As a result of visiting the Old Newark Web Site...

by Barbara L. Rothschild


My Dearest Niece Karen:

I am indeed the very same sister of your dad, and I was at the hospital to see you the day following your birth in 1963. After the death of your paternal grandmother, your father's and my birth mother, life had taken some very negative turns for me. Most unfortunate of all, there was little contact after that between your father and myself. I was but quite a young teenager left without parents, and very little hope for a happy life or future. For a short time, I had gone to live in the home of our mother's younger sister, a home which had much turmoil and emotional problems, all unrelated to me or my presence there, and it was not a very supportive or happy environment for a young girl to be a part of. From that home, I went to a series of "foster" homes, some good, but most not. Through the support of a beloved teacher at high school, (Weequahic High School, Newark, New Jersey), I found the strength and understanding to pick up the pieces of my sad life, and move on from there. I was told that I was an exceptionally bright child, and in part owing to that same teacher, I became quite adapt at the fast mastery of many foreign languages.
I began to thrive academically, and at the point of my graduation in June, 1962, I was awarded more than three scholarships, including an entire four year scholarship to complete my college education. I graduated college, with honors , in 1966.

Despite my success at college, the great hole in my heart continued to grow, for , by that time, my separation from your father, through no choice of my own, seemed to become complete, why, I never could understand? There were many nights when I cried myself to sleep thinking of HOW VERY MUCH I LOVED your dad, when I was a child. Your father is fifteen years older than I, and our fathers were not the same, and unfortunately, my father was chronically ill and old, even when I was young. Although he was my brother, your dad was looked upon by me as a "father figure", and accordingly, through the eyes of a six year old, I viewed him in this way, and so, I ADORED him to no end. Although I am sixty years old today, I can still recall the day of his army induction in 1951, where my childish wailing of "losing" my brother, upset many of the people at the induction center on Broad Street, Newark.....for I thought I would never see him again. Little did I realize as a little child, what the future would hold......

When I married in 1969, I discovered that your father and late mother were living in Scotch Plains, New Jersey. On a whim, I invited him to my marriage. I do not know what happened, but I was very distraught when he did not come to such a very happy event in my life, and again, I went on wondering through the years what I had done to merit such avoidance.

Ultimately, I gave birth to two daughters, who are now 30 and 34 years old, respectively. Unfortunately, my marriage to Mr. Sidney Rothschild ended after 19 years on a very bitter note. Because I wanted so to "belong to a family", I had not made a good choice in a partner, and my emotions of wanting to belong blinded my better judgment of reason when I was in my early 20's. It turned out that I had gotten involved with a very troubled family, and my ex-husband, a child himself of physical abuse and emotional deprivation, resulting in his becoming very abusive to me,over the years, many times in the presence of our daughters. We were separated in 1986, and divorced in 1988. My world was then truly crushed, and it took many years of therapy to become whole again. All this misfortune naturally brought back the pain of my separation from your father, as there was not really any family that I could rely on on for emotional support during this extremely difficult time in my life. To add to all this pain, my ex husband was a very wealthy man who used his legal and financial influence to set my daughters against me, so they would accept his paramour and out-of-wedlock son, who were unknown to me, until the time of our divorce.

For a brief time, through my own initiation, I contacted your father in the 1970's. I learned he was living in Marlboro, and had a veterinary practice in Morganville. At the time, I was residing in Toms River, New Jersey. I invited him to my home, and once again, I did not receive a response, for I STILL longed to know all of you. At last, in 1975, at your Bas Mitzvah, I finally got to see you and your dad, and I was ecstatic to have been invited as a guest! I came to your home in Marlboro, with my ex husband and two small daughters, one barely a year old at the time. I was very hopeful of a reconciliation at that time, which would continue to move forward. Sadly, it never happened, and I no longer attempted to make any contact thereafter, since I felt it was not welcomed.....But I never stopped thinking or dreaming about you all, even until this very day.

I am still working as a high school teacher of French and Spanish, with hopes of retirement next year. I have been living in Sewell, N. J. (Washington Township, Gloucester County) for the past eleven years, where I am a homeowner of a single family home. Since 1991, I have been in a very loving relationship with a man who is eighteen years my junior, my dearest Barry, and we plan to be married one of these years, (whenever I become brave enough!!!) Although he is a Christian man, we have a deep understanding of one another and an abiding respect, as well. I have many interests, among which are my hobbies of collecting and dealing in antique costume jewelry, and I have become quite the expert in that!.....And, of course, there is my writing....

Owing to the invention of this wonderful technology on which we are happily communicating now, I have become somewhat of an amateur writer and author, beginning with my discovery (quite accidentally!), of the Old Newark web site. I have made many new "e" friends owing to my writing there, and have actually rediscovered old friends and neighbors from my childhood days, growing up in the City of Newark! I have made acquaintance with many wonderful people who enjoy my style of writing, and I cannot believe that I have an actual "fan club" of people who look forward to my stories and articles, and who encourage me to take up writing as a second career!! Among some of the people who I have "met" through my articles, is the celebrated author, Phillip Roth, ("Portnoy's Complaint", "Goodbye, Columbus", "The Human Stain", et al), himself a Newark boy, who now encourages me to write a novel, since he feels I have the "talent", ( which, I am modestly "laughing at", by the way!) I am also encouraged by the former Sports Editor, Nat Bodian, of the "Newark Star Ledger", who also has become a good friend of mine! I am very excited about all of this, but indeed, on this second week of January in the New Year, you have truly answered my prayers and dreams. As I sit here typing, there are tears of joy in my eyes, because of making contact with you! I am indeed interested in you, your brothers and, of course, my dear brother, Albert. As late as last week,the end of another year gone by, you were all in my thoughts, and I wondered, if, at age 75, my brother was still among us.

I had heard over the last few years, about a Dr. John Hirsch, operating out of the Shore Veterinary Hospital in Somers Point (?), but I did not dare to call and ask to find out if he was part of the family, but it did cross my mind, that perhaps he was my brother's son.

Like your father, I also have a love of animals, especially the exotic birds, of which I own two, at the present time. I am also "mommy" to my wonderful dog and two cats, who keep me very busy, needless to say! They have been patients of my dear friend, Dr. Marvin Rothman, who is approximately the same age as your father, but again, I was never daring enough to pursue the inquiry if Marvin knew him. Perhaps I feared heartache and disappointment once again, and God only knows, I had enough of that in my sixty years on this earth! I only look forward to positive events in my life these days. We are only given a finite amount of years in this life, and how we deal with what we can handle, is truly in our hands: you know the saying, my dear Karen, "When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade!" Such is my philosophy these days! I find happiness and contentment in the simple things in life these days: my hobbies, my ability to help others, my love of all things living in nature, and yes, happy to wake up each morning to a new day....and you have made this day a TRULY HAPPY ONE for me!

God Bless you and your brothers and family....and a big kiss to my beloved brother Albert, your dear father!

I very much look forward to hear from you again VERY SOON, I would LOVE to meet you all and include you all in my life once again!

With love to you all,
Your Aunt,
Barbara (nee Kresch) Rothschild

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