He survived!!!!

I am writing a post about my father-in-law and I am having the hardest time, not because I have nothing to say, but because no matter what I say about him it will never be enough words to describe his life or my feelings .

He was 13 years old when the World War II started. His family did not have a chance to evacuate and for 3 agonizing years he and his mom lived in Balta Getto where his older brother got killed by a Nazi officer, right before their eyes. After the war was over, they found his body ( they recognized it by the undershirt ) in a pile of thousands of bodies and buried him… .The stories he told us deserve a separate post. They are heartbreaking in every way. ….but

…..He survived….


His life was beautiful again when he met his lovely wife (the most wonderful mother -in- law anyone can dream of) and started a family of his own. They had healthy boys Misha and Igor (my hubby). Their life was not much different from any other family’s who lived at that time in Soviet Union, except for the biggest tragedy that happened back in April 1972. Their older son got killed at the age of 19 while serving in the Soviet Navy.

Not only was Misha the first-born of two people in love, he was the link between their past and their future. He was named after my father-in-law’s older brother and he was the symbol of their survival….. and in one moment his life was cut short along with all their dreams and their beliefs. Time has a way of healing everything, but not this loss. One of Igor’s cousins told me once that Ayzik (my father-in-law) was never the same after Misha’s death. He went back to work and tried to lose himself there, tried to bury his pain, but how do you do that if every time you come to the cemetery to visit your 19 year old son, you see swastika signs on his grave……..

…….He survived……

When we all moved to the USA he was the first to find a job here without knowing a word of English. He started to work as a butcher at the Kosher meat factory. Can you imagine, My father-in -law- civil engineer working as a butcher?!?!? Since the time he was a butcher, he was also a plumber, a janitor, a gardener,  a roofer……. It’s been 20 years and he did not stop working since the first day he arrived.

…….He survived.

I am proud to say that I am related to this men and I am proud to say that both of my sons have his last name. Happy Birthday Ayzik and many, many more!!!!


About Ariana

I came to USA about 20 years from former USSR. I am an American Citizen with a heavy Russian Accent. My two boys always make fun of my English. I love to write, I usually do it for me, but if you would like to stop and leave a comment it would be great! I ‘d love to share with you my American World with the hint of my Russian Personality.
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8 Responses to He survived!!!!

  1. Audrey says:

    A remarkable story of love and survival – Happy Birthday Ayzik !

  2. melissa says:

    i love this story. it’s so bittersweet and heartbreaking and beautiful.

  3. I can imagine how difficult it was for him to experience these things. But, as you said, he survived. Not only did he survive, he thrived. He went on to make a beautiful life and find happiness along the way. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Ariana says:

    Reblogged this on Pearl's twirl and commented:

    My father in law turned 85 years young this past week. We threw a surprised party for him, that was a huge success. He did not get mad and did not walk out on us!
    In his honor I am re-blogin my old post .

  5. totsymae1011 says:

    Nice tribute to your father-in-law, Ariana. Definitely a survivor after burying his son. One has to find that piece of happiness no matter what and he did just that.

  6. What a wonderful, inspiring story. Yes, Ariana, shout it from the rafters: He survived!

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