Yesterday my Mother received a package of pictures and other documents from one of my uncles in the mail. Stuff from my grandmother. For the first time in my life I got to see what my mother and grandmother's real "German" names were, it was really, really cool. I always think about tracking my ancestry but I could never really get very far because I didn't have very much info but now maybe I can. In the box there was a short autobiography that my grandmother wrote when she was 69. I can't even begin to express how truly hard her life must have been and as with anyone's story, I think it really explains why she is the person she is today. My Grandmother was born In Germany to a young, single Mother who didn't want a child. "Mom" was not a word she wanted to be called and so it wasn't allowed. She lived in Germany during the depression and war. Her city was bombed, she was hurt and she lost everything she owned including the only family (besides her mother) that she had ever known. After that she went to live with strangers who took her in on a farm while her mother went back to work in the city. She never actually lived with her mother who was a high fashion hat designer and only saw her on special occasions. My Grandmother moved to America as a teenager after marrying an American soldier and giving birth to my mother in Germany. She remarried when my mother was only 3 and that man adopted my mother.He was in the military so they lived in several different states and England for a time. My grandmother had two sons with him. He left her when his youngest son was only 7 making her a single mother. She worked during the day and went to school in the evening and eventually became a teacher for UCP (United Cerebral Palsy).
I was once very close with my grandma. As a child I would sleep over her house on the weekends. She would take me shopping and out to eat and I remember really loving to be with her. When I got to be a teenager she would constantly lecture me about school and how important it was (which I hated) and was always really negative (which I hated even more) so needless to say our visits became few and far between. When at 21she got the news that I was pregnant with my first child and I wasn't married etc., well lets just say that was "the straw that broke the camels back". I hadn't spoken to her in 9 years until recently. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and was put into a home, so my mother I are going to visit her on Sunday. After looking at all the photos and old documents I'm kinda if excited to see what other stories she can tell.
|(My Grandmother Laura (American name) and my Mother 1950)|
|(My mother playing)|
|(My Grandmother, uncle and mother)|
|(My mom, Great Grandmother Barbara and me the only time she ever visited the US)|
|(My Grandmother and I in 1985)|