Elizabeth Adda Robinson Ratcliffe
In Memoriam

Text Oona Ratcliffe composed to be read in her absence at April 17, 2016 Memorial Service

EARR and Emmanuelle in Apt 605   EARR and Aurelia in Dining Room

Being Moms of Large Families

I wish I could be there in person to share in this memorial service but unfortunately with the magnitude of life at the moment it is hard to extricate myself from Brooklyn, New York.

I would like to express through whoever reads this note my love and appreciation for Lepai Ratcliffe, an amazing woman, Grandma, who was an inspirational role model in life, perseverance and recreating—career, partnership, home and a rock solid support and cheer leader.

In the past few years and with my growing family I was struck by how much Lepai found an unexpected identification with my experiences as a mom. She seem to have a keen memory of life with four children and found a great amount of pleasure thinking about those years, going across the country alone with three children on an airplane, etc.

OAR with Emmanuelle and Isa I believe it must have constituted something of “the best of times and the worst of times” because her mantra speaking to me about my life with three children under six years old was: “it will get better”. She would end almost every phone conversation with “and let me remind you Oona, it will get better!” I would laugh and say “Granny it’s not so bad—in fact it’s amazing”.

I bring this up because it is an unexpected especially sweet special connection with Grandma I don’t think either of us realized we would have—this being the legacy of being moms of large families and the joyful painful fact of it all.

Grandma was so proud of her amazing children, so pleased to have born them and share her life with them in her twilight years. She found an amazing amount of pleasure in her wild grand children – a look of pure happiness across her face as our group besieged her lunch table in Piedmont Gardens.

I won’t go on because I know there are many people who would like to share but cheers to a wise and lovely person who will always be cherished in my memory and the memory of Emmanuelle and Aurelia and Isa too (even if they missed in person they brought laughter and cooing to one another on the phone).

OAR Family circa Oct 2012
  OAR Birthday Party night with daughters, February 2016
Emmanuelle Birthday Party night, December 2015   3 Sisters, May 2016

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