After dad died, it was shortly after American soldiers came into our village, things in our family want from bad to way worse. Mom seemed to lose it. After all, she was alone with 4 kids between the ages of 5 and 12.
I would come home from school.. exhausted after the long 4 km walk from the train in Doelau to Brachwitz. The kids I walked with all were taller than me and could make long strides.. for 1 of their strides.. I had to make 3 little ones, and I still fell behind. on top of this.. the other girls had been eating huge Wurscht-sandwiches their moms had made for them.. Yes, those girls were farmer’s daughters and the farmers had food but they never shared it with those of us who had nothing. I have never figured out the coldheartedness of these farmers. And kids are kids.. They did not really know how hungry the rest of us normal.. not farmer’s kids.. were. So, I’m not upset about them, but their parents.. They knew, and this coldness of heart I am sad to have to say, I never forgot.
Finally getting home after the long exhausting walk and the long school day.. I could not wait to talk to mom.
But she wasn’t in the kitchen.. or anywhere I looked. Finally I found her, in bed. Excitedly I ran all my long day’s experiences past her.. eagerly wanting to share.
There was no response, other than a very short “mm hm..” she was laying there, apathic.. totally non-interested in what I had to say. I hung my head and left for the kitchen in hopes to find something to eat. Of course, as usual, there wasn’t any. Deep dark depression had now overtaken mom. 4 kids..no food. How can one not be depressed? Around that time, aunt Grete sort of appeared on the scene.. I guess to assist mom. A very nice idea of course, except.. she did not like me.. and this went both ways.. I didn’t like her either.
I wore her size 15 or so shoes, because I had no others.
They rubbed my feet terribly and I got a huge blister.
It infected so badly.. that a long red stripe went up my leg.. ending at the knee. I showed mom who said:”I guess you need a doctor, but there aren’t any that I know of (they were either killed in the war.. or still M I A.)
She continued, saying..”Go try and find a doctor, maybe there is one in Doelau (4 km up the street) or in Lettewitz”, same distance. She said nothing like “Let’s go” she merely said:”Go find one”. I was scared.. and my foot hurt, and now I had to run about 4 km.. to try and find this lifesaving doctor. First.. I had to cross the river Saale.. which was at “High water stand “.. real fun to wait for the guy who ferried people across.. every hour. But, I did it.. So now, go girl and get to Doelau.
I was in pain.. I cried some.. but I marched on, because I had decided that I wanted to live.
Getting to Doelau, very exhausted, I asked an elderly lady if she knew if there was a doctor in town.
She thought so and pointed the way to where she thought there was one. I got there and I knocked on the door. A very friendly man appeared.. I showed him my leg and from there my memory goes blank. But I do know, this man helped me.. and saved my life.
I do not think Penicillin had been discovered yet.. but it was around this time that it was discovered.. Had it already been when dad got sick.. the doctors could have saved his life, but they could not, so I must assume, it was not in use yet.
The Doelau doctor had some life saving tricks up his sleeves though.. because again.. I didn’t die. God bless this Doelau angel, with no wings.
Another time.. riding “Rickety” down the “Trompeterfelsen” a hill I had to pass to get home from Halle and school. I went too fast.. Rickety somehow failed me and I crashed. I fell hard, real hard and my left thumb was under my body when I tried to get up. My left hand refused to move, so I forced it and noticed that my thumb sorta dangled from my hand.
Rickety didn’t get hurt, and somehow I managed the rest of my way home.
Mom didn’t want to look at my hand.. she said “Get it out of my face, I don’t want to see it.. just make sure you don’t forget your piano lesson tomorrow, go put a bandaid on that thumb and make sure you practice the Etude for the lesson tomorrow…” I was used to strict obedience, and talking back was unthinkable. Yes, I went to my piano teacher in Halle the next day. He took one look at me and said:”What are you doing here kid? You need a doctor and fast!” Needless to say, my memory about what followed then.. escapes me. But this much I do know.. no doctor ever looked at my left thumb, and it healed alright. but crooked. I have no strength in it to this day and it sorta “bends away” when I try to grab something with my left hand. A nice reminder of the 40’s..mixed with a little leftover pain, and yes, anger.
I know that God must understand my frustration when I try to bury, do away with.. anger, having a tough time with it. So what I do is.. I give it to Jesus, I tell him all about it, and I say how sorry I am to feel anger and then I just trust him to understand. I know he says: “Be angry.. but do not sin”, I think I do understand this. I do not wallow in anger.. I keep turning it away and I give it to Jesus. It’s my way of dealing with it.. and I do know that it is the best way I can deal with God.This still small voice I often sense.. guides me often through things that are too hard for me to deal with. Thank God that he is merciful.. yes? This brings me to another place all together, it is : How did I find out who JESUS is.. where he fits in in all those pretty Christmas pictures.. and that cross with him nailed onto it.. and that he saves us etc..!
All this no one ever explained to me.. so JESUS to me was a “nice guy”, but I could not grab the meaning of who he really was? IS! The answer to this happened much later, and I will get to this, I promise.. because it happened in America !