Mrs.Gertrude hired me to be her cleaning girl when no one else would.I thought she hated me as much as my mother's family by the way she spoke to me. She seldom had anything to say to me unless she was fussing about my work. One day I could feel her hot breathe on the back of my neck as I washed the dishes so I turned around. She said," gal you're going back to school and become more than what you are, do you here me?There's no excuse you can use to justify being a damn maid all your life." I started to cry because I didn't understand what Mrs.Gertrude was trying to say, although she was as blunt as anyone could be I couldn't understand her firing me.
She was a woman of her word not only did she fire me she pulled strings at a Hebrew school so that I may attend. The Hebrew school permitted her to enroll me even though she wasn't my legal guardian which was illegal at the time. When I graduated from school she had her heart set on me attending a college in Jerusalem but I refused because I wanted to go to beauty college.
I think she was disappointed by my decision to attend beauty college but she got over it by the time I graduated. I started my first beauty salon in 1967 and it did very well with her accompaning me to work everyday. I sold it in 1983 to stay home with Mrs.Gertrude after she had a massive stroke. In 1984 she was very agitated when I was cleaning her so I asked her what was wrong. She told me don't stop keep going as far as God will let me. That was the last time she rooted for me before she died. It was hard for me to pick up the pieces after her death because I saw her as my mother and we did everything together. Having lived together for over twenty years I stopped seeing her as a mean Jewish lady and started seeing her as someone who loved me.
So in 1985 I went to school to learn how to use a word processor became sidetracked and learned to repair them instead. I'm in the process of selling my two computer repair shops so that I may pursue a career in travel. Life has been good to me a simple sharecroppers' daughter who was given a second chance to be loved by a mother.