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March 29, 1985 - Image 104

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-03-29

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Friday, March 29, 1985


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Special to The Jewish News

The police called at three in
the morning. I was half asleep
when I head someone say,
"You'd better come quickly.
Your mother is threatening
to throw herself off the roof
of the Toys R Us building."
I hopped out of bed and
changed into the first thing I
found piled on my dresser.
Why would my mother do
this, I wondered. As long as
my brother was still alive she
had resolved never to die and
leave him without a hot meal.
I knew this meant something
serious was brewing.
When I arrived two police-
men were trying to talk her
off the building while my
father stood below and yel-
led, "That's enough Harriet,
you've made your point."
What point, I thought.
What could have happened to
make my mother try and take
her own life?
Someone shoved a bullhorn
in my face and my father
walked toward me shaking
his head. "I begged him not to
do it," he kept repeating, "I
begged him."
"What Dad? What's hap-
pened here?"
"Your brother. He took
away from us the key to
his apartment. Your mother

Art by Wangdon Lee

sneaked in the other day and
stripped and waxed the kit-
chen floor to such a gloss,
your brother slipped and
broke his collar bone."
"Oh, my Lord. She must be
devasted. No wonder," I said.
I put the bullhorn to my
mouth. "Mother, it's me," I
shouted. "Your third favorite
child, excluding the cat."
She looked in my direction.
"It's all over," she shouted
through her tears. "I have
nothing to live for. Don't try
to stop me."
"Mother, don't be silly.
You don't need a key. You
can always bribe the super-
intendent again."
"No. Your brother paid
him off for good. It won't
work anymore. It's no use,
my life is over."
"Mother, it's okay. You
can still cook and bring the
food when he's home. Nothing
will change."
"No. It's not the same. His
apartment will never be clean
again. I couldn't live knowing
his bathtub had a ring."
"Mother, he's a married
man. You have to let go and
let his wife assume the respon-
sibility for her own home. "
"She can't clean like I do.

Continued on Page 79

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