Sunday, May 7, 1939 in Soerabaja, the Dutch East Indies, was one of the happiest days in the life of Nettie Herman-Louwerse: her very first Mother’s Day. She loved being a mother, and she was the very best, the most loving mother I have ever known. She celebrated seventy-two Mother’s Days and over the years she told her two little girls how thankful she was for us, and how happy that we all had survived the horrors of the camps, and that the three of us were still together, a three-leaf clover after our pappa had died; a tight-knit threesome, a mother and her little girls.
When she was 101 years old, she lost one of her little girls before it was Mother’s Day again, and she cried her heart out; unstoppable, silent tears of the greatest pain she had ever had to endure, the greatest loss of all, the loss of her little Paula. “Paula is no longer with us”, she said over and over, “Paula is no longer with us”, and the tears kept coming.
Then it was Mother’s Day again. It was to be her last one. And she lifted her face, my dear, brave, little old mother, and told me how thankful she was that she had one daughter, one real, live daughter, of whom she was so very proud, and who had made her life so very happy.
It is a joy to be a mother; it is a blessing and a gift. I have had the best example of how to be a good, loving mother that anyone has ever had. In my book I have created memories of her through her own words and mine, and I hope that you will read and enjoy all the days of her life.
Until next time,