Mother-tongue

The language I use now is not my Mother-tongue. It is not the language I heard while lying in my Mother’s womb. It is not the language I learned to understand in the first year and a half of my life, while my family was living in terror, planning to flee their homeland, Austria, that had become Hitler’s Nazi Austria. German was the language I heard as my family said good-bye to each other. Good-bye to brothers and sisters and parents, who thought that maybe they would never see each other again. German was the language that was used to...

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Learning to Adjust

     What I have learned in my life and how I have learned it are directly related to my self-concept. One essential facet of my self-concept is my association with the significant others in my formative years. “Significant others” includes family and groups to which I have belonged throughout my shifting life.      For instance, it is interesting for me to realize that, by the age of two years, I was already the product of two cultures. I was born in Vienna, Austria in January of 1938, six weeks before Hitler marched in the city and annexed...

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Just One More Day

     If I could have just one more day with someone who is no longer alive, I would choose my mother. I was only thirty-five years old when she died. She did get to see my six wonderful children, but they were only five through fifteen years old. I know that no grandmother ever loved her grandchildren more than she did, but she only got to see them a few times a year for just a few short days. My mother had to leave her own parents behind when she was thirty-four years old after Hitler chased us out of Vienna. The following year, my...

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Healing in the Open

     In a bizarrely freak accident in a car wash, my car ran over my left leg and stopped on top of my knee. The car was rolled off my leg, and I was taken to a trauma center for immediate attention. Miraculously, there were no bones broken, but I did sustain a monstrous wound that refused to heal, mainly because it had been mistreated for the first few weeks.      The doctors were so amazed that I did not break any bones that they ignored the wounds and inner tissue damage I had received in the accident. They sent me to a nursing home for...

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Going Back

I am perched on the verge of a pilgrimage back to my roots. These roots do not go as deep as those of my birth, But Uruguay is, nevertheless, the earth from which these seedlings sprang, Becoming shoots that would grow into the person I would become. My parents never planted their feet on this soil, and It blew away from under their feet as soon as they left it. I cannot know what tendrils clung to me from there, but I know that there are remnants of it still. They may not be easy to recognize and identify, but they are there. The thought of...

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