When I was in eighth grade, our English teacher, Mrs. Hall, asked all the students in class to write an essay on why we thought our dads should be “Father of the Year.”
This Memorial Day, I'm remembering two relatives who each served in one of the 20th century's two world wars.
Charles Schultz wrote two memorable square-shaped little "Peanuts" books in which each page expressed a single, simple thought about love or happiness. You can click to see these classics on Amazon: Love is Walking Hand in Hand and Happiness is a Warm Puppy. Well, I think my mom's following diary entries of falling for my dad could add something to those books:
Alcoholism. Psychosis. Strange men renting our bedrooms: these were just some of the stressors my mother had to handle alone when my Dad traveled hundreds of miles away for up to seven weeks every winter. This Women's History Month, I honor her grit, even if I question the choices of both my parents!
Celebrating Women's history month, I'd like to introduce you to an extraordinarily artistic and talented woman: my mother’s mother, Alöisia Koroschetz, née Woschkeruscha (VAUSH-ker-UZH-uh). (She was nicknamed Luisa in Austria, Louise, in America. My mom and I both share the same middle name, after my maternal grandmother).
I'd always known my grandfather was often impatient, and apparently was so as a young man. He didn't want to wait for the long visa process, so he just took off for America before his exit papers were in order, hoping to start the new year of 1911 in a new country. His diary "Meine Reise Nach Amerika" (My Trip to America), and letters to his sweetheart show that he almost didn't make it.
Pearl Harbor was bombed seventy-six years ago today. My mom, Lillian Koroschetz, started a brand new diary on New Year's Eve, 1941 reflecting back on the previous year and the effects the barely three-week-old war was already having on the every-day lives of Americans.
Like so many Americans on Thanksgiving Day, I am grateful for a loving family and the ability to take for granted the basics of food, clothing and shelter; for having a warm bed to sleep in; for living without fear. But on this day of “giving thanks” I’m also grateful for possessing something tangible that few people in the world have now or have ever had or ever will have, especially not this generation.