Friday, May 8, 2009

Mom, a story


My mom showed me this picture last week. It was taken in her home town of Wanne-Eickel in Westphalia in Western Germany,on her way to school. She was just 5. Look at that little trench coat and her little beret!

My mom came from Germany to the U.S. from Germany in 1938 on the Kindertransport, all by herself on a ship that landed in NY. Her brother had arrived six months earlier, and was in St. Louis, with a kind family who agreed to take him. He had talked them into to taking her too and so she came on that ship and traveled by train to St. louis and slept on a cot in the corner of the family's living room for a whole year. Then finally, in 1939, her parents, my Oma and Opa, came to the U.S. and moved them both to Jamaica, Queens. (They might have gone to Uruguay, but then I might not have been here!) This is how the story goes.

How scared she must have been, how strong she had to be, how many family members and friends were lost to her. The way she always felt so happy to be in America, the way she took care of us so well, the way she never let any of her past break her spirit. She is warm and kind and has always been so generous...sometimes I am so moved by her spirit and her bravery and imagining the person she was before she was my mom...I am honored to have such a wonderful and strong mother and a very best friend.

Happy Mother's Day Mom, a few days early. And Happy Mother's Day to all all my beautiful and strong women, a few days early, mothers or no....oxo

21 comments:

The Clever Pup said...

What kids had to endure. On the other side of the equation my mother was evacuated from Kent to Wales at age 11. Her mother had zero idea where she was going.

Now I'm thinking of printing a picture of my mum at age 5. We'll see.

erin said...

this is incredible. what an amazing story, and such an adorable picture!

Mandarine D'Italie said...

How wonderful!! I am always fascinated by story like this... the strengh and character to face life challenges and difficulties...typical of a woman to be able to be strong and gentle at the same time!

Chessa! said...

I think you are amazing. I loved reading this. Thank you for sharing. xo

Poke Salad Annie said...

what a wonderful post. thanks for writing it :)

Amy@OldSweetSong said...

Thanks for sharing. You mom sounds amazing.

cindy* said...

awesome mama story deb. i had tears :)
sean's brother lived in heidelberg last year. i love that photo of your mother, such a treasure.

Christine--RHP said...

Great story Deb--the Kindertransport blows my mind on so many levels. So glad to hear that they were reuinited with their parents, as so many were not. And thankfully they didn't go to Uruguay....or who knows where you'd be!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE that picture... Hooray Grandma Ruthie!

Love, Joie

Georgia B. said...

this was wonderful! the picture. the words. what a great tribute for mother's day.

both sides of my family came from Germany as well. the stories and the images are unforgettable—and i see that this is universal, too.

Estrella said...

Amazing story, contrats your mom from me, saludos!!

lazysundae said...

that was so sweet!

cindy : quaint said...

the photo of your mom is fantastic. she is so chic. i'm always amazed by people who move from one country to another - so brave. i loved your story. have a wonderful weekend!

heidi said...

what a story... she left in a nick of time.
LOVE the pic! xoh

A World in a PAN said...

What an incredible tale! Your mother should write her story. Happy Mother's Day to her and to you!

isabelle said...

A very touching tribute ...

jennifer said...

what a story, just incredible.

The Beauty File said...

what a great story...thanks for taking us on her journey! Happy mother's day!!

Aran said...

what a moving story deb and what a great tribute to her. i often times think of the struggles of people in this world and the courage that takes to overcome them and wonder if i would ever find that strength in me. happy mother's day to your mom and all moms and caregivers out there!

Julia said...

What an incredibly brave woman! Thank you so much for sharing her story with us!

Her trench coat and beret are priceless, by the way!

limonana said...

what a gem of a mother you have! & so heart warming to see you appreciate your mother so lovingly! so moving.

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