My mother-in-law Millie Silverstein was 100 years old on Aug 27 this week. We celebrated her centenary with a party at the home where she lives, Nofei Hasharon in Netanya on Weds Aug 26 at 5 pm, when they have their weekly musical get-together. She has lived through some amazing changes in her time, from WWI to WWII, to the introduction of computers and phones and the birth of Israel. How she survived to this age is amazing, but if anyone could it would be Millie.
Those who knew her, know that she was a very tough cookie, an aggressive, tactless, blunt, controlling woman. In fact she controlled her own family, including her lovely husband Hilly (Hillel) and her two daughters, Naomi my wife and Barbara, like a dictator. When I came into the family we naturally clashed, because she wanted to control me too, fat chance. People think we went to the USA for the economic advantages, but in fact…. until Barbara married Malcolm, and they clashed even more, so then I became the favorite son-in-law. Now it is an irony that I am looking after her, her legal guardian.
For her birthday I painted her portrait (that can be seen on my web site http://www.jackcohenart.com/Portrait.html) and I unveiled it at the party. Also we had the visit of her younger daughter Barbara from London and our son Simon from California, as well as our daughter Miriam and her family from Beersheva, and three cousins from Israel, Ruth and Udi and also Daniella as well as her life-long friend Marion. There were many friends of Millie from Netanya as well as the occupants of the home. I thanked the managers of the home for their help in looking after Millie as well as the three carers, Sahlee from the Philippines, Mithu from Nepal and Jaya from India who have looked after Millie. Barbara and Simon also spoke briefly and Miriam gave a wonderful slide show and there was a collage of photographs of Millie’s life by her granddaughter Lara in London. There were refreshments, cake and ice-cream and tea. Altogether a very happy and unique event. Later we celebrated Miriam’s 51st birthday. Lots of fun.