Growing up, I lived in a household with Irish Catholic grandparents upstairs and my mother's two elderly Jewish uncles, Abe (born in Russia, near Kiev) and Charlie, at the kitchen table most days of the week. My dad was a tough Irish cop, but he made room in his home (and in his heart) for my mom's side of the family.

What a mishpokhe! Amazingly, we all got along, for the most part.

Having Uncle Abe (the mentsh) and Uncle Charlie (the shmegegi) in my life was a blessing, like two extra grandfathers. Abe taught me how to play chess. Charlie told stories about the old days. I made them tea. Man, I miss those days.

Interestingly, my two teenage sons, who are being raised Catholic as I was, feel a connection to their Jewish roots. I'm happy about that. My mom would be too.

I feel that I have had the best of both worlds.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 12/21/2005


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