It took a long time for Margaret to warm up to me. After all, not only did she see me as a rival for her first born’s affections, but I was a Shiksa with a minister for a father. That was a hard pill to swallow for someone who survived the Holocaust at such a tender age. And I took some time warming up to her as well. I was 22 years old when I met her, immature and insecure. I was resentful of her complicated relationship with Jeff. I felt helpless in the face of her traumatic history and suffering. It overwhelmed me. I kept a defensive and wary distance.
But thirty years is a long time. On weekends and holidays, I sat at her table, and she sat at mine. I enjoyed her soup. She critiqued my Thanksgiving turkey. And I don’t know if it was the psychotherapy we each had or the passing of time, but something shifted over the years in subtle and big ways. Continue reading