Babi Sander a’h
By Sarah Sander
With the passing of Moishey’s paternal grandmother a’h, he now has no living grandparents anymore.
Babi Malka Sander was a queen, as her name alludes. She was regal in her grace and charming in her personality. She loved Moishey with a fierce, grandmotherly pride and never forgot the early days of shock, mourning and grief. But, Babi Sander was a lady and she put her grief aside to become her children’s cheering squad. She encouraged and inquired and delighted in Moishey’s progress and always lent a listening ear and a bellowing laugh to his antics.
There were days when Moishey would go to Babi’s home on Sunday afternoon straight from yeshiva and meet up with his father there, and continue to an afternoon shiur. Sometimes Moishey arrived before Tati got there and Babi would offer him her entire refrigerator. One Sunday’s text conversation went like this: Moishey: Tati, I am by Babi now and she is offering me kokosh cake. What should I do? Tati’s response: So, what’s the problem? Enjoy it! Moishey: But my stomach will get fat.
Babi Sander accepted Moishey unconditionally – no ifs, ands, or buts. He was her grandchild and he was here to stay and she was not only going to accept him, she would actually enjoy him! And enjoy she did! She reveled in his wisecracks and quoted him like he’d be a holy source of Torah. Babi was touched by Moishey’s spirituality and on more than one occasion she was dabbing at her eyes when in his company.
Moishey was away at summer camp when Babi Sander was niftar. He joined the family at the levaya and then returned to camp. The next day he wrote the following entry in his summer diary, a special project of Camp Chavivim:
‘Yesterday my beloved Babi Sander died. I went to the levaya. My Tati and his brother had torn shirts and everybody was crying. There were speeches and I also cried. Today my friends all went swimming but I am just staying in bed because I am too sad to do anything.’
May Hashem bring about T’chiyas Hameisim quickly – if not in our zchus, then for the sake of our special children.