I will now share my most significant find: pictures of my mother when she was young. Since she left Poland before Hitler invaded, these photos must be of her early life in the United States. After my father passed away, I cleaned out their apartment and unearthed a few old photo albums. You can’t imagine how much stuff my father stored in a two-bedroom apartment with only four closets. I must search for his box of memorabilia from WWII; he saved every pay stub from the Merchant Marines.

The first picture boggles my mind since I’ve never seen my mother wearing anything but skirts or dresses. She didn’t go to the beach, so no bathing suits. But here she’s wearing shorts. It must be when she first arrived in the U.S. since after she married, she lived in an apartment with my father in Williamsburg. She told me she lived with cousins, but where I had no idea.

My mother arrived when she was 16, so this must be her as a teenager before she began to lose her vision. She looks happier than I remember her. She wore a bow in her hair, and my daughters loved wearing bows when they were small.

I wonder who this woman is with my mother. She might be Rabbi Lamm’s mother, who was her first cousin. They remained close after my mother married, and I walked with her to Peppy’s house on the Sabbath. Or she could be a close friend, a cheerful-looking friend.

And who is this? My mother’s friends or relatives appear friendly and fun.

More unknown people.

And look what I found: a baby picture of my brother. If you haven’t noticed by now, I always mention my brother whenever I speak of my family.

This is the last picture. My mother appears younger in this one. I don’t know if she brought any photos with her from Poland. No one expected The Holocaust, except for Hitler himself.

I’m relieved my mother had happier times than her experiences later in life.