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Mother's Final Illness
Mother did not give up; she refused to stay in bed. Yet it was to no avail -- the end was unavoidable. Six weeks after taking to bed she was taken away from us. The three of us remained like three weak branches, without a trunk and without roots. I, the oldest, was fifteen and a half years old, Rochl was twelve and Tilly, the youngest, only ten and a half. We were facing an enormous misfortune! We were left in the middle of the ocean, without being able to arrive at the port we had been yearning for. Mother's dreams and plans could not be brought to fruition. The terrible tragedy that befell us appeared to us as a punishment coming from God.

During the first weeks of mother's illness, we went every day to the synagogue to pray and shout to heavens imploring for her salvation. We asked God to give her some more years of life; the idea of remaining alone, without her, seemed too terrible to even contemplate. Yet the prayers and tears of three children were to no avail and the angel of death took her from us. She left forever and we remained without Mother, without Father and even without relatives. Luckily we had established good relation with some families, the Kotlers. who till today are very close to us, but there was nobody of our blood, there were no grandparents, uncles or aunts with us.

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Editor's Notes: nobody: Apparently, Aunt Jane in Baranovich had succeeded in emigrating by this time.

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