This is my Aunt Miriam Gluskin Helfgott Sax, who came to the US in 1922 with my father, Isidore, and their parents, Jacob and Kaila Helfgott, pronounced Gelfgott in Russian. I was always afraid of Aunt Miriam. She was big and imposing and had a punitive voice, or so it seemed. She gave me a pair of green gloves once, with a matching hat beside. I was five. We were living on East Baltimore Street. When I was ten she gave me a doll. By then we were living on Pall Mall Road. The presents she gave me didn't make up for my fear of her. I didn't like to hear her voice, though I craved it. I wished she would have put her arm around me, just once, to take the fear away. But look how pretty she was when she came to this country, how sweet her face. I wish I could have touched her face then. I would have liked her touch rather than her presents, though I liked them too. I wonder if living as an immigrant in the United States took her sweetness away. I know it took my father's, though he tried; and maybe she did too.
Jesus, have mercy on her soul...
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