I saw an angel leave this world and I will honor her for all the remaining days of my life.
The love of my life, my wife, my soul mate, my best friend, Mazelle's body died on December 30, 2010,
a few weeks before her 54th birthday. We were packed to go home from UCLA hospital. Both of us were told she
had a short time 30 minutes before she was gone. She left at 2:47 in the morning looking into my eyes while
I stroked her hair and told her it would be alright. I did not know her body was dying. I did not understand
what was happening. I will never in my heart believe this is real. I stayed with her that morning as sunlight
filled the room holding her hand, kissing her, and talking with her; and believing with all my heart that her
eyes would open again.
Mazelle loved Brandeis University. Her years there we filled with learning, personal growth,
and Jewish culture. Years later, for her 30th reunion Mazelle worked tirelessly to boost attendance
and raise donations. According to Brandeis she broke the mold and the records. To honor her
work they created a special achievement award. Now in honor of her they held a special memorial
on campus in Boston and started a scholarship in her name.
Over 500 people attended her memorials in different cities around the country.
All these people are only the tip of the iceberg of those who consider my sweetheart their friend.
Mazelle was the Cheesecake Lady of Dallas. In 1981 after resigning from a restaurant management job,
taking money she earned on waitressing tips from working 80 hours a week while making cheesecakes
through the night, she started Mazelle's cheesecakes. In the following 20 years she built a
company that serviced the major airlines and 50,000 restaurants over the lifetime of the business.
All her cakes were handmade with
the best possible ingredients and a huge amount of love. Her company was the Ben & Jerry's of
cheesecake. All who worked there were treated equally and paid far better than the going wage.
She hired immigrants and paid them enough so that in time they were buying homes and starting
families. When times were tough, she went as long as a year without a paycheck so that her
employees could be paid. Mazelle sold her company at the age of 44 and retired.
Retirement was not for Mazelle. After studying and conquering the stock and then the bond market,
within a few months she was working with me in my business. We became a dynamic husband and wife
team blending our different and unique talents to help our clients. Everyone commented that
what we offered could not be found anywhere other than from us.
Mazelle loved politics (liberal), food, me, her business, simplicity, honesty, our Dallas
home which we built together, her friends, and Brandeis University.
Mazelle died from complications from pancreatic cancer treatment. Mazelle died because we live
in a callous world where we spend trillions of dollars devising better ways to kill our
fellow humans than cure our fellow humans. Mazelle died because we live in a world where we
create places called cancer alleys simply because we can. Mazelle died because we live in
a world where it is okay for the United States House of Representative to cut cancer research
spending as a political stunt. Mazelle campaigned tirelessly for these types of political
ideas. Every presidential election was like her birthday, anniversary, Hanukkah, and New
Years all rolled into one. During these times, she could be found every night in a local
restaurant talking politics, buttonholing wait staff, and urging everyone to vote
regardless their political leaning. My beloved was not a shy person. She was what
Malcolm Gladstone called a connector. On Election Day we would stare at the television and
a collection of computers tracking every trend and story until the sun was threatening to rise.
We had the kind of love and now tragedy of which stories are written. Everyone we met
thought we were newlyweds because we were so happy to be with each other. We were together, living, playing, and working almost without
separation for most of our 16 years; seldom apart for more than an hour at a time. We
were together more than most couples who have been married for 30 or 40 years. We were
looking forward to growing old together. Losing her is losing half of my soul and heart.
When Mazelle was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, she did not falter or hesitate. Her reaction
was let's get going. She was like some pure force of nature that news like this could not
fluster. During her four hospital stays I was with her day and night sleeping in the room
with her. Her indomitable spirit was amazing and because of that many of her doctors fell
in love with her. During our first stay in a hospital, one of her doctors, a department
head at Cedars Sinai came in on his day off just to visit so that Mazelle had someone there she
knew during the weekend shift.
Mazelle lived life ready for the next adventure or challenge which we always met hand in hand.
I have never known and never will know a braver and gentler soul.
Mazelle standing on our property in New Mexico where
we were about to build our dream home when this illness stopped our lives.