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With a Purpose. The Story of a Real Woman

Gabriel's Grandmother's story posted by Gabriele Greenwald on April 30, 2013 at 11:19 pm. Gabriel's emigrated from Kiev, Soviet Union (USSR) to Naverhill, MA, United States in 1979

   How far would you go to provide a better future for your family? A question my grandmother was decisively faced with back in the 1970’s. In the end the decision she made would be one I would always look up to. 

Back in soviet Russia, my grandmother and her kin were attempting to escape the country. According to my grandmother, Jews were oppressed and persecuted in the soviet territories.  Although they were not hated as in the Nazi regime, they were still generally frowned upon and not trusted by the local police force.  The time had come. Every single train out of Russia but one had left and the last one was moving away.

While my future grandfather-still a young man, my future uncle- who was about my brother’s age at the time and my future father-who was exactly my age at the time, had all but given up hope. However, my grandmother, who refused to stay under the expanding cloak of communism, persisted and ran towards the train. United by her bravery, her family followed. They finally caught up to the train and threw themselves and their belongings on board, leaving many friends and loved ones behind. Even though it was their homeland, they still despised the way they were treated and found sanctuary in the United States, This decision shows that my grandmother is very brave.  Only those with a stomach of steel have the guts to jump onto a moving train. 

 I also love how my grandmother is the life of any party, the spark of any conversation. But when it is time to be serious, she becomes the most responsible woman the world has ever seen. For example, what other woman would dress as a geisha for Halloween, but still do her job as a physician, saving lives?  One more thing I admire about my grandmother is that she does anything to help and protect her family as clearly demonstrated in the first paragraph. When I had a brutal asthma attack she nursed me back to health without even having to take me to the hospital. When my temperature was 109 degrees no one but her could nurse me back to peak condition. Even in the last moment of her mother’s life she fought to save her ‘til the end.One last thing I admire about my grandmother is that she does all of this at age 67. She said herself, “I would rather die than go to a nursing home after I retire”.

She is the oldest physician in her medical group. She has worked there longer than any other physician as well. Like her father, a WWII field medic for the red army, she has always pursued a passion of helping others, and just because she is 67 doesn’t mean she will let her age stop her.I look up to my grandmother for these reasons. She is a woman that does not let anyone stand in her way. She will forever inspire me to be the best I can be. Brave. Strong. Proud. N.R., a true woman.