This loving memory was written by Peggy Fisher.
A Lamed-Vavnik* has fallen. My mother, Lillian A. Fisher, was born in Brooklyn to Polish immigrants on the first day of spring, March 21, 1922.
Lillian lived by the same advice she gave others: “Everyday accomplish three things:
- “Learn something new,
- “Have humor, and
- “Do a Mitzvah (good deed).
“Do you know which of these is the most important? she would ask.
“The second one, have humor!”, and then she would tell you a great joke.
My mother lived a rich and full life, because she was a rich and full being. She made good out of just about everything.
She taught in both public and religious school from her twenties through her eighties, receiving the Outstanding Teacher award many times over.
Her students, now with families of their own, exclaim how her lessons were so much fun and that she was one of their all-time favorite teachers.
My mother was creative, artsy, intelligent, sharp-witted and funny.
With an uncanny memory, a wide base of knowledge and a desire to absorb so much, she gave of herself until the end.
After her children were grown, she learned to ride a bike, became a bat mitzvah, enrolled in many courses, created art projects, traveled, attended clown camp, and was an enthusiastic folk dancer for four decades.
She loved classical music, whistling and all kinds of dance. An excellent dancer, a gene she inherited from her father, she passed this to her children, grandchildren and great- grandchildren.
She was generous and thoughtful of others. She respected life and counted her blessings. She taught us to do the same.
With her husband, the late Irving Fisher, she created the “big family” she always wanted, for whom she lived, and of whom she was so proud.
It began with the birth of Arlene (Kramer), followed by Sherrie (Bobrosky), Peggy (Fisher) and Debra (Lichstein).
Her sons-in-law, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren also richly blessed her life.
My mom’s life was neither easy nor simple. She took nothing for granted, earning everything she had.
She did it with the wind in her face. She asked for very little, except for one thing, respect.
She taught us, her four daughters, to respect all of life, nature, animals, humans, especially our elders, and to give selflessly.
When asked, she recited Stephen Grellet’s quote as her view of life:
“I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
As she was born in 1922, shortly after women could first exercise their right to vote, my mother talked about the upcoming election for months, wondering if she would live long enough to see a woman become president.
Upon hearing the election results, with her New York inflection she mused, “For this I stayed alive?”
Lillian’s Last Day
The following day, at the age of 94½, in the wee hours of Nov.10, Lillian passed away in her sleep, while holding hands with me at her home of 61 years in Culver City.
“My Love,” her one-of-a-kind canine companion, walking partner, and the key to her longevity, survived Lillian by one week.
Two peas in a pod, they left together.
Those of us who knew them are better for the time we shared.
In every generation there are 36 just, righteous, yet hidden human beings who hold up the world. The Lamed-Vavnik perform small acts of kindness and righteousness that may seem insignificant in the eyes of passers by. But God watches and knows the sum of these small acts serve to uphold the world.
Day of Tribute
Please join us on Saturday, March 25, for a tribute to honor her life at the Culver City Senior Center, starting at 11:45. Come wiggle your tush, clap and cheer for any part or the whole schmear! Call 310.463.0098.
Peggy Fisher may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org