Only as I got older did I realize what an effort Auntie Min had made in all those holiday meals she prepared for our family.
No, it’s not a mistake. Mickee was Min, Mindle, Auntie Ho and many other nicknames that I always invented for the people I love. Although I must admit that many of these family members do not really appreciate these nicknames, and that is an understatement.
My Dad really liked Pat’s sister and she liked him as well. Dad never had a bad word about her-and my Dad had strong opinions, believe you me. The only thing that Dad ever mentioned about Auntie Mickie is that if you ask her how she is, you get a full health update about her, and everyone she knew.
“Did I tell you that Vera has had bad constipation for a week, and her physician, Dr Uranus, told her than she must take 2 magnesium pills a day. With water. At 4 PM. Her husband, Mel has heartburn, but only mild”.
Auntie Mickee wrote poetry with great skill. If I remember properly, several of her poems were broadcast on CJAD’s poetry corner, “Put a Poem in the Pot, for Pinkertons”. Pinkertons was, or is, a flower shop. I don’t know if it exists anymore. I have been away from Montreal for 52 years. From my Dad’s balcony, I could see Pinkertons.
When Auntie Mickee used to cook, I would stand in the kitchen and talk to her. She knew about the issues I had with her sister Patricia-Ruth and Auntie Ho used to give me wise counsel, which I ignored.
When Hadassah my wife died, Auntie Mickee came over to be with me at the shiva (mourning period). The trip from Montreal is a very long trip, and very expensive. But she came. Auntie Mickee always gave. She had a heart bigger than life; she loved and gave, and gave and gave. Most important, she was loving and caring. An outstanding amount of goodness-that what my dear Aunt Miriam was all about.
Auntie Mickee called me to say goodbye when she was about to die. I tried to cheer her up, which was so stupid of me, and when I put down the phone, I cried like a baby. Another piece, a most beautiful piece of my memories of Montreal, was about to “slip slide away”.
Miriam Foreman-Halpert was born in Montreal to Harry and Fay Foreman, nee Zack, from London England. Her father owned a gym on rue Cote des Neiges and Sherbrooke. Her mother, Fay Zack-Foreman-Liverman owned a lady’s dress shop called Moleen’s on Queen Mary Road. Miriam had a sister, Pat Foreman, my mother.