This is my maternal grandmother, Vera Greenwald.
She was a first-generation American citizen after our family emigrated from Hungary, then later settled in Baltimore. Not too long ago I found out that she had attended a college in D.C where she was had studied art but had to drop out when she became pregnant with her first child, my mother. She had two children, a girl and a boy.
My memories of my grandmother are bittersweet. When I first think of her, I think of a woman who was strong but also controlling, especially with my grandfather. Our family has a lineage dating at least as far back to my great grandmother of very headstrong but controlling women!
Grandma struggled with post-partum depression after the birth of my uncle. It was so
severe that she had to be institutionalized and was given electroshock treatments.
She accused her psychiatrist of sexual molestation, but no one ever tried to
investigate the allegation. I can’t help but wonder if this happened today if it would
have been ignored in the same way. No one in our family will never know if it really
Sometimes grandma lacked patience with us, but as tough as she could be, she was a
loving grandmother to both I and my sister. She played a key part in our childhood
especially after our parents divorced. I have fond memories of her giving us money to go to the store for candy and she always made us amazing meal as she loved to cook. She also had a passion for drawing. In fact, she was quite an artist and I still have many of her drawings, most of
them female nudes which she drew from memory and some fashion illustrations that I had framed and now hang on my walls.
Come to think of it, I look a bit like her. On my forehead I have a line, which I call, “grandma’s line.”