My heritage and its religion.
I grew up unaware of the heritage of my mother, my grandmother, and those mothers that came before her. In my twenties, my mother just casually told me:
“Oh by the way you know we are Jewish don’t you?”
I must have looked blankly at her as I took in the information and then tried to interrupt her to ask her to tell me more. This was no easy feat as she rarely listened and was great at talking without taking a breath.
When she did finally stop enough for me to ask why I had only just been told, she barked back at me that she had told my brother so thought she had told me.
That had been the end of the conversation until a couple of months later when she threw into the conversation that she was going to meet her cousins in London and did I want to go with her, plus bring my two daughters, Jessica and Sarah.
That day was when I met two of my mothers’ cousins plus some of their children who were from my generation. It was a day of lots of talking (mainly by others) and a meal around a table. I listened intently but too many conversations meant my hearing failed me. I lip-read most of the time so along with the different ascents missed most of the conversations fully.
That was thirty years ago and over the years I tried to extract more information from my mother but she was precious over her new links with her mothers family. I got to see photographs of my grandmother and have a favourite image of her sitting on a bench in a two-piece suit with a fox fur over her shoulder.
I was intrigued so I joined the genealogy sites and tried to piece the puzzle together myself. It was many years later when I mentioned how I wanted to know more about our ancestors and had been on the genealogy sites. I never understood fully her reaction but she wanted her name removed.
I can only presume that she did not want her name added to the list of ‘baptisms for the dead,’ that the Mormons undertake in their temples. Her hatred of them for how they treated her and me never wavered not even at the end. That’s a story for another time.