Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2055076-What-My-Mother-Told-Me
by DannyJ
Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Emotional · #2055076
A dying mother tells her son about the truth of his father.
         I knew her life was coming to an end. I kept preparing myself for her inevitable death. I knew I would lose my mother and every day could be the day she would no longer be in the hospital bed, but, rather in the cold hard ground.
         I cared for her as much as I could. I had to balance out my school and job and still find time to visit her and help take care of her and let her know I was still there for her. It truly wore me out, but, I was the only one who could do it.
         I loved spending time with her, but, this was nineteen sixty nine. I wanted to be with the “in” crowd. I wanted to be around people my age spreading the message of peace and love. I wanted to protest the war, help my fellow man, listen to that psychedelic music and try some of those drugs people said would free my mind.
         I would have loved that, but, as I said I had a job, I had to go to college, I had to take care of my mom.
         All of this was running through my head while I walked in the hospital doors to visit her once again. I arrived early today as I was off work and today was a day I didn't have any of my classes at school.
         I found my way to her room quickly and entered the room.
         My mother was sleeping in her bed. She looked terrible. Her legs were still swollen, his skin pale, and her lips were just starting to become chapped.
         I sat down and watched her sleep for a while. She was having some problems breathing so I got out of my chair and lifted her head up just enough to put another pillow below it. She started to breathe a whole lot better.
         The nurse walked in and saw me just returning to my seat at the side of her bed.
         “Hey, Jacob. Here again today and extra early. You are the best son I've ever seen, I know if I had a son I would want them to be like me and take care of me like you take care of your mother.” Nurse Rose said.
         I chuckled and said, “Thanks Rose.”
         I learned during the first month that she didn't want to be called Nurse Rose, “Just Rose” she told me and she never let me forget it until I got it down. What helped me remember the most is she would stare at me without saying a word with a funny face and big eyes and just stare until I was weirded out and said, “OK, OK, Rose.”
         “You mom is getting close to the time that...Well you know.” Nurse Rose said.
         “I know.” I said sighing and hanging my head down and looking at the wooden floor. “Do you think it would be OK to wake her up?”
         “Oh, honey, that would be fine. She wanted to talk to you anyway and told me to wake her up and you came.”
         Nurse Rose went over to my mom and said her name a few times and my mom started to move around and then opened her eyes.
         “Oh, Rose. Oh tell me Jacob is here.” My mother said weakly.
         “Sure is, He is sitting right there.”
         She turned her head and looked at me. Her eyes brightened and she gave the biggest smile I have seen since before she became bed ridden. She told Nurse rose if she could prop her up in the bed and leave for a few minutes because she needed to tell me something and it was personal. Of course in my moms true southern style she said it very politely and eloquently to Nurse Rose.
         Nurse Rose smiled and looked at me then back to her.
“Yes ma'am. You two need some time anyway. Ill be back later to check on you. Have fun” Nurse Rose said.
         She left and then my mom smiled turned into a frown and she bowed and head and kept it there and said. “Jacob, I know that I'm dying. There is something I need to tell you. Something I have kept from you about your father. You know that I told you he died and that part was true, but, he was not a doctor. No, He was something that...He was a monster.”
         “What do you mean?” I stuttered and my heart began to race.
         She lifted the right sleeve of her long sleeve shirt. She only wore long sleeve shirts, I never have even seen above her wrist my whole life.
         After she lifted it she showed my a blue tattoo on her arm. It was a bunch of numbers. It reminded me of something I learned about in my teenage years but I couldn't put my finger on it.
         “You know that I moved from Poland right after the war. You were still a baby, so small and fragile. What you don't know is that I was put in a concentration camp during the war. This tattoo was my number, it how I was known to the Nazi's.” she said.
         “In the camp I was beaten, made to work long hours making weapons for Hitler's war in Europe.” my mother told me with a tear coming to her eyes.
         Why had she never told me this? Why did she hide it from me? I was feeling anger both because she never told me and also because of the pain and anguish she must have endured at the hands of those evil people.
         “Mom, I don't know...I mean...” I was searching for the words but she interrupted me.
         “Son. Just listen. There was a doctor in the camp who had a desire for beautiful woman. I was very beautiful back then which made me his target.” she said with shame in her voice.
         “Mom...If it's to hard to talk about just stop.”
         “Jacob, that doctor is your father. He raped me over and over for a period of weeks and that's how I got pregnant with you.” she said, then added. “He found out and was taking me to the gas chamber to destroy the evidence of what he called “his Jewish whore and the bastard son that was worth nothing.”
         I started crying. I was a rape baby fathered by a man that killed people because of the words of one of the most evil people in history. Obviously my rapist father was right. I was a bastard son worth nothing. My mom held my hand and spoke.
         “Son, I don't regret it. I love you. Look at what you've accomplished. Your going to college for a degree in history. When you get it you'll be teaching highschoolers all about the war and what happened and the massacres and genocide that occurred. Now you know some of it first hand. Remember, If you don't study history, you're bound to make the same mistakes in the future.” she said trying to console me.
         “Mom how did you escape?” I asked
         “As your father was taking me to my soon to be death, a shot rang out and hit him in the leg and he fell to the ground screaming. The Americans were liberating the camp. Everywhere there was confusion. Some guards where defending the camp, others killing the prisoners to hide the proof.” she said, “I hid in a crawl space until it was all over and came out when I heard only English speaking voices.”
         I couldn't imagine how brave she must have been and how scared. What would it have been like to see that carnage, people getting shot and death everywhere.
         “What happened to my father.” I questioned.
         “He escaped capture and from what I've been told he lives somewhere in South America. That was a few years ago.” She said.
         I looked down trying to hide the tears welling up in my eyes but finally they stopped and I held my composure. I was the child of a murderer, a rapist, and a person executed for crimes against humanity.
         I knew though I didn't have to be like him. I had an epiphany, I would help everyone I could any way possible. If sins were passed down to me because of my father I would atone for them. I knew then that I had to be an even better person than I already was.
         “Mom, I'm going to go to the cafeteria real quick and think about all this while I eat. Do you want anything while I'm there?” I told her.
         “No son. I just don't want you crying when you come back. Be brave and remember I love you. She said with I thought was a tear in her eye.
         I went to the cafeteria and thought about everything, a lot of it seemed to hard to handle, but I knew with time I could come to accept it. I finished my food and went back to my mom's room.
         My mom wasn't in her room. She must have been taken to have test run on her. Suddenly Nurse Rose came in with tears in her eyes and looked at me sadly.
         “Jacob... Your mom...She died. I'm sorry.”
         Nurse Rose hugged me and I broke down and cried. She told me the story of my father. She told me what happened to her. Then she dies. I wasn't prepared for any of this, I thought I was, but I wasn't.
         “Jacob, You mom was clutching a note in her hand. It said To be opened by Jacob only.” She said and handed it to him.
         She left saying it will be alright and she needs to do the paperwork on my mom. I understood, but, honestly I was wanting to find out what the note my mom wrote had to say.
         I slowly opened it.
         It read: Jacob, your father name was, Joseph Mengele.

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