Of course, in the short term, it meant that my husband had to leave home at 3:30 in the morning to catch a 6 AM flight, because we live 70 miles from the airport, and in the end he didn't make it to the Northeast in time to get to the funeral anyway because of flight delays. Bubbe was the realist amongst us, though, she would say, "You can only do what you can do..." meaning, you always try your best, but sometimes life gets in the way.
It's strange, I find fiber oddly comforting at times like this. Bubbe was an amazing seamstress and could make a dress simply by looking at one in a shop window. She didn't need patterns. How is this related? My husband's family felt that Bubbe and I shared our excitement about fiber, even though we expressed it in different ways. I got some alpaca in the mail from mythic alpacas and it is some amazing stuff. I have a pound of black fiber from, get this, Prada,--with a name like that, it has to be the good stuff, ehh? A pound of fawn fiber from Odin and two pounds of white alpaca from a guy named Aussie Jack. This alpaca has an incredibly low micron count and is so fine it is like sticking your hands into a little bit of cloud fluff. I am in love. I also have no reason to spin it all right now, no commissions and piles of handspun in the corners of my office, but it seems enormously comforting so I may have to anyhow. I've been spinning some cotswold and silk, but it feels cold compared to that alpaca, it might just have to be put on hold.
Bubbe Shirley would always make sure to tell us, "We should only meet next on happy occasions," whenever we saw each other at family events, happy or sad. She loved seeing her family, but hated when sadness brought them together. She'd switch from English to Yiddish to Hebrew, depending on what languages you knew, she always wanted to confide something special in a language she thought maybe everyone around her wouldn't know; she also spoke Polish and Russian and probably German, although she never used those languages around me. I hope the rest of her family is celebrating their time together now, and remembering how lucky they were to have a Bubbe who fed you clear chicken broth with kreplach and pletzel and made everyone feel like a part of her family and her home. I feel lucky to have married into a family that had such a special Bubbe.