Letters to Tuvia #99 The History of Home (12-11-15)

Morning T,

I’m up, showered, dressed, breakfasted and just about ready to get out of the house for an early morning gym meet-up with Anthony.  You remember those?  Actually, anchored now at my place, it’s easier to get there- faster without any major highways to hold me back.

Home- that’s what’s on my mind.

I’m not sure if this piece will qualify as a Tuvia Tale or not, but then I make the rules here 🙂 Let’s say it’s a Tuvia and Bonnie Tale, they all are right?

Home… we talked about home often.

Home for you looked very different than it did for me.

I was born in a small town, lived in the same house until I left for college. I came back to the town and lived there for 12 years as an adult, working as a teacher in the same school I graduated from, even worked with some of my teachers as a colleague. I did live in my own apartment and my even though my parents had to pass it to get their place, they never stopped by without an invitation.

Yes, I did make a big move in the middle of my career, to be closer to New York City and little did I know then, closer to you.

But my dad, who was born in our small town, never left it.  When he was ready to get married he, with the help of his father, bought a piece of land and built the house that we lived in as a family. At 95, he still lives in that house.

My brother Jeff lives on the next street over, in the house that my best friend Steven lived in as a kid

Your history of home was quite different.  You were born in a small town in Romania, into wealth. Born  in 1923 you  lived well with your family and some servants.  But 1929 destroyed that life dramatically.  Sadly your parents lost their business, their home, and their fortune and were forced to move  to Bucharest without you. Deserted at 6, even with uncles and aunts in your town, you were left with a distant relative who offered you a blanket and the floor.

You rarely spoke about this period of your life.  I didn’t ask for more details because it was clear it was a very painful subject.

Finally your parents did come for you and took you with them to their small apartment in Bucharest but even though you were dying to go to school, they needed you to go to work instead.

So much happened to you in the life you lived before you came to live in your Paramus house. Me, I never moved too far from that first home in Ellenville.

We came together with such different life stories, T. but where we lived didn’t matter as much as the living itself.

You had your house from the time you moved to the New York/New Jersey area.  50 years, now.  I had my small apartment when we first met that was perfect for me but not for us.  It was too small.  But soon, with your support and a good push I found something that both of us could love.

Together we created this home, with views of a river just for you.  We lived like gypsies- days in my place, days in your place.  But always as you walked through my door you breathed deeply, loving this space over the river.

Don’t get me wrong,  I did love being with you in your house T, but now, as I try to adjust to life without you it is so much easier here, above the river… with you.

Miss you my love.  Miss you every moment of every day…

Bonnie S.


4 thoughts

  1. To me view is everything. Arvie and I never lived anywhere unless we had a view from at least one side of the home, a park, a lake, a woods. I can see why you and Tuvia must have loved that place with the river showing off every time you looked out the window. Isn’t it wonderful how two disparate lives can be drawn together, and love what happens? I’m glad to hear this story, Bonnie.

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