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March 1, 2013

Letter: A final letter to The Eagle-Tribune

To the editor:

Maria Maymina, my grandmother, was born on Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, in 1925 and passed away after Purim, the Celebration of Deliverance, this past weekend.

Her life itself mirrored the Jewish holiday of Pesach, commemorating the Israelites’ miraculous escape from slavery, as she survived the Holocaust. Like the Hanukkah miracle of a day’s worth of holy oil lasting eight nights, Maria’s life was nearly cut short after a mere decade and a half of life, but miraculously she survived and prospered for more than eight and a half decades. Her last day was a happy day at the Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home, a Purim celebration with dancing and masks and a raffle that she won.

Maria was the figurative shamash, or leader candle, in her community and with her family and friends, lighting up all other lives around her, helping them shine brighter. She was the beloved wife of the late Gregori Maymin, the devoted mother of Svetlana Seifer and Zakhar Maymin, the cherished grandmother of Lilia Seifer, Vlad Seifer, Senia Maymin, Philip Maymin, Allan Maymin and Dan Maymin, and the dear sister of Asya Uskova.

In her later years, Maria, who lived in Andover, was a frequent contributor to these opinion pages of The Eagle-Tribune, and her family would like to share with her community the following short excerpt and final words from her book “Because I Am Jewish”, published shortly before her passing:

“I am thankful to America for its care and attention to me and elderly. I am thankful for my children’s and grandchildren’s opportunities for better education and jobs. So I should live and enjoy myself. But no. I cannot sleep at night; my thoughts trouble me. Why is my heart hurting so much? Old sufferings and hurt feelings are deep inside me and make me aware of them. And I cannot find the right answers to the questions that worry me. Why? Why is my life a constant struggle against evil that culminated in a tragic loss of my husband?”

Philip Maymin

Greenwich, Conn.

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