Contributed by Talia Bar-Yoseph Levine
Written by Ervin Polister
Posted on 23 March 2020
I was married 52 years to my beloved Miriam, a woman of grace, freshness, and artistic savvy. She was especially devoted to music, her first love, which was always in the background of anything she did. Miriam was a singer and storyteller. She effortlessly got into the hearts of her listeners combining the natural skills of storyteller with her ability to frame her words as though each one was made to order for the sequence of her thoughts. Our house was always filled with music, often her own singing which filled the atmosphere. It was a captivating experience to listen to her. But the breadth of her perspectives went beyond music. When the children were old enough to be in school for most of the day she went to graduate school to become a psychologist. She was a natural learner and fell right into the teachings of psychology.
When we were first married, and she had no background in psychology, I was writing my dissertation and was told it needed further work. I was disheartened. But Miriam was just drawn to action. She sat down with me and we went through the dissertation, a paragraph at a time. She asked me to tell her what I meant and how this or that was related to that or this. Could I say what I meant in simple English? She inquired about my meanings, my continuity, my conclusions and the very air the dissertation breathed. Having a keen ear for the right word and with all the nobility of her function she remained down to earth, just folks.
She also had a lovingly acid humor. I remember one time long ago she wanted to create a rock garden and I was the one to lug the rocks. When friends asked her what that was like, with a twinkle in her eye, she said, “He worked like a dog, barking all the way.” Humor just rolled out of her.
Miriam was a gardener, a singer, a connoisseur of the arts. She had a large range of worldly context guiding her mind through the complexities of living. How lucky I was to be married to Miriam for 52 years.