Friday, August 9, 2013

An Unexpected Family Reunion, Seven Decades After the Holocaust


“Chaya Rojza? Well, my name is Chaya Rojza,” Irene announced, to the surprise of even her own granddaughter, who was also listening on speakerphone from Irene’s apartment in Massachusetts."

“That’s what I was called until I was 10. Then I said, ‘No more of that. My name is Irene Rose.’ ”
Chaya Rojza. Frieda’s eyes fluttered closed. She reached out for me to hold her hands. And we sat silently like that for a moment or two, the past and the present suddenly seamlessly connected."

"I thought of a favorite Sharon Olds poem."

"Upon hearing the news of the death of her first love, Olds writes that she wanted to “close myself like a door/ as you had been shut, closed off, but I could not/ do it, the pain kept coursing through me like/ life, like the gift of life.”