Mother’s Day

Like so many of you, for me, everyday is Mother’s Day.  While these past few years I have tried to keep the memory of my mother, Blima/Betty alive through my books and presentations, she remains a daily and persistent presence in my mind and in my heart.  In my actions, my plans, my resolutions, I am always wondering if she would approve.  I hope that she would.

But as Mother’s Day 2012 draws near, I want to give thanks to another part of the equation–my children.  To my eldest, Howie, like me in so many ways, for his tenacity, his pursuit of excellence, his commitment to peace.  To Brad, for his generosity, kindness, and supreme sense of humanity.  To Charlie, for his risk-taking, originality, and commitment to friendship.  And for Jaime, married to Howie, and “my girl.”  What an amazing mother you will be!  The word “love” seems insufficient to embrace how I feel about all of you.

On another note, I want to thank the Morris School District Community School for inviting me to share My Mother’s Shoes.  I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion and sharing memories of those we hold dear.  Thanks too for the tips on becoming an involved grandparent!  Finally, I urge you all to attend “The Gathering” of second and third generations at Mercer County College on June 10….http://nj.gov/education/holocaust/programs/061012shoah.pdf.

For all you moms, both young, old, and “soon to be,” I wish you a happy Mother’s Day.

—Shirley

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About shirleywachtel

Shirley Russak Wachtel is the author of The Story of Blima—A Holocaust Survivor (publ.2005), a novel which recounts the early years of her mother, Betty Weisstuch Russak. The novel s listed as a recommended novel by the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education. Wachtel is the author of several children's books, including a series of interactive mysteries, Charlie Wonder, Chef-Detective (2005), which includes several recipes; Brad Sureshot, Coach-Detective (2007) which details basketball skills; and Howie Rocket, World-Traveler-Detective (2009) which has handy foreign language phrases. In The Mellow Light (2009) is her first book of poetry. She is a professor of English at Middlesex County College in New Jersey. In addition, Wachtel is the co-author of Spotlight on Reading (2011), a textbook for college-level students. A mother of three sons, she resides with her husband, Arthur, in East Brunswick, New Jersey. Initially written as a doctoral dissertation for her Doctor of Letters Degree from Drew University, My Mother's Shoes , says Wachtel, is not just the novel of her life, it is the novel of her heart.
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