Marysia... today is your birthday!
Mum always said she was born in 1924. A few years ago, her friend, who worked at the Holocaust Centre, checked the Łódź Ghetto records that showed her date of birth is the 20th of October 1923. At this stage of her life, a year older or younger doesn't matter anymore, but it's still an interesting fact.
So today she is 97 or 98. Mum's birthday has always been around the time of Simchat Torah, the Jewish festival that celebrates the beginning of the reading of the Torah. Her parents used to throw a birthday party each year, with family from all parts of Poland arriving in horse-drawn carriages. The table was full of delicacies, including grapes because it was the end of summer. Mum remembers sitting under the table with her cousin Renya, cheekily reaching up to sneak a grape or a chocolate to eat.