Thursday, January 11, 2007

Family Tree

My German mom was born in 1941, by accident (her mom thought she was already in menopause). Guess it was the excitement of the war. Her two older sisters were a lot older, something like 15 or so years. I have photos of them riding bikes with swastikas on them.

Both of the older sisters had one daughter each whom they were very close to. The middle sister's daughter, Susi, died of asthma complications in her early '30s. The older sister's daughter, Tanya, who had a Russian father, has multiple sclerosis and is now living in Dusseldorf. (I'm free of diseases, except for mental ones.) The mother of Susi was the nicest sister, and also the first woman dentist in her town, which was a very big deal at the time. While I'm glad that I'm alive, I still think that Susi being alive for her mother would have been nicer for everybody. At least my mother has my brother, the only male heir of the German side of the family.

My German great-grandfather was a Communist and had to leave Germany in the '30s because of Hitler... He ended up working in the coal mines of Virginia. And then came back after the war and re-married his wife whom he'd earlier divorced and lived in the house above his daughter and son-in-law. "August." I think I'm like him. Though I don't think I'll have a place to live when I get old.

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