My Mother, by Terry Germann


My Mother

Everybody has a mother and I am no different. My mother and I were very close throughout my life. Whenever I had a problem, she was always there to listen and give me advice. Whenever I had a joy to share with her, she was always there to celebrate it with me.

When I was a teenager, of course, I rebelled and didn’t really want to spend much time with her, choosing to be with my friends because you know, it just wasn’t “cool” to hang out with your mother. Also, she had a Hungarian accent and my friends would always question me about her strange and unusual accent.

However, when I became an adult, I found that my mother had a fantastic sense of humor and was the most caring, sensitive and kindest person that I knew! We would literally stay up for hours talking. I can honestly say that my mother was my best friend in the whole world. After my children were born, she would come over to my house and spend weekends with us. Never one to sit down and rest, she would constantly be cooking, doing laundry, cleaning, and was the kindest grandmother, always giving in to their every whim, always doting on them. My three children were ecstatic whenever they heard that “Softa”, which means grandmother in Hebrew, would be coming over for the weekend. I would beg her to sit down and watch TV and take it easy but she would tell me that she enjoyed helping out and wanted to be useful.

My mother had been in Auschwitz, a horrible concentration camp in Poland. Knowing how sensitive I was, she never wanted to discuss the details of the horror that she had experienced there. Her father, brother and fiancee were all killed by the Nazis and whenever she would talk about any of them, she would start to cry and I would cry along with her, not knowing how to comfort her. My teenage babysitter had asked her if she wouldn’t mind coming to her classroom to talk about her experiences in the concentration camp because she was learning all about it in her High School and thought the class would benefit greatly from having a “survivor” witness to them. It was very rare that my mother would say no to people, always wanting to please and she consented to speak in front of the class. I wanted to be there for her, to listen to her tribulations but she refused, saying it would be too upsetting for me. Could you imagine someone who had suffered so badly and yet worrying about me, that I would be upset?

Sadly, my mother died very suddenly in the year 1990 from an apparent heart attack in her home, sitting in her favorite chair, at the age of 70. We were all in a constant state of shock because we weren’t aware that she had been sick or that she even had a heart condition.

About six months after my mother passed away, I had this wonderful vivid dream about her. I dreamt I was entering the family room of my home and there she was, sitting on my sofa, a younger and healthier looking mother, her face was shining and she was smiling. I ran over to her and said “mom, you’re alive” and she smiled and gave me this hug, the warmest, most comforting hug I could ever have imagined and I just sat on the couch and hugged her for the longest time. When I woke up, the warmth in my heart was still there and each time I thought of my mother, I was comforted because I convinced myself that she came into my world to say hello and to let me know that she was all right. I very often think of that dream and that same warm sensation engulfs me and I’m once again comforted by it each time.

Years and years ago, I once heard a man on television say that his wife was his heart. I didn’t really understand that statement but I can fully understand him now because my mother was and will always be – my heart.

One Comment

  1. John
    23 Sep 2006 19:45:20

    I didn’t know how I could possibly cope with the loss of my mother, but I did discover an amazing reality of what it does mean to have someone in your heart.
    People’s presence in our lives distracts us from their presence in our hearts, but when they are gone there is no such distraction-and we are left with the full impact of what it means to have someone in your heart.
    That was what I found. It took a while.
    It really seems the ultimate way to cope with loss is to discover we have not lost anything.
    Beautiful tribute to your mother.
    God bless.

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