by: Sudy Rosengarten
Over the years, Pa had become a legend; now, this giant of a Jew was old and bent and broken. His eyes were filled with tears of self-pity. How could I force him to take yet another step?
“Pa,” I said softly.
He turned to face me. “For what?” he cried. “For what purpose do you insist on forcing me to walk when I have no place to go?”
“Why I force you to walk?” I answered. “So that when the Mashiach comes, you’ll be able to run to greet him.”
By then, I was crying. “How will you be able to run to greet Mashiach when you can’t even walk the length of this porch?”
Never taking his eyes off me, Pa loudly blew his nose, grabbed hold of his walker, and made it to the door.
When Sudy Rosengarten’s parents-in-law decided to spend their final years in Jerusalem, Sudy, her husband, and children made the extraordinary decision to uproot themselves from their home and community, and accompany them. Thus began a journey not only over the ocean, but into the past, as Sudy coaxed Pa’s incredible story out of his reluctant mouth. At the same time, she struggled with her own story — navigating the daily conflicts between the needs of her elderly parents-in-law and those of her children, and finding her own place in uncharted terrain.
Written with honesty, warmth, and humor, beloved author Sudy Rosengarten gives us a candid look at the heartfelt relationship between parent and child, child and parent — and the love that sweetens all.
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