Frida

1985 confirmation with grandma

My dear grandma Frida. In the picture, I am sixteen and Grandma is seventy-four. She was the steady rock of my childhood. Frida survived two world wars. The love of her life got run over by a train, shortly after they married each other and had a child. In the very conservative Germany of the 1930s, she raised the little girl all by herself, then found another man who was very kind to her, married her, and gave her another child – my father.
Her daughter was taken from her due to a surgeon’s error. He was supposed to simply take out the appendix of the young woman, but in the process cut her liver, causing her untimely death.
Frida’s then only son married a woman who, due to her many neuroses, made my Grandma’s life a living hell for many years to come.
No matter what happened, however, Grandma stayed strong, positive, supportive, with unshakeable good humor and compassion. She was my sanctuary. No matter how much trouble I had, getting accepted by my peers, Grandma let me know without a doubt, I was a good person and worthy of being loved.
In her eighties, Frida broke her hip bone and in a gradual decline lost her good health. One evening, we sat together and looked out the window at the full moon. Already only skin and bones, barely able to lift her fork, she gazed out the window with a smile on her face and said, “Isn’t it a beautiful world we live in?”
My amazing Grandma, her strong heart and soul, will always remain my greatest inspiration.

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