My mother Marilyn Meltzer passed away at 1:04 p.m. today at the age of 91.
We had known that this was coming for the past few weeks. She had been in a wheelchair since a stroke four years ago and in a care center. Both of my parents were model parents. I believe they were the best parents in the world and used to tell them that all the time. Actually I would write that to both of them on their birthdays and their anniversary I think regularly for the past 20 or so years. My daughter, the last time she saw her told her she was the greatest grandmother in the world. She was at that time very weak and could barely talk but she understood everything and did very weakly respond to say Thank You and that she loved her.
Due to COVID, she had not been allowed to have visitors from early March, but we did several times go to see her and talk to her on the phone as the nurses positioned her wheelchair toward the window with all of us in the middle of the bushes. On my birthday they told me I could see her in person and over the last two weeks my brother and sister-in-law got a hotel and spent time with her all day every day. She told me she wasn’t in pain although she would have said that under any circumstances. She was hit by a car walking in a parking lot in her early 80s and never acted in pain. I saw bruises up and down her shins that were still there weeks after she was in a car accident and she never complained or said anything until I saw the bruises she tried to hide. She had knee and hip replacements and she was getting around and walking stairs far earlier than doctors thought was possible.
She was a grade school teacher who graduated college at the age of 19 because they skipped her several grades, and believed strongly that was the wrong thing for children.
She was the best athlete in our family but being so much younger than her classmates that hurt her when it came to high school sports. She was as honest as anyone I’ve ever met. For years she handled Observer bookkeeping and many many fans spoke to her over the phone for years. She loved that period and loved her time talking to readers. She loved attending the Tragos/Thesz Hall of Fame ceremony in Waterloo, IA and especially being able to spend time with Charlie Thesz, as Lou Thesz was her favorite wrestler although she was not a wrestling fan.
She fought till the end after he stroke. She refused to accept her limitations or believe that she would never be able to walk again. But it did become increasingly frustrating for her when she couldn’t get back movement on her left side. But she worked as hard as she could in every therapy session, and many times when I’d go see her we would do mind exercise games because she wanted to stay sharp. She was fully understanding of everything going on in the world and had so much love for her grandchildren.
Me doing the Wrestling Observer was not either of my parents choice, nor did they think it was the right move, but they did accept it and through her contact with readers she was very happy in the long run with that decision.
My childhood close friend Tim Talaugon wrote, “The memories of your mom are filled with how much she loved and supported you and your brother and how going to your house was always the fun place to be because your parents were always patient, tolerant and cool to be around. What a memory and legacy. May God greet your mother with your Dad. A life well lived!”
I’ve been very blessed to have so many wonderful friends and while very sad, it is in times like this when you realize this. Thank you so much for your support, both my friends, every one of which was there for me, and so many others whose words have been of comfort and of friendship even if they didn’t even know me personally. For those of you who have shared stories of this same time in your life, I’m sorry for your own losses and while I know sharing those stories can hurt and I can read the pain in them, your thoughts are so appreciated.
Like I said this morning, I’m touched by so many but do want to mention the people who have been fighting for their own lives who have been so thoughtful and supportive over this period.
Before her stroke, she and my father traveled the world. They both retired young and went everywhere, right until her stroke, with trips to places like Brazil and India when my parents were in their mid-and-late 80s.
My parents were married for 66 years and my friends and family always said they were the role models for a relationship that we all aspired to but knew none of us could live up to.