A few months ago I met the author, of Broken Birds online. She told me about her upcoming book and suggested that she share an excerpt on this blog when it was completed. Well she remembered me and sent the chapter below. Now, I have not read the book but the excerpt I am sharing today is engaging.
It is all about family favorites and the impact on the family. So enjoy!
There is a truth in war; Every Survivor has a story to tell. Sadly, it is very true. Each has remembrances of evil
too horrible to talk about, but unable to be forgotten. But, what of their children, the second and third generations? We too have stories to tell. our tales are not of prison guards and ovens, but of parents, who because of the war, were badly broken.
Mom was about twelve years old when she was torn from her mother. She ran into the forest alongside her older brother to escape certain elimination by the Nazis. The chimneys of Auschwitz were the final destination for Dad’s family. He quickly determined that remaining in any slave labor camp meant eventual death so, by volunteering for any job offered, the Nazis transferred him from one camp to another. A daring escape at a train station during one of these transfers allowed him to wait out the remainder of the war in a barn.
In the blink of an eye, both my parents were cheated out of the formidable years of young adolescence. Changed forever, their only goal now was to go forward and live.
Five children came from their union. I was the second born and lived happily in my Fantasy world, feeling that my early years were wonderful. I married at the age of nineteen and Mom was determined to teach me important life lessons. “Don’t invest yourself too much in your marriage,” she repeated. “But don’t you dare lose your husband, because after you have children and get fat who will want you…..no one. Always let him love you more, and never really trust him,” she warned me constantly.
Mom spoke the word “Stranger” was spoken about with as much distain as any four letter word, and since spouses didn’t share your blood, they weren’t exactly family. It was ironic, because Mom loved Dad above all others, including us.
As families go, we probably fought no more than any other family did. However, Mom never permitted us to have a healthy resolution. “Just turn the other cheek,” she had always told us, and since Mom said it, it was so.
I turned my check many times; however, none of us could forget why we had fought. We merely pushed it under the rug….where it festered.
My husband and I once entered into a business dealing with my younger brother and his wife. The deal went sour and they ran off with our business information, refusing to make the agreed upon payments. “Turn the other cheek. You know that blood is more important,” Mom said.
When a business venture involving my younger sister, went awry, she decided to pay me back by at the expense of my children. At the time, I was borrowing her address to get my children into a better school district. To inflict the maximum amount of hurt, she contacted the Board of Education and informed them that my children no longer lived at her address. The following year, my children would not be able to return to their school. “It doesn’t matter. It is better your children are sad than to loose your sister, and you need your sister!” Mom said.
Mom died of a stroke in 2004. She had not been in good health, but we were all surprised just the same. Her Last Will and Testament would be our family’s’ final undoing. She gave one of five children the family home, leaving the rest of us, including our father to wonder what we had done wrong.
We all entered inheritance hell and for over four years, fought both in and out of court. This was not about the money, but about Mom’s love and legacy. Each of us felt we deserved equality. Without Mom, there was no one to bind the family together or to stop us from really fighting. Old scores were finally and bitterly, settled. Forcibly jettisoned from my fantasy world, I saw my family more clearly now.
Now that our legal battle is over, some of us are growing ever closer as we cast others away. I have learned many valuable lessons about what I will do before the end of my life. My children will each get equal shares of whatever is in the estate at that time. During my lifetime if I need to be more generous with one child, I will do so openly. It is important that my children are able to discuss with me any troubling questions that might reside in their hearts.
I have learned that despite the sorrow Mom caused and the anger I felt, my love for this broken bird has not wavered. She has been and will always be my Momila.
Jeannette Katzir, author of
Broken Birds, The Story of my Momila.