Actor Henry Winkler stepped up to care for his mom in her final years despite his tough childhood. Henry, whom we love for his roles like Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli in “Happy Days” or Stanley Yelnats III in “Holes” learned to create laughter after leaving home.
He was raised by two parents who valued hard work and education. His parents had scars from their own parents dying in concentration camps, and his mother and father had escaped Concentration Camps in 1939.
These tragic facts overshadowed any happiness and joy Henry tried to create. Growing up Henry gravitated towards comedy and laughter. At the same time, he struggled in school because neither his parents nor himself realized he had a learning disability.
Despite these unknown facts, Henry did the best he could given the circumstances of his life.
Actor Henry Winkler Recalls Tough Childhood
In a previous story on GodUpdates, Henry Winkler opened up about his family problems growing up. He shared how his parents nicknamed him “Dumm Hund” and constantly grounded him to his room for his comedic acts in hopes he would study harder in school. Despite his difficult childhood, Henry looked tolook at life through the art of acting and comedy.
After going on to have a successful career in acting and television, Henry did something no one expected. He put his feelings and tough memories of his childhood aside to take care of his dying mother.
Henry Winkler was filled with compassion, love, and respect for his mother. He recalled only a couple of times he ever saw his mother happy. He recalled, “Once because we tickled her into a closet. The second time we were driving, and she was in the back of the car, reading an article about some silly invention, and she thought it very funny.”
When we navigate childhood trauma and pain, naturally, we want to cut toxic or difficult family members out of our lives. We don’t want to subject ourselves to the memories or the negativity. But Henry did the exact opposite. He embraced his mother with his whole heart.
The Bible tells reminds us to love those to love sinners. There’s no credit in God’s eyes for showing love for others who love you. Instead, we are called to love difficult people. And that’s what Henry did. As his mother grew sicker, Henry left his career to take care of her.
He knew she needed him. Henry also knew she needed to know love, joy, compassion, respect, and kindness.
Henry Winkler Cares For His Elderly Mom
Actor Henry Winkler loved his mother when she couldn’t love herself. He loved her when she couldn’t take care of herself. And he took the time to listen when no one else was listening. Henry also loved her in the way he wanted to be loved as a child
Can you imagine how healing it was for actor Henry Winkler and his mother to navigate the last decade of her life in a way that Jesus would love us? It’s just incredible.
God doesn’t call us to subject ourselves to abuse or be doormats. The Bible reminds us to set boundaries with difficult people, and the Lord tells us to love and respect our parents. Henry was the hands and feet of Jesus to his mother in the last moments of her life. What a stunning and compassionate way to love someone.
“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also,” Luke 6:27-28.
WATCH: Henry Winkler Talks About How His Parents Escaped The Nazis In Germany