Monthly Archives: December 2009

An Auspicious Anniversary

Tonight is the anniversary of my mothers’ death (well, so we assume, but it is the night we learned of it.) After years and years of emotional mental pain, fueled by her profound experiences in Belgium during the Holocaust, she made what was undoubtedly an UNBEARABLE decision not to usher in another new year. She has been dead for more than 1/2 my life.

Many of you were with me when I learned this, and watched me move about a party as if nothing had happened to forever change my world. Most of us were 21 or 22, and when I think back on it, and recently expressed to some of you, I can’t believe how awkward that must have been for everyone there.

Anyway, the point of all this is to say that I will honor her tonight as I have on many others, by in some way, letting her know, that I’m so sorry I couldn’t understand when I was 9-21 what her turmoil and thoughts were like. However, as an adult, a mother,I can only try to imagine what it was like to muddle through, manage to cook dinner, get me off to school, buy me my Brownie uniform and do the stuff that I now find myself doing, in the best way she could. And I have come to understand, that it WAS the best she could do, and when she sat with my head in her lap and played with my hair, I know that that was the purity of unconditional love.


1. firmly resolved or determined; set in purpose or opinion.
2. characterized by firmness and determination, as the temper, spirit, actions, etc.

Along with the ubiquitous “lose ten pounds,” “save money,” “stop smoking,” for me, the blind item has always been “Stop squandering your talent. WRITE SOMETHING.”

When I was in elementary school, I tapped out about 20 pages of a wannabe novel called “He Was My Best Friend, He Was My Brother” (clearly poised to be optioned for an after-school special), typed in all caps and red ink. It was passed around the lunchroom, friends of mine pulling up to the table to get in line to read it. When my real life brother got spinal meningitis, the disease I used in the book to kill off the fake one, I got spooked, and never finished.

Ask old friends from camp what they remember about me, most of them will instantly spit out an image of me, on my top bunk, scribbling in a journal or reading a book. And, when one of those same friends (thank you Lauren) continues to yell at you for NOT writing now, well, you get sick of hearing her and do something like this, the modern day version of me scribbling from a top bunk.