My Mom Is 70


My mom will turn 70 tonight at 10 p.m.; the emphasis is hers not mine. When I phoned today to wish her a happy birthday and asked what it felt like to be 70, she pointed out that she was not 70 yet.

Very shortly after she was born, war broke out in France. Being a reserve officer with only one child at the time, my grandfather was sent to war where he was soon made captive by the German army. He thus remained in an Oflag – a war camp for officers – until the end of the war.

Therefore for the first five or six years of her life, my mother was brought up by her own mother. When the German army reached Lille, their hometown, they fled to the country and remained in a farm until the war ended.

Then my granfather came back and the family expanded. However my mom obviously had a special bond with her own mother because of the years they had spent together during a difficult period.

When she left school, my mom went to college to become a journalist. Yet she never started work as in the meantime she had met and married my father. They were engaged for a long time as my father spent 2 years in Algeria due to the Algerian War.

I was born two years later. After another two years my brother was born. He was followed by two more boys three and five years later. My mom still didn’t work and she spent a lot of time with us. An avid reader, a great cook and a keen gardener, my mother had a great influence on my tastes and probably my personality too.

Raizy’s mom also turned 70.

Still talking about moms, the nurse who came today for my daily injection said she knew I was off school since I am her daughter’s teacher. Funny how, just as students only see us as teachers, we also tend to forget that they are children with parents.

13 thoughts on “My Mom Is 70

  1. Nice to tell us about your mother. My mother used to say she was 21+; she didn’t like when I said her age.

    Interesting, about your father being in the Algerian War. My friend grew up in Algeria. She described it to us once, life in the war. And how the French government lied to them. I think the Jews of Algeria felt a great sense of betrayal, because they thought of themselves as French. She lived in France and Israel, and now in the U.S.

    • From what I understand the Algerian community felt very French for a number of historical reasons. Much more so than the Moroccan Jews. Thus the majority moved to France in the 60s when they no longer felt safe in Algeria. One of my closest friends’ mom is an Algerian Jew who had been brought up in this tradition.
      As for my father, fortunately for him he taught primary school and was a nurse in the Algerian mountains so he did not see the worst of this war. It still was dangerous as they could always be attacked by Algerian terrorists who knew the area, particularly during the night.
      At that time the French government lied to everyone, no wonder all communities were bitter.

  2. I’m sorry to chime in late, but I only saw this post today.
    First, please allow me to wish your mother a (belated) very happy birthday. Tell her not to feel self-conscious about turning 70. They say that “40 is the new 30”. In that spirit. I say that “70 is the new 50”!
    Secondly, thank you for mentioning my mother’s birthday.
    Most importantly- why are you off from work and receiving injections? Are you ill? I have been mostly “out of the loop” for a few weeks now and I wasn’t aware that you were having a health issue. I truly hope that you are feeling better now.

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