Since many years I have carried the sad impression in my heart that I had lost Germany.
When I told my mother last year on the phone - we did talk frequently on the phone - that I wanted to come and see her, she said: No, don´t come, that is too stressful for me!"
But this summer my sister offered to be there for me, to accompany me through Hamburg and wherever, as that has become difficult to do by myself because of my bad eyes.
I wanted to see if I could SEE my mother one more time. I wanted deeply to re - encounter my sister.
It was a huge adventure for me to travel alone, but airlines make it easy: you just tell them that you need help and someone brings you to whatever gate you need to get to be it by wheel chair or by these electric cars. This way, I realized, security checks and passport controls become a lot easier also.
I am barely home and even though I was just gone for 3 weeks, it seems as if many more weeks have passed. I had not been in Germany for 5 years. I had thought I had basically lost Germany, even an old time friend, my sisters hardly ever wrote, last time, summer 2010, nobody seemed to have time for me. Now maybe my mother´s death gave me and us a gift: we reencountered each other. I saw aunts I had not seen in 7 years, friends of my mother I had not seen in decades. I saw other friends of mine, who I had not seen in many years. I found especially my sister Gabi again, now the living person that I know for the longest time in my life. I saw my nieces and for the first time Tom, my nephew of 14, just one year older than my oldest grandson and a wonderful young man.
I dove into old letters, love letters my Dad wrote to my Mom long before I existed, sad letters during all the many troubles and storms of their marriage later. I found a package of my letters from nearly 40 years ago, when I came to Mexico and there was even no phone and letters were flown over the ocean to communicate us with each other. There are hundreds of old photographs: myself being younger on some than my youngest granddaughter is now! So many photographs of my beautiful mother, my Dad did not seem to grow tired of portraying her - and now she is a handful of ashes.....
What is TIME? In which time do we exist? How come we forget so many things or remember them different from how they ocurred? Where can I hold on to?
We are just a handful of stardust on a journey through heaven and hell, wondering what it is all about....
Photographs: Familie Oberstenfeld from the front and back, whoever the photographers were.... My Dad is dead since 27 years, my Mom since June 1st this year, my sisters and I are all ladies 60 and up.......and it is all alive in me now and time disappears....