January 27th marks the International Holocaust Remembrance Day and it made me think of my lovely Dad, Leo Geddy (Leopold Gedajlovic)
For those of you who don’t know, my dad was a Holocaust Survivor
His parents, brothers and sisters were all murdered at Auschwitz and his youngest brother Mordechai, was only 6.
My dad was my greatest teacher as he showed me not by what he said but, by how he lived his life that we can get past anything that happens to us in life if we choose to.
I used to think that if was able to adjust after the horrors he must have witnessed and losing most of his family, surely I can recover and heal after being gang raped at thirteen.
Despite what happened to him, he settled in London and met my mum and had five of us.
What people remember most about him was that he had a wicked sense of humour and loved life too.
The majority who knew him never had any idea what he had gone through – he felt there was need for them to know
He always told me that life was for living, not for dwelling in the past
The strength, courage and dignity my Dad embodied shaped me, and for that, I am eternally grateful.
Dad never let the label of ‘Holocaust Survivor’ define who he was. I often wonder if I would have survived had I been born into a different family, one without so much love of life to provide a narrative.
But I also know that my Dad or myself aren’t super human and that we are all so much stronger than we think we are too.
He lives on not just in our memories, but in my brother and sisters and all of our children.
We must learn from yesterday for a better tomorrow. Never forget