Eileen Cohen

August 26, 1922 - May 7, 2002

Yesterday my mother, a truly gentle woman died. This poem is in memory of her. The essay below was written by my nephew a couple months ago. He interviewed her and wrote it as a school essay. She was so surprised and pleased to find out that this is how the family thought of her. A week ago we had a family gathering with her and Dad. She rallied to engage us all in conversation and watch her great grandchildren play. Always thinking of the rest of the family, she sat up and said; " I am so grateful that Dad is able to enjoy the great grandchildren. It means so much to him." Then her eyes opened wide and a deep broad grin appeared. She clapped her hands together and added as an after thought; " and me too!" That is my Mother. Always to be in our hearts.

Thank You Mom
by: Daniel R. Cohen

She lies so quietly,
Her white hair upon the pillow.
I lie nearby listening to her
draw each breath with difficulty.
While wishing for her to be free of pain,
I cling to a desire not to let her go.

This woman who gave me life
And saw me through so much.
Both fun and strife I shared with her,
Always there when needed.

I look down at her still form.
She lies completely still now,
Her skin so pale and cool.
Her arms appear so frail.
Those arms that held me close,
That rocked me to sleep.
That held my favorite book
while she read me to sleep.

Through your examples and teaching
I have learned to be me.
How could 50 years have changed things so much.

While I know you will always be nearby,
That I will love you to my own dying breath
And beyond
This is my final kiss goodbye.
Thank you Mom for everything.

Real Woman Essay

By David Rotenberg, age 13

    Eileen Joy Fischer was born August 26, 1922 in New York, New York. She is about five foot three with short curly hair. I am proud to be her grandson. She spends her days at home relaxing, listening to music, reading, spending time with her husband and attending to her plants. Eileen has been a plant lover for as long as she can remember.

    Eileen had always been a good student, throughout grade school and at Theodore Roosevelt High School, but towards the end of high school and at the beginning of college she began to have a little too much fun. This caused her to cut back on school. After that phase of her life, she was back to being a good student. Eileen met her soon-to-be husband, Hunter Cohen in 1945 when her roommate and his best friend brought them together. They have been happily married ever since. Eileen was a plant lover and a stay-at-home Mom. This was hard because she had three children to attend to. From 1946 to 1951 they owned a farm called Poplar Lane Farm in Lenox, Massachusetts in the Berkshire Mountains. They had such a good reputation that a man from Argentina came to buy a heifer calf and fly it back with him. Eileen really wanted to be a plant geneticist but decided that her family was more important. While they were living in Cincinnati, Eileen started a charity chapter called Reach to Recovery to help breast cancer victims. She did this because when she had breast cancer, there was no help for her. When I asked her how much she had sacrificed for her family by not getting to do what she really wanted in life, she said ”Being a stay at home mom was hard but I don’t think of it as a sacrifice”. In my eyes giving up most of your dreams to take care of your family takes a lot of heart and guts.

    I admire my grandmother mostly because of her heart and guts. Another trait that I admire of her is how she always wanted to help people, and was willing to give up her dreams for what she thought was more important. When we went on vacations, I always got to do what I wanted to do and she went along. Now I understand why; it made her glad to know that she made somebody happy so she didn’t mind if she didn’t get to do what she wanted.

    The thing that she is most proud of is how she was able to raise nice family while doing volunteer work at the same time. Another thing that she is proud of is starting a volunteer chapter in Cincinnati and her involvement in politics in Baltimore, Maryland. The three major obstacles that she has overcome are impaired hearing, breast cancer and just last year, a different cancer from which she is still recovering.

    I know a lot of women that I could have written about, but none of them compare to my grandmother. She is the biggest hearted, strongest willed person that I know. This deserves to be written about.

Thank you for taking the time to read about a wonderful woman. Now let your Mother know how much she means to you.  Even if all you can do is to take a moment to remember.