I have been telling my mother’s story, one that begins with her life as a Hidden Child in Belgium during the Holocaust, to living the life of a suburban Jewish housewife and mother on Long Island and ending with her suicide at age fifty-five. Out of her four children I have self-selected as the keeper of the flame and the one who is hoping that my child will continue to pass it on to subsequent generations.

My mother spent a good part of my life in and out of locked psychiatric units. The first time I sensed that things weren’t…


Last week one of the residents of the all-male sober residence where I work came into the main office, shut the door behind him and began to weep. Still a few years from thirty, he grew up in one of the toughest, whitest projects in Boston, using drugs and committing crimes since the age of 14, so, seeing him in this vulnerable moment was a bit jarring.

At moments like these my coworkers and I are generally waiting for a confession of relapse. …

gayle saks

Follow me at gaylesaks.com

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