My Beautiful Childhood Friend

By - Hanna Perlstein Marcus
July 24, 2022

While completing my latest book, Sidonia’s Seam Binding, the last of the trilogy, I recently observed that one of my posts from 2014 was shared and viewed by a number of new readers, who missed the original posting. In it, I noted the rapid passing of time and reflected on the immigrant community of my childhood in Springfield, Massachusetts. Growing up, I viewed firsthand the strength, endurance, courage, and sheer determination of these Holocaust survivors, who dreamed of a world for their children free from bias and the threat of extermination.

One of their children had, sadly, passed away shortly before my post. Here is what I said about my dear friend, Brigitta:

Last week, one of my childhood friends among “the greenhorns” of Springfield, Massachusetts passed away after a long battle with cancer. She was raised with the value of striving for excellence, independence of spirit, and generosity of soul. Her strength was instilled by her parents, sometimes with exceedingly high expectations, but reflective of their harsh past and their dreams for the future.

We lost touch through the years for which I am to blame. Time passed by so rapidly almost unnoticed, yet my memories of her and her family remain as clear as ever. Most of the survivors I knew are gone now. Their offspring were supposed to live yet for a long time to come, bearing witness to the adjustments their parents endured by coming to a new country and reconstructing a life shattered by unabashed evil.

But, against our will, as we of all people should know, life’s intended path may be cut short. Yet my friend surpassed every expectation during her life, leaving her indelible mark on her community, workplace, and family. She, indeed, left a legacy of excellence of which her parents would have been justifiably proud.

Brigitta, I will think of you always.

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