Wednesday, May 8, 2013

RIMKA We get going

Hello, if you read the first portion of my writing, I'm sorry. The blog that I started disappeared and I couldn't continue it. I'll start again, posting the same material.
These the stories that I heard from my father and mother, about their families and life in the Soviet Union.
With all the suffering that was imposed on people there, it was even harder on people of different ethnicity than Russians. Our roots are Jewish, and the Russians are notoriously anti-Semitic. But not all the suffering came from the regime or the bigots. We, humans, never learn. We hurt and we hurt others. Please read these stories and let me know what you take from them.



images (178×283)He  awkwardly held a warm bundle, clutching his Red Army cap under the baby's bottom. He didn't see the wrinkled, red-faced child in front of him. In his mind, over and over again, he kept seeing his young wife, struggling to stay alive. Her beautiful face was swollen and inflamed, her body arching desperately as the seizures overtook her. And then, she lay lost, pale and empty. Yakov searched his heart for any tenderness toward the child in his arms, but all he could master, were the feelings of guilt and anger. The tall, handsome officer handed the baby to the nurse and quickly strode out of the maternity ward, his long army overcoat almost tripping him in the doorway. Three months later, still reeling from grief and all the blood he had shed, he'll write to his mother from the great Asian steppes, where he fought the enemies of the Soviet Union. He'll tell her about the death of his wife and about the baby who lay waiting in a small town hospital. Yakov couldn't know what the
Grandmother Velya
abandonment of his daughter will cost her or her family.

     Grandmother Velya came to claim the little girl and took her back to Moscow. She called her Rimka and Rimka called her Momma. For a long while they were happy just to be together.

Dad's father's real name was Yakov. I changed it to
keep from confusing my readers. He is
here with his wife, Hanah.
        Meyer's dad heard a strange sound behind him. Standing on the ladder, he turned to look. Meyer gazed at his father's work with shining eyes and grinning from ear to ear. Ever since he was small, they noticed that he couldn't keep back this strangled laughter whenever he encountered something beautiful. Right now, he watched his father, Jacob, painting the apartment and couldn't help admiring it. Instead of using just one flat color, Jacob made it look like the walls were draped in silk, by shading the tops and bottoms of the walls slightly darker and putting vertical lighter stripes and a pattern though the whole perimeter of the apartment, from top of the wall to the bottom, which made the effect of the light playing on silk even more pronounced. Jacob smiled and returned to work. Meyer was his youngest. He was a lanky preteen, who always seemed to have a cold. His eyes were tiny and red rimmed, his ears stuck out of his head like huge mushrooms. Even so, he looked so amiable that almost everyone liked him immediately. His older brother, Lev, was the handsomest of the bunch: tall, with dark wavy hair and crinkly eyes, but he worried his parents the most.
     About a year ago, the family's 25 year old Russian helper, Daria, dropped a bomb: she was pregnant by 16 year old Lev. He confessed, in tears, but insisted that she seduced him. The family was
Here is my dad's whole family in
later years (excluding his brother, Samuel,
who disappeared in the WWII and father, who already died),
many years later. Dad is the third from the
left in the back raw.
mortified. Jacob wore out his belt, punishing Lev, then sent him to live with some relatives in Minsk. For many years after, he sent Daria money to support his grandchild, only to find out much later that Lev's daughter died in infancy. Daria tried to meet Lev again, but he's had enough of her. Neither Lev nor Jacob were ever the same after that affair.
Lev as an adult

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