The widow of the victim of a Gaza rocket attack on southern Israel gave birth to a baby boy.
When Esther Goshen-Gottstein's husband of 39 years died, she felt like her world had crumbled. "The bottom had fallen out my life, as in an earthquake, when the ground on which one has stood firmly for years suddenly collapses," she writes in "Surviving Widowhood" (Gefen, 2002).
At first glance, it would be hard to imagine two women with less in common than my mother and my husband's mother. You can begin with the obvious differences in cultural and religious background: my mother grew up Jewish in the Bronx, while my mother-in-law, a Presbyterian, has lived in Virginia all her life.
And while neither exactly bears out a stereotype, each carries somewhat predictable ethnic and regional markers. My mother, Lois, is voluble and huggy, a devotee of popular arts, an ace shopper. Lloyd (yes, Lloyd -- like many other Southern women, she was assigned a family surname as her given name) is much more reticent and reserved. To me, she seems very much the patrician Virginia gentlewoman, while my mother has a large measure of what one novelist once called the "yolky warmth" typical of many Jewish women.
My Aunt Illa, a woman capable of great charm and vast intrigues,was hated by both my mother and father.
By Father, because he believed that Illa was so jealous of the love between his brother Zoltan and himself that she prevented her husband from the frequent contact the brothers wanted. And my mother-- well, because of the usual animus she held against the women in Father's family.