Max L.

My Coming of Age

Each person looks back to different life experiences to mark his coming of age.  Something always happens, either external or internal, which prompts an individual to view himself, as having matured.  My coming of age happened when I was ten years old while my grandparents were visiting for Passover.  I was starting to become embarrassed by my grandparents and began to separate myself from them.  By drifting away, I tried to keep the amount of time I spent with them down to the bare minimum.  One afternoon during the spring vacation of fifth grade, my grandmother obviously observed my gaining distance and decided to act.  She pulled me into the study and sat me down.

She proceeded to tell me about the horror of her early life; the many weeks she spent in terror running from the Nazis.  Across Europe she went with her parents, running from house to house, city to city, driving or taking trains when they could, crossing borders legally and illegally to keep themselves alive.  Their family traveled from their home in Vienna to London.  There, they were stalled because they could not obtain a visa.  For months, they waited as the bombs fell in England.  Finally, they were allowed admission into the United States.  My grandmother and her parents entered through Ellis Island passing inspection, and finally settling in New York City.  She did manage to make it to the United States because members of her extended family, who had gone across the sea prior to the war, paid guarantees for her family.  But many of her friends and relatives weren’t so lucky and were murdered.

After these few short hours, life had a different weight.  I had heard the atrocities that were inflicted upon my family, and I was now old enough embrace the realities of a more mature life.


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