I was liberated April 13, 1945. But was I really?
Those who perished are sound asleep. We that survived are condemned to live.
To have my poems published is a dream worth living for. Only then will I rest my soul. Only then I’ll know why I of all have survived.
Please G-d; remember me as you have forgotten my family. Grant me this wish that I may build a tower in Heaven for the martyrs. Please!
April 13, 1979
As I raced toward the edge of the world in a runaway train
You plucked me from empty caverns of unspace
And then I was born
Eighteen months after my dear mother left this physical world I struggle with a multitude of brimming boxes of her journals, poems, original music, drawings, photographs, cassette tapes, movie reviews, and other miscellanea.
She was prolific, that is for sure. She sought to be recognized for her talent. I wonder if these physical goods are symbolic of my emotional struggle. I can’t seem to move on with my life. Or I should say that all of my valiant attempts to move on seem to pale next to the huge emotional cloud bogging me down. I feel as though I am in quicksand, if I move forward just a bit, I will be sucked into an abyss of wet concrete.
I know this is craziness; she wanted me to have a good life and be happy. I feel comfort but also the duality of desperation as I still live in our house, sleep in her bed, and wear her t-shirts and wonder what I am without her.
I can smell her perfume, the Nina Ricci she loved so much. And her Jean Nate bath powder. Those two items were as important to her as food.
She is gone. But is she? If I publish her work, read her lines, see her pictures, and hear her voice I am able to go on living without her. This is as important to me as food.
That is what this book is about. Her, always her. And me, moving on without her, but keeping her close, too. This book fulfills a promise I made to her. There is a post-it note on a picture in my room that I look at each night before I turn off the light and each morning as I get up. It says:
“My Love My darling Naomi…
Good luck with the book. The second one I mean.
Forever Yours, Editke”
I can’t let go until I do this. And so I present to the world my favorites of her poems and family photos. As I set her words into motion once again, it is unbearable for me to think of her as bones in a grave. So I must set her free, in that way that her freedom meant so very much to her, with pen and paper.
After each of her poems I will write something. What it means to me, what it might mean to anyone that may read it. And what it meant to her? That will remain a mystery and something for you, the reader, to speculate.