my storyteller

My storyteller is sick.

My mom lost the ability to form words three weeks ago. I’m far away and unable to help unless listening to my father cry is helpful. It occurs to me, as I sit here during this terrible waiting game, that someday, there won’t be any more living Holocaust survivors. The thought fills me with dread. It will be left to people like me, the children of survivors, to tell their stories; stories of jaw-dropping bravery in the face of overwhelming odds, of glimmers of good in a universe of evil, of unpredictable, serendipitous miracles of survival.

The things I have already lost dawn on me slowly. I will never again hear her tell me the one about Selinger waiting for her family as they straggled out of the forest. I will never again hear her describe how her mother rescued her father from Soviet soldiers by beating him up with a rolling pin, distracting the Communists with laughter while she craftily dragged Zaidy out of their sight. I will never again hear her identify the dashing, mysterious young men in the photo album she kept of her life as a teen-age girl in the D.P. Camps.

What can I do? Only this. I write.

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