October 22 – 24, 2020
Ron Edelstein
Amount Raised
Fundraising Goal $15,000.00

My Message

My mother, Malka, passed away on September 27, 2019.  She was to be 79 years old the next month on Oct 26.  She was born in Russia in 1940 and lived with her mother, our Bubbie Rachel, during the war.  During that time, her father, our Zaida Zev, was in the Russian and Polish armies and separated from his wife and child for 5 years.  They were reunited after the war ended, and immigrated to Israel in 1947.  The British tear gassed and caught their ship, and they spent time in a Cyprus detention Camp until Israel was declared a state.  My Zaida Zev then fought for Israel in the War of Independence.  They settled in Yaffo.  

Malka was also a soldier in the Israeli army.  She started smoking because the army used to give cigarettes to the soldiers to keep them entertained.  One time, after a smoke break, the soldiers filed back in line and as they were walking along her Seargent came up to her and asked, "Malka, everything ok?"  She said, "Yes everything is great."  He said, "Did you forget something?"  She looked around and said, "No I got everything."  He said, "Where's your gun?"   Malka had left her gun under the tree where she was taking a smoke break and spent the next few days in the army prison. 

Malka, along with her little sister Reva and my grandparents immigrated to Canada in 1962.  Malka was just about to turn 22 years old.  She taught hebrew at Bialik and met my dad Morris (or Moishe as family and friends new him) on a blind date, set up by one of my dad's good friends.  They fell in love and got married in 1965.  Their first child, my brother Jerome, was born in 1966.  I followed in 1968 and my sister Laura in 1970.

Our mom was the most beautiful, caring, kind mother and the funniest person we ever knew.  She was the greatest.  Our protector.  Our savior.  She always had our backs no matter what.  I was a big troublemaker when I was a kid but in her eyes I could do no wrong.  She would say to people,"He's harmless -  just likes to be playful". And people would roll their eyes because they thought I was being a little more than just 'playful'.   I remember whenever I got in trouble, which was every day until I was 22 years old, she was the only one who understood that I was misunderstood.  Most people felt she was my enabler.  But her love was unconditional.  My mom was my hero.   When my Hebrew teacher called our house during dinner to let my mom know how much trouble I caused in school that day, she yelled at my teacher in Hebrew and then slammed the phone down on her.   

She was the greatest character I knew.  Just naturally hilarious.  I can still picture her driving with a cigarette in one hand, talking on her cell phone with the other, while listening to Julio Iglesias on the radio.  

Malka had the greatest sense of humour.  [Everyone here who met her can close their eyes and probably picture themselves laughing with her].  She was the best joke teller.  It's the way she told the jokes. It was her delivery.   All Jerome, Laura and I did was laugh.  For a long time she was the encyclopedia of jokes.  95% of her jokes were dirty.  She would tell them to us throughout our life, since we were kids.  Even til the end, when she was in the emergency room a week ago, the doctor asked her a few questions and the last question he asked her was, Malka do u know where u are? And she looked at him with a little smirk and said, "Who gives a shit."  

Our mom loved her family and friends.   But most of all she worshipped her kids.  She had 3 kids and literally no help, unlike nowadays where everyone has nannies for their kids.  She did everything for us.  So much so that we never learned how to do things ourselves, like cook.  Mum was the ultimate jewish mother.  One time she was out with Jerome and she pointed to a girl and said, "How about her?"  Jerome said, "Mum, she looks like Frankenstein."  And my mom said, "But is she jewish?" 

Malka loved a lot of things.  She loved her parents.  She loved her four grandchildren, Ryan, Jordan, Alexa, and Josh.  She loved her sister Reva and her brother-in-law Jimmy.  She loved her niece Jennifer and nephews Michael, Daniel, and Adam.  She loved her cousins and all my dad's nieces and nephews and all her in-laws, especially her son & daughter-in-laws Norman, Honey, and Michelle.  And she loved my dad.  Mum and Dad loved going out for coffee with Syd & Carol, and travelling the world with Moti & Bracha.  She loved to gamble - slot machines, bingo.  Loved cracklng her gum.  Loved noshing and eating nuts.  And loved her decaf coffee with sweet & low and smoking Viscount 1's.  She loved life.

She did everything with a good heart and expected nothing in return.  And because of that she was never disappointed.  Everyone should be as warm and friendly as our mom.  U can go a long way with a big smile and a huge heart.  And mum had a huge heart.  For years she delivered food for the Reena Foundation right to the front doors of people in need.

Malka was diagnosed with early on set dementia several years ago.  She started showing small signs in her 60s.  Our bubbie Rachel, was diagnosed in her 80s and died when she was 91. 

Our mom was in extremely good spirits the past few months and loved to sing and laugh.  She should have enjoyed her golden years but she was fading away by inches and by bits and pieces.  It is so unbelievably cruel and torturous to watch someone who was an excellent mother and active lover of life be whittled away bit by bit.  But she was holding her own and found a sweet spot these last few months.  She was such a positive happy person.  Our mom had never spent a single night in the hospital before.  It's sickening how quickly she deteriorated in one week.  She was kind to all.  She was a strong woman.  And she was a fighter til the end.  (I mean she was Israeli for friggin sakes!)

Alzheimer's is a no-win situation.  For those who have the means to take a parent into their home and care for him or her, I not only applaud you, I empathize with the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of your suffering as well.  Being a full time caretaker is one of the most underrated, unthankful, exhausting jobs in the world.  For those who are not able, I empathize with the anxiety, denial, guilt, shame, and sadness of your suffering; having to place a parent in someone else's care is the hardest decision for a child to make.  

I know there are worse diseases, horrible losses in numerable ways, but this is our story, our view of Alzheimer's.  I know we are lucky she still recognized us.  We were thankful she could still laugh and enjoy her life, most of the time.  We could also see her trapped in her own mind unable to put all the pieces together or coherently make a simple thought come out right.  We know she was frustrated when she didn't know what was happening to her, and we saw a shell of a beautiful woman who surely did nothing to deserve this sentence.  

Malka survived three very different and independent strong-minded children; a 35 year marriage; watching her husband, parents, and best friends all pass before her; and 35 years of working hard to survive and make a home for herself and her family.  So this is for you mom.  Your big heart and small acts of kindness have not gone unnoticed, nor did the courage and strength you held us all up with throughout your lifetime.  You are loved right here, right now, forever, and always.

Take the moments you have with your parents.  Say what's in your heart, tell them you love them every chance you get.  You never know when it'll be the last time they can repeat the same, or recognize who you are to them.

Location Name
Scotiabank Pond

My Team

Ron is part of Decorium
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My Supporters (5)

Michael & Paula Gordon donated an undisclosed amount
Mar 19, 2020 8:26 PM
Alessia & Anthony donated an undisclosed amount
Mar 17, 2020 4:24 PM
Derek Frankfort donated an undisclosed amount
Mar 17, 2020 11:56 AM
The Pasternak Family donated $200.00
Mar 12, 2020 5:19 PM
Mary Helfan donated an undisclosed amount
Mar 5, 2020 10:24 PM