Reflections Of Me: End Of Childhood

Oh my gosh, I had a tiny baby sister. Two pounds, born in the sixth month, how could I know that my parents were agonizing over whether or not she would live.

My mother dreamed her grandmother came to her and said if she would name the baby after her, the baby would live. Mom wasn’t superstitious, but she named the baby after her grandmother.

I found out I could visit Tiny at the hospital. My only recollection of that time was  my Dad saying  she was so tiny she could fit inside a cigar box.When I saw her, I couldn’t believe she had all her fingernails and toenails, but I couldn’t see her nose. I promptly threw up.

For three months my Mom had to wait to get her baby home. Some man came every week for money, and told my mother that if she didn’t pay the hospital wouldn’t release my sister. They threatened just that.Could they just steal my Mother’s baby? It was a scary time.

Finally, after three months she was coming home. I was so excited. Anticipation bubbled through our house like rays of sunshine shimmering through the windows. I was too excited to sleep.

Saturday morning I ran down the steps, a wide smile on my face. I ran across the room. It was  finally happening.

But Mom looked at me funny. Her smile faded as she put her fist up to her mouth. She burst into tears, “You’ve got the measles, and Tiny can’t come home today.”

When she put her fist up to her mouth, I really thought she was going to hit me. It’s my fault I thought, can’t I do anything right? I ran back up to my bedroom and cried. Mom and I didn’t have much to say to each other for the next couple of weeks. Days went by with both of us thinking Tiny would have been home if not for me.

This was the beginning of the end of my childhood.

Tune in for next installment: Be careful what you wish for.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

Have a grateful day.

Reflections of Me: Baltimore, MD 1942

No matter how much we cried, it didn’t change anything. We still were living far away from family. My new life and my new school treated me with intolerance, indifference, and I felt more alone than ever before.

The kids at school laughed at me. I wore long cotton stockings, and they wore anklets. I couldn’t understand their accent, and they made fun of mine. The Principal of the school saw me walking down the hall one day, and under her breath, but loud enough for me to hear, she said, “New York Jew.” I’ll never forget the look of disgust on her face. My mother always told me, “Fight your own battles,” and the other thing she always said was, “Silence is golden, don’t come complaining to me.”

A few months later, I thought a miracle happened. We were sitting at the kitchen table, and my mother said, “How would you like to have a brother or sister?”

I almost fell off my chair I was so excited. I really literally fell off the chair onto the floor.

Two months later, my mother fell up the stairs on her stomach. She lost part of the afterbirth, but I had no idea what that meant. The doctor said she had to stay in bed until she gave birth. I was allowed to see her for ten minutes a day. The only person I had to talk to was the doctor who came every day, and was nice enough to ask me, “How are you today Helene? How was school?”  My father still worked nights and I was alone and invisible.

My grandmother came from New York to help after the first of the year. I got my period that January; I was eleven and a half. I thought I was dying because I bled for twenty-one days. I was prepared, I knew what to do, but after almost three weeks, alone with my thoughts, I wondered what was going to happen to me.

On February second, the man from the downstairs butcher store came upstairs and said, “I’m taking your mother and grandmother to the hospital. It’ time for the baby to come.”

Grandma left me strict and explicit instructions.

Tune in next time to find out what I had to do and what happened.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

Refections of Me: Moving

I vividly remember that day in 1941. I was ten years old, and my mother told me we were moving.

“Moving, moving where? Why?”

“Because Daddy got a job atthe  Glenn L. Martin plant in Baltimore, Maryland. We have to move.”

I saw the tears trickling down my mother’s cheeks, and my world turned upside down. She held open her arms, and we cried together.

The truly traumatic part was leaving my four grandparents, and all my aunts and uncles and cousins. We’d be alone in a strange city, just the three of us.

The next day at school I was humiliated when my fourth grade teacher asked me to go up to the map and show everyone where Baltimore was. I stood there frozen, my knees knocking, and my fingers dripping water on the floor. I was ready to cry when Mrs. Maher rescued me. I sat down and I shut down.

