Baruch dayan ha-emet

At 1:05 Sunday morning, my mother returned to G-d. After a long battle with breast cancer and two painful sick years, I know she is finally at peace.

She was a strong, independent woman. She raised four girls on her own in a time when being a single parent was even harder than it is today. She instilled in each of us the importance of independence and not relying on someone else for your livelihood. She taught us to think for ourselves and form our own opinions. She worried much in later life that she did not give us the best foundation but I know that she gave us a better foundation than her mother gave her and the best one that she possibly could.

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Ori moved to Florida when she was 6yrs old and never left. She built her dream home in Clermont in 2002, and became a full time resident in 2007.

Mrs. Cherin, as she was known by her students, graduated from the University of Miami and later received her Masters Degree from Nova University. She was an educator in the Florida Public School system for 17 years and was a member of the Florida Teacher’s Union. She was patient and kind and humorous as she guided people through learning. All her students loved her.

She enjoyed reading science fiction and was an avid “Trekkie”. Hard-core science fiction provided her an outlet for the dreamer part of her nature, as we ask what will the future be. She loved to poke at the "bad science" she saw in some of the shows or books. Each book was judged by the quality of the science they used in the design.

While she wasn’t always as successful as she liked , my mother raised us to be Jewish. One of the few routines our family had was lighting candles on Erev Shabbat. Saturday was Shabbat and that meant family time. We would go on adventures to local farms or neat parks. My mom was more observant than her mom and was thrilled that I knew more about the holidays and chose to be more observant than she.

Music abounded in my mother's house. She got to see the true result of her legacy a few weeks ago when 3 of her daughters and both her granddaughters were driving around town. The littlest one needed distracting so her aunt broke into Do Re Mi. Everyone else joined in. We say all the songs from Sound of Music and moved on to King And I and others. It was a bittersweet moment of family togetherness is a time of great sadness. I told my mom when we returned and she was able to smile.

I wish she was still with us, healthy as she is in my memories from childhood. It’s heartbreaking that she won’t be there to see her granddaughter graduate high school, or get married. And while I’m glad she has moved to a better place, it will be a long time before I stop going to call her to share the joys and pains of life.


  1. I am so sorry for your loss. May you be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

  2. Oh, Michelle...I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. I lost my mom to cancer, too. What a nice tribute you wrote about her. I know what you mean about the phone calls. Almost 10 years later, sometimes the phone rings and I think it must be her. :)

    Take care.

  3. May her memory be for a blessing. What a sweet remembrance.


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