The hardest part of this writing was how and when to end it. My life is an on-going story but I find it difficult to keep writing about our current activities because I cannot see a trend or a historic line in it. It was much easier to look back at my earlier life and to see how beautifully one part of my life fitted into the next, how seemingly unreasonable suffering ended up giving me the strength and insight for later events. I hope that this showed on these pages. My main purpose was to share my experiences with my family and with anyone who cares to read it. Above all I wanted to show that my life was not dominated by the two great tragedies of my youth, the death of my father and the Holocaust, which stole my youth from me, and later the third tragedy, the loss of Anita, my wife of nearly forty years, but that mostly my life was a happy one and full of blessings. I still wonder quite often about what kind of a person I might have been without these upheavals but I am not unhappy with the person I became. I hope that my children, who in their youth never really had the chance to know the real "me," understand me better after reading these pages. If I accomplished that then I have achieved my goal I set after Anita died.
I also would like to have inspired my children and grandchildren not to despair when things seem hopeless but to work themselves up out of the quagmire and start anew, to set their goals high but not so high that they are beyond their reach and to keep working towards those goals until they are achieved and then to plan for new goals. Then dreams can come true.
In conclusion I want them to know that I am grateful to G'd for all my blessings. It took me many years to come to terms with Him and I must thank Naftali and his in-laws and circle of friends who inspired me to start studying Judaism. After years of learning and being simply "curious" I now feel comfortable with my belief. I have still much to learn and I have a long way to go until I reach my final "goal."
I want to thank Robert for staying in touch with me even during the most trying times. I also thank him and Naftali for giving me grandchildren which lends a whole new dimension to my life and which inspired me to return to the more traditional way of Jewish life. And I am especially grateful to Rochelle for giving me another chance and giving me the love and trust of a daughter.
And finally, my endless thanks to Vera who gave me a whole new life with joys and pleasures I could barely have hoped for. I pray that we will stay close and happy together and have many exciting adventures so that, some day, I will add some more chapters to my life story.
If I may leave a legacy to my children it is the following: that from my life they may learn the importance of a positive outlook on life; to be grateful for all the good things in life; to realize that when things are bad they will get better again and to learn from the bad times so you can apply that experience in good times; to look at the good side of people and to forgive people for their bad deeds; to change things you do not like and, if you cannot change them, to make an adjustment and accept your fate; above all, to have confidence in yourself and hope for the future.
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