That was only the beginning of the miserable school experiences that were in my future. My childhood was hit by a land mine, and I remained buried under the rubble.

Only now do I realize how much my mother was hurting and all the sacrifices she went through to keep us together as a family. I was much to young to reach out to her, but I hope wherever she is, she knows I understand that she did what she had to do.

More Reflections of Me later


Writing Prompts:

1. I remember: thinking, doing, going, wondering, the joy, the anger, the hopelessness, the magic, the wonder, the irony.

2. The brilliant autumn trees were stripped bare and bleak like her heart

3. She stored the heat from his kiss in her heart.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

Jump Write In: Reflections of Me

I’m going to jump write into into Reflections of Me: my Memoir stories.

July 4, 1931 I was  born. My mother told me two things that I will never forget.

1. I went in with a bang, and I came out the same way.

2. My father didn’t have a job and we were evicted from our apartment.

My first 10 tens were filled with love, parents, four grandparents, lots of aunts and uncles and a few cousins.

When I was little, I asked my Grandpa, “How old are you?” When he told me how old he was I said, “Oh Grandpa, you are so old, you should have died a long time ago.” They never let me forget that one.

We had a three room apartment, and I slept on a sofabed in our living room. My mother worked, and it as my job to wake her. That was hard, she never wanted to get up, and I had to leave for school, hoping she had gotten out of bed, or else I was  in trouble.

I learned to read at an early age, and I read everything I could get my hands on. The Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, and when I was ten and we moved, I cried at leaving all my books, and my big loving family.

My favorite toys were jacks and jumping rope, and playing with my cousin who was a year older than me. Living in Brooklyn, New York, my cousin lived in a six floor apartment building. Our favorite thing to do when it rained, was ride the elevator up and down, and run through all the halls.Till the super chased us out.

I was Goody Two Shoes, and I never took a dare. But one day, it happened. I climbed a telephone pole and then froze, I couldn’t move, couldn’t get down. I was more scared of my mother than the fire department. My mother scared me into coming down, and then whacked me for being so stupid to do such a thing.

Next installment: Moving to Baltimore, Maryland. Traumatic.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

Should I, Or Shouldn’t I?

I have been wanting to write my Memoirs: Reflection Of Me for years. Maybe if I wrote it here on my blog, I would finally do it. One post at a time.

So, should I or shouldn’t I? Would you read it? I’m interested in opinions.

I believe everyone has a story to tell.

Time to get my stories together, and get started.

Maybe Friday or Saturday, I will write one blog on Reflections Of Me, and see what reactions I get.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

Have a grateful day.

Write something, anything.

Eighties Old? I’m Not Old

At 81 I’m learning new things, or trying to. Ipad, Iphone, IMindMap, Scrivener plus doing some ebooks. I hope. I was even thinking of doing some of my Memoir stories here on my blog, called Reflections Of Me. What do you think? Too ambitious?

I’ve also started a new writing group in my senior community. We have met 4 times. I’m loving it. Giving out  handouts about characters, show don’t tell, layering, and soon we will start on scenes. We also talk about questions for Memoirs.

I’m trying the book club and the computer club, jury is still out because I have so much to do. And I have to see my great grandchildren. often! My oldest lives less than one half mile from us, in fact she and her mother are coming for dinner tonight. Her Mom is making dinner. Tomorrow, we are seeing the other two great grandchildren. Fun…

Book: I recommend Defending Jacob.

Writing Prompts:

1. The little girl sat on the floor reading, she even turned the pages as she had this whole conversation with herself.

2. The boat drifted through a deadly storm.

3. She crept down the steps to hear the voices

So, what do you think? Should I start writing my Memoir: Reflections of Me on this site? Would love to get some opinions.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

Things I’m Doing

Since I had skin cancer surgery on my nose on May 10th, I have been actually doing nothing. Well, that’s not quite true. I have been reading books about writing, blogs about writing. Things like doing scenes, plots, character studies; some differ in opinion, but the bottom line is this. You have to write, enough reading. I organized, make lists did some mind maps, clustering, and now have a mountain of papers on my desk.

