If my mother, z”l (may her memory be blessed), were alive today she would be 84. So I decided to go up to my attic and bring down a few of the photos from her youth. The first one was taken in Russia, as I recognize my great-grandmother in the photo:
My mother is the little girl on the far left. My great-grandmother is sitting on a chair (I recognize her because she looks exactly like that in a different photo in a family album in which my mother identified her). My grandmother, my mother’s mother, is sitting on the far right. I am guessing the others are siblings of my grandmother (supposedly she had nine siblings) and their children.
This next one is definitely in New York City:
And the one at the right seems to be my mother as a young teen, probably about the age of my eldest child.
In the New York City photo, one can see my grandmother, my mother at about age 5 or 6, and my grandfather, whom I never met. In many of the photos he seems to be holding a cigarette in his hand. I’m sure that played a factor in his dying when my mother was only 14 years old. My grandmother used to smoke; it was what one did, back then. When it was reported in the early 1970s that smoking was bad for one’s health, my grandmother threw her cigarettes away. I remember finding chewing gum in her purse. I don’t believe my mother ever smoked.
All her life my mother made friends easily. Here is a photo of her with a friend whom I suspect is named Hilda, because I found the name “Hilda” written on the back of a different photo:
I think they were graduating from Smith College (thank you, Jendeis; see her comment #8), where my mother did a masters in physics.
Here’s a picture of my mother (far right) and grandmother (next to her) with two friends. I do not know the friends. Perhaps someday someone will read this post and say, hey, that’s *my* grandmother:
Years ago, someone told me that Jews don’t celebrate birthdays, we celebrate “death” days (the name for this in Yiddish is Yahrzeit). Well, in my family we *do* celebrate birthdays, but a yahrzeit does have extra special meaning, in a different sort of way. My mother’s yahrzeit (the anniversary of her death) is soon after the Jewish holidays. So in late October, I’ll do another post about my mom.
One of the photos I found was of Mariampole, which is the town in Lithuania from which my maternal grandfather came. That photo is now in a post called Greetings from Mariompole.