In Memory of Sylvia

Michael Attias Oct 25, 2012
Michael Attias

Some people see the glass as half full. Others see it as half empty. My first mother-in-law saw the glass as broken.

This past Saturday night a dear “glass half full” friend of mine, Sylvia Manas, lost her fight with cancer. Today I don’t write to mourn her loss, but to celebrate it.

Sylvia Manas Pic resized 600

Sylvia was ninety years old and one of the pillars of my synagogue. She’d be at every event greeting with a decorated sweater or sweatshirt and a contagious smile. In the thirteen years privileged to know her, I had never seen her be anything but cheerful.

Two years ago she was given six months to live. You’d have never known it. Any Saturday I showed up to services I would make a bee line to Sylvia’s pew and ask how she was doing.

Because of the cancer, many times I’d hear, “I’m ok.”

I’d give her a kiss and tell her, “You look great to me. It’s better to look good, than feel good.”

The glow on her face was worth a million bucks to me.

Sylvia was married for over sixty years to the love of her life, David Manas. Though he passed six years ago, I vividly recall how in love Sylvia and David were. You could tell by the way they interacted they truly cared for each other and enjoyed each other’s company.

Together they took over a hundred cruises.  

They owned a local furniture store for over thirty years and worked side by side.

About three weeks ago Sylvia went to a hospice care facility. I made it a point to visit her a few times before her conditioned worsened. My kids, Jerrod and Jordyn went by to see her after school one day.

On my first visit, I brought her some yellow roses and spent some time asking about her life. I asked about her son and daughter-in-law and was told they were having “date night” and would be by later.

As I was getting up to leave, I asked her if she and David ever had date night.

I will never forget her response, “Every night!”

We all get caught up in running our restaurants, fighting fires and making money.

In honor of Sylvia, I challenge you to make time once a week for “date night”.

Whether it’s with your spouse, significant other, kids and/or yourself, unplug and connect with the people most important to you. At the end of the day, selling one more catering won’t make a hill of beans difference.

In my synagogue, there is always a small sponsored luncheon after Saturday services called Kiddush. There’s a running joke in my synagogue; The size of the crowd for services that day is directly proportional to the quality of the Kiddush. Corned beef and pastrami draw twice the attendance as tuna salad.

I was a pallbearer at Sylvia’s funeral yesterday. After the service, I told the Rabbi, “You can truly tell how important someone was not based on the attendance of the kiddushes they sponsored, but by the attendance at their funeral. People were standing outside the chapel wanting to get in.

May you leave such an impression on the people in your life, the way Sylvia touched mine.

Sylvia Manas you are loved and missed.

Well That’s All For This Issue!

Michael Attias

Restaurant Catering Software

P.S. – If you need help growing catering sales, then please go to and download my free eBook: Cater or Die!

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