B INSPIRED BY MY MOTHER, A HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR

My mom at The Office in Cabo

My mom at The Office in Cabo

Bubba is a common Yiddish name for Grandma. That is what my kids call my mother. I love this picture because she is so happy. We took my mother to Mexico for her 80th birthday. It was just my brothers, my husband and my parents, all in a house that we rented. I highly recommend staying in a house together if you go on a family trip—it is the best way to have quality time together.

There are so many feelings and words with regards to my mother. She is my mentor, my rock, my hero. My mother is a Holocaust survivor. She lost her entire family except for her grandmother and her uncle. There are only approximately 100,000 survivors left in the world. What my mother went through as a child is inconceivable. From having her father taken away to a death camp and never seeing him again, to living underground in a hole, in a farm shed, and eating the lettuce from a rabbit’s cage because she was starving, to watching her mother die of starvation. It doesn’t sound real and some people don’t believe that these types of stories happened. My mother has suffered a lot but she has gained a beautiful life with my father, a marriage of 65 years, with three children and nine grandchildren. She is the most generous and giving women. She lives for her family—it is what matters the most.

Whenever I feel like I am having a bad day or I am down about something, I think of my mother and what she has gone through. To me, nothing could be worse than her past.

Recently, there was a tragic event that happened in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A shooter went into a synagogue, armed with an AR-15-style assault rifle and at least three handguns and shouting anti-Semitic slurs, killing at least 11 congregants and wounding four police officers and two others. When my mother heard about this story, is was devastating. It brings back all of those memories. How could this happen in our country? Hard to believe.

I hope our world can learn to be kind again, to not hate and to be more accepting, and to figure out a way to help the mentally ill. We need to spend quality time with the people we love. Especially with our Bubbas.

Belinda DonnerComment