Henry Winkler Cared for Mom in Final Days Despite His Tough Childhood

Henry Winkler Cared for Mom in Final Days Despite His Tough Childhood

Actor Henry Winkler, an Emmy Award winner, is best known for his iconic role as Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli in the popular television program Happy Days. But the role he played for his dying mother is his most touching and moving by far.

Henry did not have an easy childhood, the actor mentioned in an interview. His parents were rough on him and even gave him a cruel nickname. They called him “dummer Hund,” which is German for “dumb dog.”

His parents berated him for not performing well in school.

“My parents were very tough,” Henry said. “Not just strict. They didn’t care to see an individual outside of who they were, and how it translated to their life. Do you know? Yeah, that’s no way to live.”

It was not until his early 30s that he learned he suffers from dyslexia. 

In addition to his parents' cruel nickname and awful treatment, Henry also recalls his mother laughing only a handful of times.

Both of Henry’s parents were survivors of Nazi concentration camps, having escaped in 1939 and eventually made it to the United States of America, according to Newsner.com

Despite all the negative treatment and the bad memories, Henry put that aside and cared for his dying mother. 

He would travel across the country – from California to New York – to care for her after she was in a wheelchair, unable to care for herself during her last years. Despite his cross country travels to care for his mother, Henry felt guilt on days when he was unable to be there, Henry shared

Although Henry did step up and cared for his mother, who passed away in 1998, those words and treatment he received as a child still hurt.

“I still have feelings of not being worthy enough, of not being perfect enough,” Henry said. “But with age, you can use like a sander, like sandpaper and take away the rough edges and go about your business. And I’m having a great life.”

What a heartbreaking story about the power of words and actions and how a son set aside hurt to care for his elderly mother. 

Romans 12:17 “Repay no one evil for evil. Respect what is honorable in the sight of all men.”

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