We Schlep in Honor of My Mother Victoria Altman
By Russell Atlman
On February 17, 2008, at the age of 53, my mother Victoria Altman passed away due to complications in her battle with ovarian cancer, but that Is not the story I tell. Instead, I tell the story of a strong woman who was a loving mother, a dedicated wife, and one of the hardest working people I have ever met.
Born in 1955, my mother met my father at the age of 15 and together their lives would never be the same. In their 31 years of marriage, my mother and father spent countless hours learning the family business under the guidance of my grandparents Charlie and Alice Altman. Even during her fi- nal days, my mother continued on with her dedication to the employees and clients of Altman Lighting forging into the office as much as possible with an unmatched determination to carry on.
As we laid my mother to rest, my father eloquently told the story of their life together saying, “I still remember our first kiss at Palisades Park 38 years ago; and I remember our last moments before she slipped away. And in be- tween there were thousands of them, and they got better and better because they meant more with each passing day.” That is the story I tell today.
A neighbor named Rabbi Hersko- witz once told my father, “A family is like a pile of stones. When you remove one stone, one of two things can hap- pen. The pile can fall apart, or the pile can nestle together.” With the loss of my mother, our family has nestled to- gether and now we come together to walk in her honor.
Ovarian cancer did not beat my mother. Ovarian cancer did not define my mother. My mother was a shining light of strength and grace in the midst of her darkest time, and this is why we are proud to be participating as Team Victoria in the Ninth Annual Cheryl Diamond NYC 5k SCHLEP: Breast & Ovarian Cancer Run / Walk, Sunday June 2 @ 9:00 am in Battery Park, NYC.