Monday, April 6, 2009
I caught a glimpse of my face in the mirror as we glided p. I looked as eroded as the groaning lift. What had happened to the fresh-faced belle from Boston, Mass.? The woman who stared back at me was at the dreaded age between forty-five and fifty, that no-man's land of sag, oncoming wrinkle, and stealthy approach of menopause.
"I hate this elevator, too," I said grimly.
Zoe grinned and pinched my cheek.
"Mom, even Gwyneth Paltrow would look like hell in that mirror."
I had to smile. That was such a Zoe-like remark.
"You know what I find most shocking about the Vel'd'Hiv?" Guillaume said. "Its code name."
I knew the answer to that, thanks to my extensive reading.
"Operation Spring Breeze, " I murmured.
I wanted to say sorry, I wanted to tell her I could not forget the roundup, the camp, Michel's death, and the direct train to Auschwitz that had taken her parents away forever. Sorry for what? he had retaliated, why should I, an American, feel sorry, hadn't my fellow countrymen freed France in June 1944? I had nothing to be sorry for, he laughed.
I had looked at him straight in the eyes.
"Sorry for not knowing. Sorry for being forty-five years old and not knowing."
Zakhor. Al Tichkah.
Remember. Never forget.