After two serious pieces, I was planning on writing a lighter, more humorous blog, this month, something more tied to my first piece which came out in February. That seems so long ago. It’s hard to believe that I once was having a problem thinking of something to write about.
Then I reread the comments people made about “More Voices From the Past”. I immediately noticed something new. I had readers. Real readers. Readers who not only read what I wrote but took the time to comment on it! I was convinced. I needed to stop worrying about lightening the mood and write about what they wanted to know: What happened to Abram?
I’ve grown up with the story of Abram. I’ve known it by heart, ever since I was a young child. Writing about him now, I wanted to see if there was something more, some detail that I didn’t know or might have forgotten. So I decided to call my Mom. She’s now 101 and living with my sister in California. She remembers everything as if it happened yesterday.
We talked for a while and went over the major points. I had a few more questions I wanted to ask when she said, “Claire, this is so sad. I don’t want to talk about it anymore. Let’s change the subject.” Imagine, I thought, this is seventy-three years later and for my Mom it was like it had happened yesterday. Poof! Seventy-three years vanishing in a few seconds and the terrible sadness and loss is still there.
Mom remembered that my Dad had finally gotten Abram the visa to come to the U.S., probably sometime in late 1941. But Abram had insisted (and I remember Grandma and Papa saying the same thing) that he had to stop off in Switzerland for his health first. He wasn’t feeling well. He’d see a doctor and after that he’d come straight to America.
Why? Why? Why did he insist on stopping off in Switzerland first and then coming to America? I remember my parents and grandparents asking this question over and over for many years. There was never an answer.
Abram never came again to America, not in 1941 or ’42 or ever. It was a fateful decision.
Next time I’ll talk about what happened to him and how we found out.