Updated: Jul 7, 2020
An inspiring tale of bravery, perseverance, and miracles
I'm proud to introduce Rona to our Beyond Introversion readers. She is a dear friend and fellow writer. I find her story quite moving and am sure it will provide courage and inspiration to all. Please enjoy her guest post...
“Stage four. Get your affairs in order, Ed.”
Lung cancer had met its match.
My friend Ed is a fighter. Against prejudice and discrimination. Poverty. War. Dyslexia. Cancer. He is a living miracle. His courage and determination so inspired me that I was compelled to write his story.
-Ronarose Train, author of The MIRACLE Known as ED LEVINE
World War II did not pause on August 19, 1942, for the birth of Ed Levine. Ambulances and cars in London were scarce, only used for emergencies, and were rarely seen. Because wounded soldiers filled the few hospitals still standing, forcing civilians to search for any makeshift clinic they could find, Ed’s parents kept a constant record of the changing locations accepting women in labor.
“Oy, Max! It’s coming soon.”
“We have to leave right away,” he said, wrapping Miriam in a shawl and picking up the bag they had prepared.
“Don’t walk so fast,” his wife pleaded. “I don’t see the bus yet.”
“It’s at the corner,” Max said after they had queued only a short time.
He carefully helped her up the stairs of the crowded double-decker and thanked the man who offered Miriam his seat.
Before long, her cries joined those of the many laboring mothers lying on the stretchers that lined the poorly equipped medical facility’s halls. Bomb explosions added to the chaos.
Miriam saw the conditions around her. “Everyone is so busy,” she said to the woman on the next cot. “And there aren’t many nurses.”
“Most of them are taking care of soldiers,” she said to Miriam. “We can’t worry. Someone will come.”
“But that woman has been lying there with her baby on her chest since I got here. I think the umbilical cord is still attached.”
“He’s healthy, so what’s the hurry?”
Miriam lowered her voice. “Have you noticed that all of us in this hall are Jews?”
“Is that why they aren’t helping us?”
“When yours is ready, you don’t need anyone. I’ve seen two already.”
Miriam writhed in pain, and between contractions, returned to her new friend’s remark. “Two what?”
“Births without help,” the woman said. “Not even a midwife.”
“Oy. Why am I having this baby?” Miriam lamented.
“It’s too late to ask that,” her friend said.
Accompanied by occasional warning sirens and explosions, Ed Levine made a howling entry into this world at 3:00 p.m. The chimes emanating from the East End’s Mary-le-Bow church heralded his arrival. Those in earshot of the hourly “Bow Bell” concerts proudly claimed their heritage: they were Cockneys, the rugged inhabitants of London’s factory and warehouse district, the area vital to England’s war effort, and a target of relentless Nazi bombing.
The East End was London’s immigrant section where housing was cheap, and ethnic hatred ran deep. Even though they faced anti-Semitism in London, the Levines believed they were better off there than facing the Communism spreading across Eastern Europe. They led a poor, hard-working life among East Enders of similar means, and all endured the constant hardship of war.
He was the child of Russian immigrants who settled in London's East End, enduring World War II bombing, years of recovery, and poverty. He faced the challenges of dyslexia and ever-present anti-Semitism even after his family immigrated to Canada and later to the United States. Forced to fight for every achievement, Ed met his greatest battle at the peak of his personal and professional success.
If cats have nine lives, Eddie Levine has ten. Ronarose Train's sensitive portrayal of this inspirational man's story-from hardscrabble poverty to comfortable success, from challenging academic experiences to sure-footed accumulation of wisdom-will capture your heart and ignite your courage.
Saralyn Richard, Author of A Palette for Love and Murder
Ed and I developed a greater bond as we delved into his history, each of us learning from and appreciating the other. It was my honor to chronicle this remarkable man’s journey.
The Miracle Known as Ed Levine, based on my friend’s true story, is an inspiring tale of bravery, perseverance, and miracles.