BETWEEN THE LINES

Looking back; looking forward

May 16, 2013

Tags: Rosenbergs, RFC, Abel Meeropol, Carry it Forward

These few weeks feel historic and hopeful, containing both joy and sorrow. I look back and forward, trying to balance on the moment.

Looking back: Forty-five years ago last month, Robby and I giggled our way into marriage at the Rockville County courthouse. One friend predicted, “They won’t last two weeks.” I’m so glad Nick was wrong.

Looking back: Sixty years ago next month, Ethel and Julius were executed, orphaning my sweet Robby at age six.

Looking forward: In a few days, my grandson has his first birthday. He is named for his great-grandfather Abel Meeropol, who wrote Strange Fruit and who, with his wife Anne, adopted Robby and his brother after the execution.

Looking forward: In three months, Robby will retire as Executive Director of the Rosenberg Fund for Children, the foundation he started to honor his birth parents and continue their work for social justice by supporting today’s targeted activists. In September, our daughter Jenn will take over leadership of the organization that embodies her father’s constructive revenge. It delights and tickles me that one daughter litigates to protect civil liberties and the other supports targeted activists.

Looking forward: One month from today, at Town Hall in Manhattan, the Rosenberg Fund community of friends, family, and supporters will gather for “Carry it Forward,” a dramatic program to commemorate the anniversary of the execution and the RFC leadership transition. I’ll also be thinking about the generations of activists that are gone, and the generations now joining our family and our world.