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“You know, they say that MUSIC is the one sense that stays with you and brings joy even to your last days. Mom spent 4 ½ years in a nursing home afflicted with aphasia, among other ailments. It is ironic that a woman who was so dynamic and inspirational a speaker should finally be unable to speak. However, whenever we spent time with her, we sang the old songs and that always lifted her spirits. Her eyes would sparkle in the old way and she would chime in now and then with a lyric. She loved best the songs she learned in the YCL and on the picket line and everything from the People’s Song Book. You’d have delighted in her belting out as best she could “Hold the Fort for we are coming, Union men be stro-o-o-ong!” On her very last day, I spent hours by her bedside holding her hand and singing every old organizing song I could remember, and every sentimental ballad I know in Russian. It was the best gift I could give her that day, and the best gift I gave myself, too.”

March 2, 2008

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