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My Family, My Life By Georgette Horwitz

When I speak of my family, many beautiful memories come to mind of my grandmother on my father’s side and my mother’s parents. They were all a very close knit group, as loving and humble as any you’d find anywhere. Hardly a day went by that NEWS wasn’t available about was going on in the family.

My Grandmother Osten and my father’s sisters and brothers lived in small houses, within a mile of each other. In those years, a brisk walk meant spending our Sundays visiting for hours. The time was spent in revisiting the week’s news. As a child, I clearly remember asking, “Do we have to go again?”

My mother’s parents lived in Far Rockaway, L. I., several miles away and those visits were planned and very special. “Nana” was thrilled when we went to visit her in her lovely home. Walking into her home was ever so pleasant. Usually the smell of either chicken soup or baked cake or she would prepare a jello with ground nuts. There were so many treats. She was always eager to hear about our stories in growing up. Who did we go with?…..where did we go?…..and where our friends, “nice?”

As we grew up, she was forever giving us something of hers: a picture she’d painted, a swing she made out of spools of thread and wire, and the things she won at a church bazaar. She was pretty, a pleasure to look at and her husband, Sol adored her despite the fact that she liked to play cards with the men only!

Everything in Nana’s house was artistic. We often spent holidays together. She had two sisters who had homes across the street and when Aunt Bertha and Uncle Willie, the really rich part of the family came over it was like a convention.

They were forever discussing proper company, good behavior, schooling and “Fibber McGee and Molly.” They told us about the classics and good music, especially the opera. Our visits were always memorable.

When I married my husband, Aaron, we left New York to live in Chicago where he had landed a very lucrative assignment that was supposed to have been for four months only. Sadly the company went out of business but by that time, my husband really got to love Chicago and decided to stay and seek other employment. I was positively devastated because I was too lonesome without my family. As my own little family developed, I became occupied with them and had less time to think about being lonesome.

After a five-year wait, my daughter, Susan came along and created a whole new and different picture for us as prospective parents. Susan arrived as a 7 lb. 11 ounce baby, loaded with black hair like her daddy, a pug nose, blue eyes and SCREAMING like the dickens, real healthy-like. My husband was boasting to everyone upon hearing the news. That’s what husbands are like at such times.

We had an apartment and made friends in the building. Those friends have remained dear and part of my circle for over 50 years. Some of course are no longer here.

As our children grew, our existence was passive but fun. There were parties for anniversaries and the like; we went to neighboring states for vacations, in short, we had settled down.

When Susan was seven, she went to camp but would have preferred not to because we had bought a new house on Greenleaf in Chicago and she wanted to be in on the excitement. Most of all I WAS WITH CHILD, and that was a surprise! However after seven months the baby died within me and I had to abort three weeks later. Oh, how awful that was. I will never forget it. It was terrible having to answer people’s questions about when the baby was due, all the while knowing that my baby was dead.

Two years later, along came my adopted son, Eddy, whom I love so much. He wasn’t born under my heart, but he certainly grew in it. As my two children grew up, they were very companionable, but grew to have very different interests.

Susan was off to College when Eddy was still in grade school. Suddenly my world changed. My husband left one morning to escort a new salesman to a special account in Libertyville. The salesman had a small Ford car and while they were stopped at a STOP sign on route 21, a six ton milk truck coming down the hill, crashed into a car, killed the driver and that car crashed into the Ford on Aaron’s side. The driver had a broken nose and went home but my darling Aaron was thrown up in the air and taken to a hospital. He died there 6 hours later. All this led to some very difficult years: both children had to be doctoring with psychologists for ever so long and I was a basket case.

Susan came home to finish school at the University of Illinois and Eddy was a very disturbed child. Yet, we carried on as best we could which was not very well!!

Five years later, Howard came along. He was 50 years old and a bachelor. He was the perfect answer for my family’s need and especially for Eddy who needed a father. He was a questionable friend to Susan because, “he wasn’t like daddy.” It took a very long time for her to accept him. Yet we were very happy together as a family right up to his death 7 years ago.

Susan is now a grandmother herself. She is immersed in activity and her child, Simantha. After two divorces, she has found herself. She is a 7th grade teacher at the Ravenswood School and working toward a PhD at the University of Chicago.

Eddy has a degree in Business Administration but unfortunately can only take a part time computer job because he and his wife need to take care of their autistic child. His wife also works part time. Their decision to keep their child at home makes for a very hard life but that is how they want it.

There has been a lot of love in my life, from my grandparents down to my great grandchildren. I appreciate all of God’s blessings and there are many.

Originally Posted (Jul 01, 2002)


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