Posts by date: 23 September 2009

Portrait of my mother as a butterfly

Posted by Andy on Sep 23, 2009 with No Comments
in family, memory lane, photography

butterflymomThis is the second anniversary of my mother’s passing. I miss you, Mom.

Here’s what the rabbi said at her funeral:

Eleonor Roman was born in Austria-Hungary in 1915 in the small village of Vrbovce (VR-BOV-TSEH). She met her husband, Paul, while visiting her brother’s scout camp, and their encounter evolved into a beautiful romance. They married in 1939, and through strange twists of fate, found themselves separated during WWII for a full seven years, during which Paul served in the US Army in Alaska, and Nora survived in Czechoslovakia, moving from place to place, avoiding dropping bombs, living by her wits, and on false papers. For years they were out of communication, and didn’t know whether the other was alive. Happily, they reunited in Czechoslovakia in 1946, and soon had two sons, George and Andy.

As part of Paul’s work in the Foreign Service, the family also lived in Austria, Germany, and Thailand, where Nora was exceptionally proud to be a representative of her new homeland, the USA. She often told glowing tales of how happy her life was during those times, and often said: “How did a little girl from Vrbovce deserve the grand life that was given to me?” Nora was especially grateful to be an American, and often said, “It’s not perfect, but it’s the best place on earth.”

Paul Roman died in 1970 after retiring in Silver Spring, where Nora continued to reside for many years.

Nora is survived by her two sons, their wives, Alice and Lynne, a grand-daughter, Kaia, and a great-granddaughter, Kira.  Kaia is currently 6-months pregnant with Nora’s second great-grandchild. Nora also counted her blessings to have a growing extended family of loving nieces and their families.

If you want to build a ship

Posted by Andy on Sep 23, 2009 with No Comments
in Quotes

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood
and don’t assign them tasks and work,
but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”

— Antoine de Saint Exupery

The Dump

Posted by Andy on Sep 23, 2009 with No Comments
in memory lane

When I was about six, we moved into what I recognize now as a temporary low-rent high-rise apartment in the D.C. area. We shared a blinking black and white TV with others in the musty, ragged-carpeted lobby, we walked up dark stairwells to our place, and I slept on a roll-away bed in the living/dining room. My Dad was between assignments, and was home a lot. Years later my parents referred to that place as The Dump, and made all sorts of disparaging remarks about it, the neighborhood, and those times. What I remember is this: admiring my new tennis shoes as I played on the sidewalk, my Dad carrying me on his shoulders, and the spectacle of the national fireworks at the Washington Monument on the 4th of July. I remember The Dump fondly.