Indomitable Spirit

Today TaxMama wants to talk to you about strength of spirit – and overcoming adversity, no matter what.

Dear Family,

This morning I’ve been distracted by Renée Firestone. The most recent edition of the USC Shoah Foundation’s PastForward has Renée on the cover in a conversation with Steven Spielberg. Naturally, I started digging a little more into Renée’s story – and got lost in her interview about her Holocaust experiences for the Shoah Foundation. I am only into the first half hour – and will return to listen after I finish today’s TaxQuip.

The reason I am bring Renée’s story to your attention is because in the past few weeks I have heard from so many people, friends and readers, who are struggling right now. Whether it’s due to financial reasons, or personal ones, the problems they face are overwhelming. To them. Perhaps you’re experiencing the same thing right now.

Maybe a little perspective can help. Renée was in her teens when the Nazis disrupted her life – and nearly ended it. Surviving Auschwitz, loss of family and friends, she made her way to the New World and broke barriers for women with her own clothing line in New York. When I met Renée in California, I was 9 years old. Renée was exciting, designing wonderful clothing, some of it for television series. She was bold and outrageous – and always exciting. In fact, Renée and her daughter, Klara, conspired with my parents in a surprise party for my 12th birthday. I’ll never forget it.

Ultimately, like all things transitory in the garment industry, the business faded away. In the meantime, Renée had started volunteering at Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Education Outreach Program and became their founding lecturer, traveling to schools, colleges, military bases to talk about the Holocaust and prejudice. Rather than being depressing,  Renée inspired people .

Over the years, Renée has been broke many times.  Each time something awful happened, Renée persevered to find another way to make it. Yet, as long as I’ve known her, despite all the set-backs and obstacles life has thrown at her, she’s managed to live in Beverly Hills, travel the world – and do more than survive. Renée has thrived, blossomed and – and inspired.

Watch Renée’s story. Perhaps it will help you find solutions to your problems.

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about surviving – with grace, and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At

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