Thinking of my mother Sylvette when I watch the desperate escape of so many of the children of Ukraine. My mother left Paris for England at age 11 and was the only member in her family to get out of danger as another warmongering madman planned his invasion of Europe. She did not see her parents and baby brother, who went into hiding during the Nazi occupation, until she returned to France at 17. What courage it took, to be shipped to a foreign country, not speaking the language as she only spoke French and Italian which earned her the moniker “spaghetti girl” from the mean girls at school. She showed the same bravery as she battled cancer which took her life before reaching 50. I look up to her with such admiration and hope that just a fraction of her strength has been passed on to me.

Source: Coco Kopelman