Our mommy, known as Rocha, Rachel or Ray was born in Dvinsk, Latvia on 11th May 1919, daughter of Issocher and Chasal Zeldin.
Ray arrived in Cape Town in 1936 and immediately added colour, elegance and sparkle to the local scene. Whether walking down Adderley Street in the old days or on Sea Point Main Road or the beachfront or even in shul, Ray stood out in the crowd and always had a hat to match the occasion.
But more than that, Ray has always been a devoted mother to her four children - Michael, Sorrel, Riva and Eli. Ray has been the most youthful and inspiring grandmother to: Natalie and Stephanie, Eytan, Ronen and Gil, Gary, Kim and Nikki, and Dean and Neil even though her grandchildren are scattered all around the world. More recently Ray has become a beautiful great granny to: Shachar and Yiftach, Micaela, Emma, Troy and in the last month to Dylan.
I would like to pay tribute to Ray on behalf of her children-in-law Annie, Gidon, Stan and Jill as well as Mark, Adi, Lilach, Jennifer, Gavin and Brad.
From all of us, Ray's 20 descendents, we thank Ray for her everlasting love and we, in return, will remember Ray always and will love her forever.
Her flame will continue to burn strongly in each one of us.
When I looked into Granny's
eyes, I saw beautiful, young green eyes with a lot of glow. I always knew there
was so much history going on inside that head of hers. She was open to talk to
about anything. (Though I did not realize that until I grew older myself). All
you had to do was ask! She may not have known the answers to most things but she
always had an answer for everything; whether it was right or wrong. Behind those
clear green eyes of hers (and they always had a sparkle to them), she was a very
vibrant person. Granny was always energetic and bubbly when she entered a room.
You knew of her presence. She had SO much energy!!! She travelled and kept her
spirits up that I was very surprised to hear of the sad news. Granny should have
been around for at least another 20 years!
There were times when I looked at her from across the room and she had a sad look on her face. She seemed to be deep in thought. Though, if I caught her eyes or went up to her she would grab my attention and give me a BIG warm smile. She always was concerned of my well being.
When I left South Africa in 1976. I was 9. I have only seen my Granny 3 times since then. I had to keep in touch with her
through letters and phone calls. I am sad that I did not write to her as much as I could have, but I know she was appreciative of every letter and phone call she received from me. Her voice lit up every time she answered the phone and heard my voice. She responded to every letter I wrote to her.
The memories I have of her are fond memories. Though I get sad that I did not have a Granny close by while growing up, I hold on to the memories I spent with her as an adult. They were sweet. I will always remember those beautiful, young, vibrant green eyes of hers, with so much thought behind them! When I think of Granny I will always smile with a warm heart!
I promised you a month or two ago that I'd write to you, and now I feel so sad and so torn that my letter comes so late.
Granny, you always told me I had your eyes.
I watched you laugh and smile with those eyes.
I watched you happy and upset with those eyes.
I watched you crying with those eyes and now those eyes are crying for you.
Granny, when you were closer you told us stories of your childhood - of Riga and Dvinsk, and of all the years that filled you with so much joy.
But did you know the joy you gave us with those stories?
Did you know that those glimpses at your past were so inspiring and so remarkable that we would wonder about them long after you fell silent?
Granny, those stories and your colourful, rejuvenating life will never fall silent....
We will remember you always and love you forever.
Dean and Neil