She was at home anywhere there was family

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My grandmother, who was born in a small town in Hungary, lived in five cities on three continents before she died 86 years later in San Francisco.

She went to Vienna with her husband and then to Berlin, where she raised five girls. She never talked much about herself, but every once in a while she came up with little snatches, like she was the first girl in her family who refused to have her hair cut and wear a shaitel when she married.

Life grew hard after her husband died during World War I, and she was left with five children. My mother was the oldest and the first to get a job and bring money home.

Just as life became a bit easier, it again was time to move. This time my grandmother went with three daughters to Shanghai. Two daughters were left behind in Berlin. Fortunately they survived and they, too, came to San Francisco after the war.

Life in Shanghai was primitive. We lived four to a room, no kitchen, no bathroom. But it seems there was always room for one more. So come Rosh Hashanah, my grandmother stayed with us. Since we didn't have another bed, my brother gave up his, and he slept on the all-purpose table.

Not only was my grandmother a beautiful woman, straight like rod and slim, she was also strong and uncomplaining. It seemed it didn't matter to her where she lived as long as she was with her family.