Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Cousin Pearl
Cousin Pearl with her grandson Jason, 2002.

I got the sad news Sunday that Cousin Pearl passed away after a lengthy struggle with kidney disease. After a while, the dialysis just couldn’t do the trick, it seems.

Pearl, pictured here with her grandson Jason, was the Momma d’Elisson’s first cousin...making her a first cousin once-removed to me.

Take a look at that picture. Get a load of that infectious smile. That was Pearl. She was one of those rare individuals who could light up a room simply by walking into it, vivacious and full of warmth. Maybe that’s just what I saw from a distance, but it was a pretty solid impression, one that was shared by just about anybody that came in contact with her. In that respect, she reminded me a lot of my own mother, who, not surprisingly, adored Pearl.

I remember that at the Mistress of Sarcasm’s Bat Mitzvah, Pearl was out there on the dance floor, having the time of her life. No wallflower, she.

Pearl’s husband Jack, with whom she had two sons, passed away a number of years ago. Here was a case of a couple who exemplified the adage “Opposites Attract,” for Jack was morose while Pearl was effervescent. But they clearly shared something very special.

Alas, I will miss Pearl. But I suspect that some of my sense of humor has come down unto me from my maternal great-grandparents, Pearl’s very grandparents, and so I will happily keep that mutually-shared spark of soul alive within me.

Ave atque vale, Pearlie. Show them seraphim how to kick the gong around.

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