Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My friend Helene grieves for her daughter, Carol - Poem: While the Dogwoods Weep

Carol Ruth Ryesky
CAROL R., on April 27, 2014, of the Indian Harbour Beach, FL, formerly of Ambler. Daughter of Helene (nee Silberman) Ryesky and the late Aaron Ryesky; mother of Adam Snyder; sister of Kenneth H. Ryesky, Esq., and the late Matthew Ryesky. Relatives and friends are invited to Graveside Services, Tuesday 12 Noon, Har Nebo Cem., Oxford Ave., Philadelphia. Donations in her memory may be made to the Chai Lifeline or to another appropriate charity. -- From the Internet

The first thing you see on the home page of the Cemetery are ADS - see above - wanting your business.


Visited Helene this afternoon. She was exhausted and listless, feeling not much, after burying her second child.

"I have no daughter," she told me. 

The funeral was very well attended, she said. She was shocked. Her cousin Jerry picked her up at Rydal Park old age home - "Ruth, you can't believe how awful the food is here" - and they drove to the cemetery.

The weather was sunny, unlike today when we have a downpour, including flood warnings. 

Said Helene: You see this huge hole in the ground and next to that is a huge mound of dirt.

Her son Ken brought his orthodox rabbi with him from New York or New Jersey.

He did a wonderful job, said Helene.

A funeral service, whether Graveside like Carol's, or in a chapel should provide comfort for the bereaved family and friends.

It did.

The online  had 10 messages of comfort for her. The last message was from a Maple Glen neighbor:

May sweet memories of your dear Carol be of comfort to you at this difficult time - Ross Shriftman. Ross spoke at our support group about insurance and about a memoir he wrote about his late mother.

Helene reads the print-out of Carol's death notice in the Inquirer and also the condolences on I copied them this morning, per her request.

Her son Ken wrote the notice. "There's no mention of Nate in here," I said.

"Yes, that's Ken's doing."

avatar Like all the Ryeskys, Ken is a really smart guy

Before I went to Helene's, I stopped at Whole Foods.

Up in her three-room apartment - living room, bedroom, kitchen and baffroom, I asked her The Two Questions: 

Do you like licorice, I asked.

You know I do, she said.

Plunk! I put the Panda licorice on her ottoman empire.

Do you like chocolate, I asked her.

You know I do, she said.

Plunk goes the chocolate making the ottoman empire even stronger than before.

Gentile Bellini 003.jpgDon't mess with Mehmad the Conqueror.

Gee, says the small voice, I've always wanted to live in a harem. Like Vashti.

Fair is fair. I had Helene - an outstanding photographer! - take my pic. I told her I slept in my sweat pants. When I woke up this morning - it was rainy and damp and still is - I chose one of Walmart's finest tops to keep me warm. Outrageous price: $12.99.

How's your friend, Peter? I asked her.

Just talked to him, she said. B/c of conflicts he wasn't able to attend the funeral.

My beautiful friend and mentor, Helene Ann Ryesky or HAR.

Whenever I visit her, I get a cup of Egbert Decaf from the dining room. I wanted to bring the coffee mug up to her room, but you're not allowed, so I transferred it into a Sippee cup, I mean a plastic cup.

A dollar and 19 cents and worth every penny.

Just read my poem to Helene over the phone, while my Sweet Potato Soup is cooking.

Delicious! The bowl is from Helene.

BTW, Helene's clever husband, Aaron, used to call them Dagwoods.

Here's the late Aaron Ryesky. We had a party at Mom's house - for her 70th b'day - and took movies.  Mom is now 91.5. In a few years, she'll be room temperature, following her sister/law Aunt Selma in Cleveland.


In memorian Carol Ruth Ryesky (1956 to 2014)

Temperamental as a winter storm
beautiful as the fallen snow crowning
the fence tops
You have fallen
your work left undone

Never again will you see
your sons:
Adam, tormented as the one
in Genesis, who,
like his namesake, cannot
resist temptation
There’s still time,
there’s still time.

And Nathan, your first-born,
residing happily in cornfield
country, slanted Japanese eyes
the color of his mom's.

Carol, you will never see
the beauty of the copper-clad
pastures as they turn green
in spring

Or the pounding raindrops that
cleanse the world and make it
pure, for the little time we have

Never again will you hear your
mother’s voice, standing in
her old-age home, her voice
davening across the lonely
miles, to comfort her only
daughter, her beloved
Carol Ruth Ryesky,
while the rain-soaked dogwoods weep.


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