One of my favorite poets, Frances Woodworth Howells wrote: “Life is sadly out of tune when memories must live with us too soon.”

My life is tragically out of  tune and my “Blue Heart” has been breaking because our dear, sweet, intelligent, generous and loving cousin, Beverly Gibstein Glazov Berman passed away on November 11th.

Beverly was not only my  “Yellow Brain Family Focused Cousin”, she also was my “Brilliantly Green Brain Business Advisor”. However, best of all, she was my “Blue Incredible Listening and Sharing Girlfriend”, who was a treasure!

When I was a young girl my mother wisely told me, “No matter how much you like your boyfriends (she substituted boyfriends for loving Jordan, when we married) never forget your girlfriends!” I am so happy I listened to her words of wisdom.

Last night, Jordan and I returned from Los Angeles, where we sat Shiva with our Glazov family members and were honored to read a prayer at Beverly’s memorial service.

Beverly waged a courageous battle with a brain tumor for the past 4 months. It was physically and emotionally painful for Beverly. It also was emotionally painful for those of us who loved her.

I realized that I relied on my mother’s wisdom again, as our Glazov family struggled with Beverly’s illness and impending death.

Many times, my mother surprised the doctors by not turning away from from death’s door. One day, as I was laying in bed holding her, she said, “Sheila, thank you me for letting talk about my dying. I know it is difficult for you to hear, but it would be more difficult to lay here alone and not share what I am feeling and thinking.”

I am most grateful that my mother and I were given a remarkable experience, which many people are not able to share. I felt honored to listen to my mother, as she had always listened to me.

Whenever my mother would “bounce back” and not die, she would remind me, “I am not leaving until I have learned all my lessons and taught you all of yours.”

Of course, she was right! My mother, as I always teased, was the “Queen of the Yellow Brainers”!

I respected and treasured my mother and her wisdom, and have shared her thoughts and feelings with with others when they were weary and sad beyond words.

I have learned to look at my mother’s and Beverly’s deaths as gifts, even though they were not wrapped in pretty or joyful paper, and had tattered ribbons. However, I have gained a deeper understanding and appreciation for gifts of love and wisdom about life and death I was given and have offered them to those I love.

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