Edith Wigoda

My Book

Tracing My Steps

When my granddaughters, Sari and Michelle, were little girls, I read them classical children’s stories that I had heard when I was a child myself.
To make the stories of Snow White, Cinderella, and Little Red Riding Hood enjoyable, I flourished them with vivid scenes and spoke in a grave tone about the witch in Snow White, shrieked when the ugly step-mother appeared and roared when the big bad wolf came dressed as Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother.
One day, in the middle of the poisonous apple given by the witch, Michelle got so scared that she hugged me fearfully. At that moment, I began to think I was not smart repeating those scary tales that did not have any significant good lessons about life and only told silly adventures.
I decided then that instead, I would try to entertain them with stories about our own family, some funny, some sad, and others that just showed how our lives during the ‘old times’ were. At least they would know about some experiences our past generations had. To my surprise, they loved the tales, and every time we met, they begged, “Bubi, Bubi (grandma), tell us again about Bubi Esther’s mother, about Elita’s poisoning, and about Doris’s monkey…” The same happened years after when I repeated the same stories to my younger grandchildren.
When my repertory was finished, I concluded that I only had tattered pieces of our family, but if I wrote it down, I could at least leave them as a legacy that would not be lost like so many others from my ancestors’ had.
All the stories are as real as my memory recollects them, but remember that the whole truth exists in a vacuum. The truth for each of us begins with our perception, and sometimes cognizance comes with many other issues that are not in our recognition powers.
I began to write many anecdotes, so my children, grandchildren, and their children would know how the lives of my grandparents, my parents, and my generation were. As the stories unfold – because when one tale begins, it takes a life of its own – I realized that my family’s experiences were similar to many other immigrant Jews’ experiences when they abandoned Europe. Most had similar backgrounds, had suffered, and enjoyed parallel pasts. In many of the stories, I tried to explain bits of Jewish history and tradition. For me, as a secular Jew, tradition, morals, and way of life are gifts of what makes me Jewish.


As I wrote down many of my emotions about feeling different in a catholic country like Costa Rica, the land of Paradise, and about similar experiences when I moved to the United States, I wanted to leave a statement that explained to generations to come and to any non-Jew that reads my stories the essence of our people, and what are the values that are instilled in our homes. Of course, each generation is different, and over time, morals and behaviors change; even the perception of good and evil is perceived in different tones, but the core of being a Jew remains the same, and the ethical-moral laws remain true for the basis of good behavior in any human life.
We are respectful of others, we are taught to work hard and love knowledge, and we are supposed to take care of those less fortunate than ourselves. If Jews do not follow these practices, they abandon our religion’s core.
The message to my children and grandchildren is that we will make a better world for us and for every person around us if we live by Jewish ethics.
Life has moments of tragedy, sorrow, love, happiness, and humor.
The following stories have a bit of everything present in anyone’s life.

Acknowledgment:

My granddaughter Michelle Nahmad guided me in choosing the stories and as an artist, she designed the cover of the book. Thank you, Michelle.
I want to thank Costa Rica and the United States, the countries where I lived, for the freedom of expression they defend; anyone can write without fear.

Words Of Enlightenment:

Life is nothing but a choice of paths, luck is only one; others we must climb, but as days go by and wisdom comes by, we end up realizing that, we have to treasure, our family life.
My parents, my husband, my kids, will find out, that life without sharing, respecting, being kind, is only a compilation of lonely and empty hours, that simply go by.
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