Remembering Marilyn Riback Mernit

My mother died 6 years ago, this week, at the age of 70.
Some remembrances:
–The daughter of a first-generation Russian immigrant, and a shy Hungarian-American girl, Mom took control of the family at age 5, making calls to the doctor, ordering groceries, and planning meals when her mother felt overwhelmed, which was often.
–A powerful tennis player, Mom’s baseline serves and punishing backhand, won her many singles and doubles days through her (amateur) career, “I should have gone pro,” she said to me once, at about 50. “But in those days, it wasn’t something most women could do.”
–Mom got married at the ripe old age of 23, far after many of her peers. Extremely pretty, she decided she would marry my father (a mature doctor of 33), the night they met. 3 weeks after their first date, they were talking marriage, but they decided to wait 5 weeks to tell their families, “Just to be sure.”
–Mom never did anything halfway. She had three kids in four years, and joked “they all think they’re only children.” We all agreed, as did my Dad, her 4th “only child.”
–Mom and Dad were married almost 50 years. Mom nursed Dad through terminal lung cancer, then couldn’t adjust to life without him (was it survivor’s guilt, or just great pain?)
Here’s to your memory, Mom, and to the love you gave. We all still miss you.

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  1. Nancy says:

    Hi Susan: I remember your Mom and Dad with wonderfully warm memories. Your Dad was a great man – and your Mom, generous and familial. I remember Evelyn, Bayside, Lake Success, Ralphie, Nancy and watching those creepy scary horror movies with all of you. The “ginny dolls” that grandma Riback brought and included one for me! You were my first real friend from young childhood.
    My best,
    Nancy Kappes Weitzman

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