Birthday Story 62

Title

Lyrics to Light One Candle

Light one candle for the Maccabee children
Give thanks that their light didn’t die!
Light one candle for the pain they endured
When their right to exist was denied!
Light one candle for the terrible sacrifice
Justice and freedom demand!
And light one candle for the wisdom to know
When the peacemaker’s time is at hand!

Don’t let the light go out!
It’s lasted for so many years!
Don’t let the light go out!
Let it shine through our love and our tears.

Light one candle for the strength we all need
To never become our own foe!
And light one candle for those who are suff’ring
Pain we learned so long ago!
Light one candle for all we believe in,
Let anger not tear us apart!
And light one candle to bind us together
With peace as the song in our heart!

Don’t let the light go out!
It’s lasted for so many years!
Don’t let the light go out!
Let it shine through our love and our tears.

What is the memory that’s valued so highly
That we keep it alive in that flame?
What’s the commitment to those who have died
When we cry out they’ve not died in vain,
We have come this far, always believing
That justice will somehow prevail!
This is the burning. This is the promise,
This why we will not fail!

Don’t let the light go out!
It’s lasted for so many years!
Don’t let the light go out!
Let it shine through our love and our tears.

Don’t let the light go out!
Don’t let the light go out!
Don’t let the light go out!

candleLight One Candle, Peter Yarrow

Stan sent this suggestion in as a fitting match to my story! Hope you enjoy it.
Sorry about the ads that appear. Youtube puts those there. That’s life as we know it in 2015.

My Birthday is coming up on Tuesday and as I have done in recent years, I have created a coupon sale so you can get a great deal on life enhancing Optimal Health Bridge supplements. The link for the coupon is beneath the story.

Lotte at granddaughter Katrina's graduation
Lotte at granddaughter Katrina’s graduation

My mother is 81. She asked me what I want for my birthday. I’m stumped. I have no idea. She is a remarkable lady. I know your mother is also remarkable too. All mothers are remarkable. It’s not just politicians that like to kiss babies. I like it too. I kissed one last night.

And I also know many of my email readers may not have their mothers’ on earth any more. I am sorry for that. The fact that I have mine is nothing short of bizarre or mysterious or miraculous. Pick your own descriptor.

My mother should not have lived past 8 years. She was put on a train out of Vienna with her family, moved to a cattle car in the middle of the night and wound up in Minsk a couple of days later. She was separated out from the rest of her family. They were all older and had seamstress skills and were fit for “arbeit” you know, worker bees for the Maly Trotstinets camp. My grandfather had the foresight to pack a mason’s trough in his knapsack as proof of his (arbeiter) abilities. To my knowledge he had never used the trough in his life, but luckily had it lying around. And it came in handy in a time of need.

But mom didn’t have any skills. She was 8. Maybe she could sing a German song or play hopscotch in the dirt. My aunt (18 years old at the time) begged, pleaded, cajoled the SS officer on the station platform to allow little Lotte (pronounced Low ta) to remain with the family and entered the camp. See, getting into the camp was the goal. Not being tossed into the back of a truck was the goal. Somehow they knew instinctively about the killing fields and mass graves. The German officer “had a change of heart.” Mom got to enter the camp!

In the midst of darkness even a little candle can be seen a mile away. I also realize with sorrow that not every child in 1942 was so lucky or ‘blessed’ you might say. I know it sounds really strange to think it’s a blessing to go into a concentration camp!

lotte-repatriation
Repatriation Passport issued to a peasant girl.
transformation
Transformation from peasant girl to young woman in only 6 months.

Mom stayed alive for 2 years in the camp. Her mother did not survive and her older sister, Regina did not survive. They just quietly disappeared and their belongings were moved to the mountain of dispossessed belongings that were picked through by the German officers first, then used as barter for food with local farmers.

‘Grossvater’ did survive and so did Edith and Lotte. Only sixteen out of hundreds of thousands survived that camp. Three were my relatives. Should I buy a lottery ticket? Heck, I already won the lottery by being born in America!

There’s a much longer story to the great escape from the camp, the whizzing bullets, the Russian peasants hiding in the fields, the Polish men with German uniforms that wound up caring for my mom who hid out while my grandfather was arrested again by Germans, then Russians. Six years of separation. Side note: Sometimes it’s not a bad thing to be arrested. It saved my grandfather’s life.

Mom was a Catholic by the time she was repatriated out of Russia back to Vienna. The family she’d been living with had no idea she was Jewish. They only found out when a Moscow-ite from the government came looking for her in 1950 or 51.

Aunt Edith, Mamie Eisenhower’s secretary and a Jewish Congressman from New York did some heavy lifting, along with some initial help from a German soldier who was begging for bread who carried her name to International Red Cross in the early 1950’s. Then as luck would have it, I was born in Washington DC on December 15, 1953 at Walter Reed Army hospital.

So what could I possibly want for my birthday given this back story?

I guess I want world peace. Of course I am not a contestant in the Miss America contest. I am too old.

Socks. That’s it. I want some cool socks. But I don’t like my mother going out and driving to stores and the mall. Too much traffic. She’s not very good in parking lots. There’s too many people hanging at the mall for my liking.

So she can buy a JC Penny gift card. Or shop on Amazon. I’ve shown her a few times how to do that but she still likes to get in her car and go do a little bit of shopping. Old habits, you know.

So I am bizarrely blessed to have an American life, to be turning 62. My whole existence could have been snuffed out on a platform in Minsk, or in a cattle car in Belarus. Or God only knows.

Ok here’s the link: https://optimalhealthbridge.com/62birthday The birthday deal is 18% off ANY Optimal Health Bridge labels AND FREE SHIPPING (saves $6 on top of the 18%)

Click on the coupon to add the 18% Discount and Free shipping
Click on the coupon to add the 18% Discount and Free shipping.
NOTE: EXPIRES MIDNIGHT THE 15TH OF DECEMBER 2015.

My mom takes True Omega-3 every day. If it’s good enough for MOM, it’s good enough for a small stocking stuffer on the mantle or a little present under the tree, don’t you think?

By clicking the link, we’ll add a free 7 day pill case to your cart and apply the coupon for 18% off and free shipping. Then the more you add to your cart, the more you save, you know that old sappy line, but it’s true!

Some of my favorites are

And remember, always keep a knapsack with a mason’s trough at the ready, just in case. Or become a seamstress. Your grandchildren may thank you sixty years from now.

Have a Merry Christmas and “Schonne Channukkah”

Let the light of the world shine in the midst of gross darkness!

Garey Simmons,
Garey@ohb3.com

Note: coupon is valid until midnight December 15. You get free shipping and 18% reduction on your Optimal Health Bridge products you put in the cart. Not valid for previous purchases and may only be applied to new orders. Will not discount brands other than Optimal Health Bridge.

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