Yes, it’s time to actually write. Where to start? At the beginning? Maybe. Sometimes I just like to dive into a scene that I have already plotted out. Sometimes I need to add layers, or description, but at least it will be down on paper. Good place to start?

Wishing everyone a safe and healthy Memorial Day tomorrow.

If you are looking for something to read, check out my book, Behind The Mask. A true story;f keeping my husband’s (misdiagnosis) of Alzheimer’s Disease a secret  for seven years. Secrets are very stressful. I hope you find my story touches your heart.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

Journey Back to Writing

I am taking a journey back to writing. Once you stop, it’s hard to start again. But, this time I have a goal; to finish
a book, and to work on my Memoirs. I am hoping to start a writing group within the community I live, so that we all can work on our goals together.

Another goal is to do an e book, or several. One is a book of 500 prompts. No more facing a blank page, each prompt sets up an idea or image to dive right in and start a story..

Some examples of First Lines are:
1. Did someone knock you out, or did your brains just fall out by themselves?
2. The pain is relentless and screaming for mercy.
3. The river flows as endlessly as my words.
4. Sure, I have choices, but no one gave me permission.
5.Questions opened scabs.

Just examples of using First Lines in your writing.

We have moved again, closer still to family. Love the new apartment, and the new senior community. Looking forward to things to come.

Three great grandchildren, and one on the way. I am so grateful. We should all find something to be grateful for every day.

As I said in my book, Behind The Mask, keep love and kisses in your life.

One Year Later

Wow, it’s been a year since I’ve written something here. So let’s catch up.

My Life: Moving back to California to be near family, kids, grandkids, and now great grand children. Wonderful. I love it. We now have two, a girl and a boy, and another girl will be born in October. That’s the best life. I’m blessed and truly grateful. I had my 80th birthday last month, a truly terrific day.

My Writing: Mostly non existent. That too has to change. I’ve started my Memoir, Reflections of Me again. This time I began with, “My life ended at age 10”  At least I’ve started.

My Knitting: Getting better, learning a lot, making things that actually fit me, and having fun doing it. Right now, knitting for new great grand daughter, the baby shower is in two weeks, and I have to finish one more piece of knitting. A ball. I’ve already knitted a blanket, and a sweater and hats, and a baby bunting. Also knitting some short sleeve tops for me. Soon, starting on winter things.

I bought a Nook Color, and I love it. Buying too many books, and great apps both for me and the great grand kids…The last best book I read was, The Beautiful Girl. Took me a little while to get into the story, but then I couldn’t stop reading.  My two favorite games are Mah Jongg, and Word Twist.

Enough about me for now. Talk to you later. Have a wonderful day, make sure you take time out for you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Birthday Party Saturday

Saturday afternoon is my husband’s party. He will be 80. That is a nice round number for anyone.

We are so pleased, proud, overjoyed, and blessed with our life. Our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren are so special to us. Spending time with them is precious.

None of us realize how time quickly escapes us. I’ve noticed that I’ve become lazy, not writing at all. The yesterday I came across a letter written to my grand daughter in 1999, and I’m giving it to her again tomorrow. It is beautiful, in my opinion. But then, I was writing much of the time, and the words flowed easily. When I don’t write every day, it’s so much more difficult to express myself in terms of how I feel or what is important to me. I hope I will continue to write, as I’ve truly missed it.

The Genealogy is coming along. Slowly and painstakingly. It’s quite a job. Requires a lot of patience and checking and rechecking.  I have enlisted some help. We have uncovered a mystery that we are trying to solve, I suppose in time, it will check out.

In the meantime, be good to yourself and others. Always think about the caregivers in your community, they need friendship and help. Smiles help too.

Until next time, keep love and kisses in your life. Helene