Sun Kissed Days

Sun Kissed Days

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Humble Hero





The kitchen is flooded with light.
Sun dancing on the walls.
I hear familiar footsteps,
and his sweet voice,
" mama when I grow up can you give me
the recipe for chicken cutlets."
My son's face eager,
his eyes shinning.
My mind drifts,
my voice trails,
" it's not just a recipe, it's about love."
I answer.
Memories of my grandfather,
a tower of strength,
an inspiration.
In the ghetto he cooked for the enemy,
he smuggled food,
he saved lives.
Sharing what little he had with others,
so they can survive the disease and hunger.
My grandfather was caught,
beaten,
thrown out of a second floor balcony.
He was left to die but he didn't .
He never spoke of his pain,
he carried it within.
He survived the war,
a hero humble and true.
Years later in his sunny kitchen restaurant,
he stood,
varicose veins mapped his legs.
Large hands pounding chicken cutlets,
his strength towering,
not missing a beat.
Cooking with love was his life.
At times on sunny days he seemed grey
and I wondered if the sounds and smells
seeped back in.
I wondered if the echoes remained.
In this moment I look at my son
and I smile,
" it's not the recipe, it's about the love."
Little boy with veins rich with legacies,
filled with pain and courage,
rich with survival of the human spirit.
Generations linked,
legacies left,
love passed through time.




This is dedicated to my grandfather Nathan. He was a hero and a force of nature. He was honest and kind and he fought for what he believed in. He had courage and pride. This is also about my son, asking me about the recipe. His legacies are rich with history. On one side he has a great grandfather that saved a train of children during the Armenian genocide. On My side he has a great grandfather that saved family and friends during the Holocaust. http://dversepoets.com/ Meet us here where we share our thoughts and hearts.

102 comments:

  1. Beautiful, powerful write. Sounds like your grandfather was a wonderful person. I love the contrast of youth and old age here - "rich with legacies".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Stephen. He was a great man and I am proud of the legacy he left behind.

      Delete
  2. this is beautiful...wow...what a man he has within him from his history...very heart warming his overcoming of the struggle...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Stephen. He was a great man and I am proud of the legacy he left behind.

      Delete
  3. Very heart warming indeed. A nice tribute to a brave man, your grandfather, weaving from the past to the present. Love this ~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Grace. I appreciate it.

      Delete
  4. this is just beautiful ayala...what a great tribute to your granddad - sounds like he was an awesome man and one of the real heroes..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Claudia. He was so humble...he just had so much courage and integrity.

      Delete
  5. Ayala...you invite us into your home, your family. Your pen is a light filled beacon where many find warmth. Out of his past you have woven a wonderful journey, the journey of a true hero. His legacy will live on, not just with your son, but with your words. Wonderful weave!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Natasha. What a beautiful comment. I appreciate the support you have shown me on Facebook and here of course. xo

      Delete
  6. What a legacy your son has, ayala. And how neat that something as simple as a request for a recipe can take someone on a trip through time and connect the present so perfectly to the past. You're so right -- it's about the love.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Talon. I believe love is all we have. So glad that you enjoyed it :)

      Delete
  7. Truly tons of history you evoke with your verse, nice one!

    ReplyDelete
  8. A great tribute to a great man.. so good cooking was the best thing to do and enjoy...-he must be proud of you.... well done, Ayala- loved it!

    ReplyDelete
  9. " it's not just a recipe, it's about love."
    What a beautiful poem for such a special man!
    Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a wonderfully rich piece, more so because it is filled with triumph over adversity and of the greatest gift of all that can be passed on, the gift of love. A heart warming read that make one glow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Bren. Glad you enjoyed it.

      Delete
  11. Ayala, I love the title you've chosen for this piece as I think it says so much about the man you are honoring. What a wonderful story and a proud legacy for your son. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  12. what an amazing tribute. he seems to be a special man. thank you for sharing his story with us.

    http://magicinthebackyard.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/nightlights/

    ReplyDelete
  13. This gives me a chill and I can see it all being acted out because the sun grounded me in it.

    ReplyDelete
  14. A gentle poem and great tribute.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Awesome write! The love is palpable in it. I see my grandfather as a hero, too. A different story, but the same adoration and love.

    http://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/the-sun-came-up-again-4/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much. It's important to remember and to pass it on.....

      Delete
  16. A heartwarming story... well done!

    ReplyDelete
  17. He lives on... this is beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Lest we forget....what a lovely tribute to your grandfather, the love you have for him..his spirit, his pain, absorbed through the years. Beautiful tribute and work ; I love it :)))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jackie. I appreciate your comment.

