I ended my last post with a picture of the few momento’s that I have from my adopting parents, Grace and Howard. While just ‘things’ they hold tremendous value for me. It wasn’t until my mother had passed away that I discovered the greatest treasure of all. Tucked away in her Union Prayer book was a yellowing folded paper in pristine condition folded in an envelope glued to the back of the book. Grace passed over a year ago now and I can honestly say I can not remember a day in 60 plus years that I ever saw her pick up or look at her Prayer Book. Our conversations on faith, our faith was limited to non existent. In fact as she drew near to her last day and was asked if she would like a Rabbi or any clergy for that matter, she declined. Did that mean she had deep peace? or had she remained stoic in her persona that at her passing she needed nothing outside of herself? I could not get to her in time and knowing she was alone and wanted no one had deeply affected me. That is why finding this hidden in the back of the prayer book, buried deep in her being, I knew she truly had a commitment and connection to the greater being of her inherited birth-right. She had peace and had walked her road, not my road, not your road but truly walked her road.
No words were said at my mother’s passing, there was no true family to gather to remember or morn her. Finding this essay was a blanket of comfort for me.
At first I believed this was written about 1946, my mother would have been 20, a year after Hitlers defeat. I have no idea why this was written, for who or whom or why. It sounds very much like a graduation speech and so I wondered if perhaps not a bit earlier and for her high school graduation. I will never know and I will never be able to talk with her about it.
What I do know is that in today’s world her words hold great meaning and truth.
“We shall strive at all times to reflect credit on ourselves and on our religion. (no matter what religion) We shall carry on to the best of our ability, no matter where the road will lead.”
Grace Judith Tanner (Tannenbaum) 1 February 1926
Grace Tanner and my father Howard Joseph Brown (1944)
15 March 2015
**Thank you for inspiring me to share this Amy