Only a Faint Glimmer

Mama, there’s a story to tell and the days are few.  It is a story about a very special lady who was not special in her lifetime but her story today is very special.  She came from, a place that no longer exists, lived a kind of life that no longer is lived, and did things that are not done anymore.

What seems like hardships today were everyday happenings in “those times”The war that was to end all wars—never did.  The Great Depression is only a memory today, and we are told that safeguards have been put into place so that there will be no more Depressions, and the lessons we learned will never let the Great Depression happen again.

We live in a world where:


My children have only a faint glimmer of what it was like on the farm and what Mama’s life was like.  They know little of her toiling and going through the drudgery of a monotonous day with few neighbors, friends or family to share and socialize.  Most of all there was little yidishkayt (Jewishness) other than what Mama was able to retain by her own wits.

My children have only a faint glimmer of an idea what it was like living through World War I in Poland with the Cossacks and Germans alternating in occupying Tiktin where she lived with her mother while her father was in America trying to raise enough money to bring them over.

My children have only a glimmer of what it was like coming across the Atlantic in steerage, arriving in a new land, knowing no English, working at a sewing machine, being paid by the piece and then going to night school to learn English, and the difficulty in mastering the “th” sound.

Mama, you were a very special lady.