My mom, Yetta, was in her 40s when I became her child. I was 18 months old when my birth mother, Kate (Yetta's sister), died. Yetta took in my father, sister and two brothers.
Doctors advised her to let part of her family go because of her own health problems, so she kept me and my sister, who was 11 years older. My sister married when I was 9.
I knew of no other mother, so, of course, Yetta was my mom. She was very funny, smart, a great cook and baker and a friend to all.
While I was growing up, she had more heart attacks than I could count. Each time, she declared, "I can't die until I see Miriam married." She truly willed herself to live, and so it went. Nine weeks after my marriage, she died. That was 61 years ago, and not a day goes by that I don't mention or quote my beloved mom.
--Miriam Cohen, Valley Stream