Robert: Mother and Daughter Reunited after 80 years

Published on May 9th, 2022 @ 10:50 AM


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It was the greatest Mother’s Day gift Gerda Cole could have ever hoped for, seeing her daughter for the first time since being separated 80 years ago.

The 98 year old Cole fled  her native Austria at the onset of World War II, fearing persecution due to her Jewish faith. Alone, Cole made her way to England where, at the age of 18, gave birth to a child. Due to her financial situation, she made the difficult decision to place the child up for adoption. She has not seen, heard or spoken to her daughter ever since.

That was until Saturday when the two met face to face and embraced for the first time.

“I am so overjoyed to be able to say, ‘my daughter,’” Cole says. “It means so much to be able to live to see these moments.”

Cole’s new grandson, Stephen Grist, helped his mother track down her birth mother to a long-term care home in Toronto in Canada.

“I was fully expecting to find eventually some record of death,” Grist said. “In the end, I found Gerda’s stepson, and they told me that Gerda is alive and well and living in a home in Canada. That was such a shock in the system. It changed everything.”

Upon hearing her mother was still alive, Cole’s daughter, Gerda, insisted she hop on a plane so she could hug her mother.

Following their initial reunion, the mother/daughter duo spent the day talking and dancing with one another.

“Don’t wait until tomorrow before it is too late, if you want to live, live now, not tomorrow or the day after,” Cole advises.

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