May 1, 2020
We Remember Gertrude Sanford Maybe, it’s because she was the youngest of nine, my mother Gertrude Mary Sanford, 79, was the most hospitable and gracious person I have ever known. It is no wonder the coronavirus found its way to her. She passed on Friday after two-weeks of treatment in the hospital for COVID-19. I hope she knew how much we all loved her. It was the end of a beautiful life. Mom was resilient, having battled numerous ailments over the years, and not long ago was feeling stronger after having received excellent care at her nursing home in the seventeen months since her beloved husband, Michael R. Sanford, passed. Then COVID-19 struck. That is why this is so tragic. It hurts more since like so many others my brother and sister and I could not be there at the end. For her, family was always there, and so were friends. Family was the priority, but everyone was welcome. She did not discriminate, and proved this every day. When I was young, if you had the good fortune to stop by our place just about any night of the week, you would have felt right at home and been offered the flavors of New York: Pot roast and macaroni, skirt steak, roast chicken, fried fish, paella, bacon, reubens, omelets, cheesecake, beer. You name it. Everything was on the menu. Many’s the time, I was told how lucky we were to have a live-in chef for a Mom. We knew. She was like the original, team-Mom, too, hustling us all over the city for CYO basketball and Little League games. Born March 11, 1940 on 138th Street, Gertrude Mary Fleming spent her life in the Bronx and Yonkers, proudly nurturing us in our Bronx apartments, one on Bronx Blvd. and then on Bronx River Road. Because she was the Baby, I have dozens of cousins; and, though her sisters Eleanor, Florence, Annie, brothers Dutchie, Jackie, Eddie, Georgie and Joey are gone, Aunt Gertie remained in their kids’ lives till the end. They were regular visitors of hers at Kensington White Plains, whom my family is grateful to. The nursing home truly became her home, and she continued to spread her warmth, befriending the staff who were so good to her. The care I know she received in the past year and a half gives me more faith in our system and our efforts to beat this disease. She would say, “just because it’s hard, doesn’t me you don’t have to do it.” She taught us how to be good, too. And how to stand up for each other. And not to judge one another. Hopefully, my brother and sister and I can do the same for our children, whom I know she considered her greatest legacy.
We Remember Gertrude Sanford Maybe, it’s because she was the youngest of nine, my mother Gertrude Mary Sanford, 79, was the most hospitable and gracious person I have ever known. It is no wonder the coronavirus found its way to her.... View Obituary & Service Information
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