While we were on Galveston Island we took a trip to see the Houston Space Center which was about a 30 mile drive from our campground. We were mildly disappointed with it but I think that is because we were expecting a museum. There is a part that is a museum but the most of the Space Center is devoted to winning the hearts and minds of the younger generation. When you walk into the Space Center you are in a large, central atrium. The right side was devoted to a play area that was only vaguely related to space since the theme was Angry Birds in Space. It was three stories high and looked like a mutant MacDonalds playground on steroids. There were several dozen youngsters climbing in and around it. A couple large banners nearby proclaimed that parents could buy a season pass so that their kids could come and play every day.
We are here today to celebrate the life of our mother, our grandmother, our great grandmother, our Aunt, our cousin, our friend, our Honey Cutler.
Some of you may remember that a year or so ago, Rabbi Shapiro asked me to speak to the Sinai congregation about the role model in my life and some of what I will share with you today comes from that talk; a talk about the role model in my life, my mom, our Honey.
On Rosh Hashanah that year, Rabbi spoke to us about a book he had read written by Jennifer Trulson. It was a book called “Where you left me”. I was listening to the Rabbi’s sermon that day and I was reflecting upon his words. Let me highlight a few parts from the readings of that sermon.
“We are all, in a way, at the top of the aisle stepping into life and never knowing for sure what that journey will be like for us. Will it be straight and easy or will it throw us a curve and trip us up? Will we march forward with the wind at our back or will the journey be challenging, even overwhelming?
We don’t know what’s in store for us as we move on down the road.
And what is intimidating about this is the recognition that we are not in control of the road we travel. Even the best GPS can’t tell us how to get there from here if we don’t know where there is. And in life we know so very well that we can never be sure where the road is about to take us.
Ann “Honey” Orenstein Cutler, 82, passed away on Sunday January 13, 2013 at the Jewish Nursing Home, surrounded by her loving family. Honey was a graduate of the High School of Commerce in 1947 and she also took many courses in Geriatrics and Human Values in the Aging. She was a Volunteer at the Jewish Nursing Home since 1973, amassing over 10,000 hours before becoming a staff member in 1985. She held the position of Director of Volunteers and Activities, retiring in 1993. During her volunteer years, she was honored by many civic and religious organizations for being one of the top volunteers in the City, being honored by Senator John Kerry. She was named the N’Shai Chabad Woman of the Year for her work with the Elderly. After her retirement, she continued to Volunteer with her husband Phil at the Jewish Nursing Home and Temple B’Nai Jacob. After her years at The Jewish Nursing Home in both the capacity of volunteer and then as an employee in Activities, helping residents, an illness, 7 years ago, brought her full circle as a resident of The Jewish Nursing Home. Honey has been President of the Resident’s Council the past two years.
Honey was predeceased by her husband of 50 years, Philip, who died in 1999. She leaves 3 sons, Mark (Charlene) of Longmeadow, Neal (Cathy) of Reading, and Paul (Valerie) of Berlin, CT, 2 daughters, Susan (Richard) Johnston of Texas, and Harriet (Danny) Collins of Longmeadow. She leaves 6 grandchildren, Adam (Claudia) Cutler, Rebecca (Brian) Munday, Rob Collins, Paul Collins, Alexis Alphonso and Abigail Cutler and 1 great grandson, Reece Munday. She leaves 2 brothers, Sanford (Martha) Orenstein of Delray Beach, FL, and Edward (Sharon) Orenstein of Longmeadow, and many loving nieces and nephews.
The funeral will be held on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 2:00 pm at Ascher-Zimmerman Funeral Home with burial in City of Homes Cemetery. Memorial Observance will be Tuesday evening at the home of her son, Mark. The family wishes to thank the wonderful staff of A-1 at the Jewish Nursing Home for their loving care and attention to our “Honey” over the last 7 years and asks that any memorial contributions be made to the Jewish Nursing Home, 770 Converse St., Longmeadow, Ma 01106 in her memory. For further information or directions, please visit ascherzimmerman.com.