My Mother Embodied Selfless Love
May 10, 2021
(left. My mother feeding my brother in 1958)
By her example, my mother,
Helen Iskowicz Makow (1919-1983),
taught me that love is selfless
"I grew up in an era when the media taught us that homemakers were not cool. Women like my mother who nurtured and loved their families were denigrated. That attitude rubbed off on me."
by Henry Makow Ph.D.
My biggest regret is that I never showed my mother how much I loved her before she died in 1983 of breast cancer. I think she knew I loved her but at 33, I was still too self-centred to repay her in kind. With shame, I remember sitting in her hospital room marking term papers as she lay dying.
(Left. The nuclear family is the building block of a healthy society. Dad took this picture of us.)
I learned from her how a woman brings love into the world by her selfless dedication to family. When someone totally sacrifices for you, when someone is unconditionally for you, it's pretty hard not to love them back with all your heart.
Mothers are the unsung heroes of society. They do the difficult, thankless work of nurturing and teaching helpless children in sickness and in health.
My mother's credo was to serve her husband first, children second, Canada third and Israel fourth. She wasn't on her list.
She never demanded anything in return; and as result, we took her for granted. We exploited her.
She was so selfless that I noticed when once at dinner, she took a choice cut of chicken for herself.
Once, when I was doing a TV appearance in NYC for "Ask Henry," a producer showed us the sights in his sports car.
We had an accident. The car door flew opened and my mother fell on to the pavement.
I screamed in panic, "Mom!"
Thankfully, she wasn't hurt.
Why did it take an accident to show her that?
My mother had survived the war by passing as a Gentile. She didn't finish high school and didn't read books. But she had a sophisticated stamp collection and made batiks.
When I was eight-years-old, I related an incident that occurred at school. She told me to be strong and stand up for what is right.
You don't learn that in school. You learn that from life.