 1918 to parents who came from Warsaw, Poland.
Mum raised her four sons in London and it was especially hard for her at the beginning as the eldest was born in 1942 in the middle of World War 11 and her late husband, David, joined the British army in July 1940 and was demobbed in April 1946. During this period of almost six years, a large portion was spent in Europe and North Africa, so she was left alone an awful lot.
Bobbie was an active person and shortly before my father's retirement, she started working in merchandising in a large London department store. After working for many years, she then volunteered for a Jewish charity shop organization (All Aboard) and worked in the West Hampstead shop for many years, particularly enjoying window dressing.
My parents visited Israel frequently and were here for all our family's simchas.
When Dad died in 2004, Mum decided to make aliyah. So in 2005 at the age of 87 she proceeded to make a new life for herself at the Beth Protea retirement home in Herzliya.
After arriving there and taking stock of things, she applied to open a nearly-new shop selling bric-a-brac in order to raise money for the Beth Protea Fund. She persuaded the management to open this shop, and ran it successfully for many years until handing it over at age 92 to the younger 80s generation. The shop is still running to this day. Besides selling donated goods she also used to go into Herzliya town and buy items for sale that residents could purchase as gifts for their grandchildren.
Beth Protea gave Bobbie ten wonderful years in Israel thanks to the warmth and love shown her by the other residents and by all of the very special people who work there who gave her such good care. For the last five and a half years she was cared for by a very special carer.
She loved her children and grandchildren from Israel, England and America and especially awaited the visits of her great-grandchildren.
So in saying goodbye, I cherish the wonderful memories we have and I thank the Lord that he gave me the privilege, after having lived away from Mum for 35 years in the USA and Israel, of being so close with her over the past ten years when Annette, my wife, and I were in daily contact.
May her memory be a blessing.
December 14, 2015
It has been six days since you passed away, six days of gathering together with all the family thinking of you, missing you and sharing our memories of you. You were such an amazing person I really looked up to you, you were so inspiring so good to others.
I remember a few years ago I came to you and we did ceramics together and you explained to me all about it and helped me make my own bowl, then we had lunch together and we talked. I used to come with you to the shop and tidy everything.
I'm so glad you moved to Israel when I was 3 years old, I got to spend 11 years with you. I loved visiting you, you always smiled when I came and I was so happy to see you every time. Your love to me and to the entire family was unconditional and you never complained about anything. You always looked good, always caring about your hair, your nails and your accessories and your jewelry was always so special and pretty. Your work, your art was magnificent, it was so pretty and I loved getting your work for presents and even only because I asked you for it. You had so much energy always taking care and making sure we're all OK. I love you so much and I miss you.
I'm so glad you got to live such a long, happy and healthy life.
You're the most amazing person I knew and the best great grandma I could ever ask for.
Rest in peace Grandma.
ברוך דיין אמת
Love you deeply❤️
Ella Turm's (aged 12) letter to her Great-Grandmother is unedited.
December 18, 2015