My mom showed me this picture last week. It was taken in her home town of Wanne-Eickel in Westphalia in Western Germany,on her way to school. She was just 5. Look at that little trench coat and her little beret!
My mom came from Germany to the U.S. from Germany in 1938 on the Kindertransport, all by herself on a ship that landed in NY. Her brother had arrived six months earlier, and was in St. Louis, with a kind family who agreed to take him. He had talked them into to taking her too and so she came on that ship and traveled by train to St. louis and slept on a cot in the corner of the family's living room for a whole year. Then finally, in 1939, her parents, my Oma and Opa, came to the U.S. and moved them both to Jamaica, Queens. (They might have gone to Uruguay, but then I might not have been here!) This is how the story goes.
How scared she must have been, how strong she had to be, how many family members and friends were lost to her. The way she always felt so happy to be in America, the way she took care of us so well, the way she never let any of her past break her spirit. She is warm and kind and has always been so generous...sometimes I am so moved by her spirit and her bravery and imagining the person she was before she was my mom...I am honored to have such a wonderful and strong mother and a very best friend.
Happy Mother's Day Mom, a few days early. And Happy Mother's Day to all all my beautiful and strong women, a few days early, mothers or no....oxo