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Saying Goodbye to Aunt Sylvia

July 28, 2018

My Aunt Sylvia told me a story so many times in my life that it became a legend in my mind.

She was the person who drove her sister-in-law to the hospital on January 3rd, 1957 after Rochelle Goldman called her to tell her that her water burst and Sylvia’s brother, Milt, was still at work. Rochelle didn’t have her own car and couldn’t wait for her husband to get home. So Sylvia Bellamy got the call and came as fast as she could.

Sylvia rushed Rochelle to Sinai Hospital and it was only “two to three hours later,” Arnold Gerald Goldman was born. Not surprisingly, I was late for my own birth as I was supposed to be a sorely needed tax deduction in 1956. But my mom and dad were relieved that their first born son was born healthy.

My Aunt Sylvia was there at my birth, my bar mitzvah, my wedding to Judy, and our kids’ bar and bat mitzvahs and Ilana and Jonathon’s wedding just three years ago, a month before my mom died. As Leslie recalled, my mom and Sylvia had a wonderful dinner the day before the wedding and talked and reminisced like it was 40 years earlier. My Aunt Sylvia loved being part of every family celebration but sadly was not feeling up to come to Chicago for Kyle and Melissa’s wedding last year.

Thankfully because of her loving family, Judy and I were invited and so deeply happy and thankful to be a part of Sylvia and Al’s last celebration, Sylvia’s 90th and Al’s 92nd birthday party in their LA home in April. Thankfully, both were so joyous to have family and friends there for one last celebration.

Judy, Leslie, and I made a blanket for Sylvia and Al that had 60 photos of Sylvia, Al, her extended family, the Goldmans, Bellamy’s, Friedlander’s, everyone of importance in Sylvia’s life. She treasured that blanket the last few months of her life. Thinking of her wrapping all of her loved ones and all those memories around her, comforting her, bring tears to my eyes.

My dear, lovely Aunt Sylvia was there at my first breaths of life and I believe I was there in some way, at the very last breaths of her life, covering her with a blanket of love.

Goodbye, my aunt. I will always treasure you and will never forget you, hopefully for many more years and until the very last breaths of my life.

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