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Days About Dad - Story

Days About Dad


Changed my mind about “Days About Dad”

A future book it won’t be

However, I’ve written lots of stuff

And it's now In my diary


Where am I going?  Let me see

It’s about my dad and what he meant to me

He would seem a little be cold

Except in his poetry


The following two poems are written by my dad, Nathan Moros, MD. 

There are many, many more.

Two Little Children


I have two little children

Fate has deigned to send

Two darling little angels

Beautiful no end.


Two gentle little flowers

In a summer breeze

Impish little Danny

Dainty Anne Louise.


My neighbors voice approval

Of girl and of lad

The image of her mother

The picture of his dad.



Thank you, all dear people

Your comments sure do please

Mother, dad and Danny

And sister, Anne Louise.



On My Daughter’s Eighteenth Birthday


Eighteen years of joy of spring

Just passed by

Drenched in your joy, a sudden tear

Showed in my eye.


Oh, buoyant joy of eighteen years

Spring won’t linger long

Could I but hold a bit of it

Captive in my song.


Then, perhaps, you will see my word

When I am no longer here

And as I shared your passing joy

You will share my tear.



Dad's Story

          Dad lived in Ukraine under the Tzar, during the Russian Revolution and when the communists took over.

          Under the Tzar there were the pogroms.  Gangs of people would go through the Jewish neighborhoods killing the Jews and destroying their property.  My grandmother’s children, my dad and his sister, were young children at the time.  My grandmother would hide them in the woods.  One time my dad saw his neighbor lying dead in the street.  He also remembered that the worse pogrom was on a beautiful Christmas morning.

          The city they were living in at the time was Chernobyl.  At one point they moved to Kiev.  My father’s first language was Yiddish.  They were also Russian speaking, but they only spoke Russian to the dogs.

          My Dad remembered when his father was arrested.  His mother took all her valuables and bribed the prison guards and got him out of prison.  She was taking a chance.  They could have raped her, killed her, kept the valuables and kept his father in prison.  Fortunately, they let him free and nothing happened to his mother.

          My dad also remembered a Yom Kippur experience.  Yom Kippur is a fast day from one evening to the following evening.  He remembered his father the second evening looking up for the first star, which would mean the end of Yom Kippur.  Only his father was not interested in eating.  He wanted to smoke.  (Also not allowed on Yom Kippur.)

          Another holiday my dad told me about was Passover.  On this holiday you were not permitted to eat bread.  You could eat unleavened bread called matzo, which was like a cracker.  But you had to give up bread about one day before you were allowed to eat matzo.  So, what did they do?  My grandmother would make potatoes in sour cream as a substitute for bread.

          Another memory was about a calf they bought to be slaughtered.  However, it wasn’t slaughtered right away and the family used to play with the calf.  My dad said he remembered running after the calf.  Well, what happened was the calf was finally slaughtered and prepared for dinner.  Nobody would eat it.  How sad.

          My dad also remembered two of his grandparents, his grandfather and grandmother, and they were always fighting.  Also, his grandfather was a smoker and his grandmother wasn’t.  So, whenever they had a fight, she would throw his cigarettes out the window.

          Although his grandfather was the smoker, it was his grandmother who died of lung cancer.  His grandfather missed her very much.  He would say,  “You need somebody to fight with.”

          My dad had a grandfather he was very close with and my dad was his favorite grandson.  His grandfather would say, “Your son’s son is like your own son.” (I believe that’s in the Bible.)  Well, on the Sabbath his grandfather wanted to take a nap with him.  But when my dad was little, he didn’t want to take a nap.  He wanted to play.  And his grandfather used to say, “It’s so nice to take a nap on the Sabbath.”

          I believe this was the grandfather who was very well liked by all, by the Jews and by the Christians.  After the communist revolution, the communists were taking the houses away from the people.  However, this grandfather was so well liked, they let him live and die in his own house.

          When dad left Ukraine, he was already a young adult.  He left with his sister and future brother-in-law.  But they couldn’t just leave; it was illegal to do so.  They had to be smuggled out and they had to pay for it.

          One person who helped them was a Jewish horse thief.  He took them to the house of a Jewish madame who had a daughter who was a prostitute.  Men would walk by her daughter and just stick their hands down her dress.  Well, the horse thief was in love with the prostitute and wanted to marry her.  But the madame was against it.  She felt her daughter was too good for him.

          Don’t know what the outcome was.

          Another time on their journey it had been raining.  Afterwards, they built a fire and dried off by the fire.  One of the women drying off had on several skirts, which she kept on.  First, she raised all but the bottom skirt and dried off the bottom one; next she let down and dried the next one, then the next and so on.

          They were undetected most of the time, except for once.  They had to leave so fast that my dad didn’t have time to put on his boots.  He had to run through the forest barefoot.

          At the end of their journey, they ended up in Europe.  They wanted to go to the United States, but they were going to be sent to South America.  What happened?  My dad’s sister got the measles and was quarantined.  Then she got better.  At that point the three of them were sent to the United States. 

          My dad’s sister, my Aunt Ray, went to work when she got to this country.  She also went to school at night.  At some point she was married to my Uncle Jack, (her traveling companion and half uncle).  She supported her brother and her husband through their schooling.  They both went to medical school.

          On the way to work, Aunt Ray would go by the food stores and tell them what she wanted.  She would pick up everything on the way home.  Then she would put up the food for dinner.  She would then write down the time to turn the stove off.  When her brother, my dad, came home he would turn it off at the designated time.  Aunt Ray at that time would be in school.  I don’t know at what point they all would eat.

          At some point my mother met my dad.  It was on a blind date fixed up by a woman who was a family friend.  They met at a show.

          When I was a baby, my dad got very sick.  He almost died.  This whole situation was very hard on my mother.  She was living at relatives” homes.  But my dad pulled through, thank goodness.

          After some time passed, my dad and his family got involved with people in Israel and knew many Israelis.

          At one point my grandmother, my dad’s mother and whom I called Grandma, came to the United States.  She stayed with Aunt Ray and Uncle Jack and studied English for a while.  Aunt Ray and Uncle Jack soon had two sons.  Grandma helped out and did the cooking for the family.

          After the family grew up, Grandma came to live with us.  She would tell me stories about her life when she was younger.  She told me about her stepmother, the woman her father married after her mother had died.  Her stepmother wouldn’t do any work in the house.  Grandma had to do it.  Her stepmother said, “With such a girl in the house, I don’t have to work.”  She spent her days praying all day long.

          Grandma also worked in a factory.  Before she went to work in the morning, she would milk the cow.  They knew at work she could read, so they left the newspaper for her.  I believe it was in Russian.  Grandma told me about what she had read in the newspaper, the Dreyfuss affair in France in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.  It was all very interesting only she told me the same things over and over again.  And in her later years she forgot how to cook and sew.

She would sit in the kitchen and look out the window.  At that point she had dementia.  For some reason she did not like my brother.  She told my mother she would see him outside feeling up all the girls in the street.  My mother would respond, “I know they do it, but not right out in the street.”

My mother took very good care of grandma.

So, that’s the story of my dad and his family.


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