      Delete
  19. An informative and inspiring tribute. Thanks. K.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks for sharing this story, ayala--we need to know about these people of our pasts, what they stood for, what they lived for, what they suffered, and how they were still able to give. Your son is lucky to have that legacy in his veins, as are you, who surely are also passing it on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Joy. I agree with you...so many stories are lost..so many important stories. So important to remember and celebrate the human spirit.

      Delete
  21. This is an absolutely stunning write! And yes, it is not the recipe it is the love. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas we have some recipes handed down from mother and grandmother. It is about love. And yes, your son is a lucky boy; and I am sure he will continue to pass on the love!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Brilliantly told story by the pivot upon whom these generations balance. Sweet, sad, brave, and touching, Ayala.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Joe. I appreciate you stopping by.

      Delete
  23. You and your son come from a great legacy.thank you for sharing this history.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wow, what a legacy. You wrote this so beautifully. What a story to tell.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, CM. Hope all is well :)

      Delete
  25. This frees my dam of tears. I have soft spot for grandfathers.

    Hello Ayala.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Oceangirl,
      I have missed you here.
      Glad you liked it!

      Delete
  26. A wonderful tribute to your grandfather and lesson for your son. He sounds like like he was an incredible man.

    ReplyDelete
  27. you really convey a sense of quiet strength and pride. nathan sounds like he was that kind of man. the piece itself is compact and powerful becuz you folded such meaningful details of the man's life into a single poem. you end with a sense of everlasting tradition in that we are all part of our ancestral chain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Ed. Your comments always delight me. You are so thoughtful and that's why you are such a great writer!

      Delete
  28. What a rich history your family has, Ayala. I love this poem!!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I love that Chicken Cutlets (and love of course) are the ties that bind here. I love the memories that come with and through food.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lauren. So many memories passed through food..true!

      Delete
  30. Wonderful story! It's great that your son will get to know his history this way.

    ReplyDelete
  31. what a testimony of your family... written so well

    ReplyDelete
  32. Absolutely excellent write! I was incredibly moved by this piece and very grateful for your grandfathers life for the blessings of it live on in you and your son. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Absolutely beautiful, Ayala :)

    ReplyDelete
  34. oh ayala, this made me cry. i'm so glad you tell the story, and you do it so very well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Leslie. I am so glad that I was inspired to write it.

      Delete
  35. what a wonderful dedication - he sounds so admirable.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Ayala, you obviously have so much of your grandfather's best qualities in you.

    And I'm still incredulous I actually "know" you. But I DO know you, yes. For sharing heart and mind is the closest knowing that can be known.

    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jannie. I agree with you because I feel so blessed to have met you and others here. I believe we share so much of ourselves here.
      xoxo

      Delete
  37. Ayala this is so full of love...I can feel it overflowing.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Such a vivid image you create of your grandfather. So wonderful that you know his story. I wish I knew more of the stories of my grandfathers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Joanne. I am fortunate to know many stories and I am trying to preserve them for our family.

      Delete
    2. I wish I knew more of the stories of my grandfathers too. The War (WWII) wasn't talked about much in my family. A shame in a way and yet, I understand too.

      Delete
  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  41. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  42. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  43. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Ayala,

    How a recipe holds history and love intertwined.
    What a family you have. So many amazing stories - one percolating out of a simple request from your son. You must be so proud of your family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Mel. I am proud of the legacy left behind and so glad that I can share it with my kids.

      Delete
  45. So gratifying to read this post-
    We HAVE overcome through the courage and heart
    and love of life
    our survivor relatives
    lived every day.
    For us.
    To life!

    Aloha from Waikiki
    Comfort Spiral

    > < } } ( ° >

    ><}}(°>

    < ° ) } } > <

    ReplyDelete
  46. Thank you, Cloudia. Our relatives do live on in us....the human spirit is so resilient, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  47. Brilliantly observed piece. Evocative and memorable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, James. I appreciate it !

      Delete
  48. Oh, Ayala, this gives me the chills. Just wonderful! Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  49. have a wonderful sunday...smiles

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Claudia. I hope you have a wonderful Sunday as well. :)

      Delete
  50. i swear i saw a new post here...smiles....hope you are having a lovely sunday

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Almost :) thank you, Brian. Hope your Sunday is great :)

      Delete
  51. And he has a fabulous mother saving his heritage by writing it all down. =) Such beautifully painful stories and writing Ayala. Makes me want the recipe!
    p.s. don't you love the blogger reply feature?! yeah!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Pat. You are kind :) and yes, I just love the new reply feature! Yeah !

      Delete