I’m in my sister’s flat in London waiting for my flight back to Berlin tonight. I came over to England for my Grandmother’s funeral. The last couple of weeks were tough – especially for Mum and Dad. Both of my Grandmothers died, Maria in Friedrichshafen and Margaret in Tamworth.
When I think of them I think of my childhood. My sisters and I sit in my Mum and Dad’s car on the way to either Friedrichshafen or Tamworth. Holidays. Bliss. We always loved seeing our Grandmothers, and those long journeys from Moehringen to Lake Constance or to the UK were great adventures. My sisters and I were full of happiness and expectation when we finally saw Lake Constance and the Alps in Germany or the coast of England, the white cliffs of Devon.
I loved both of my Grandmothers. I still do. They were very different to one another although they both grew up in hard times and both experienced WWII from their respective home fronts. Both my Grandfathers fought in the War and brought back a heavy load of awful experiences, which shaped them for the rest of their lives. I imagine my Grandmothers being very much in love with them. The two families had four children each and it must have been difficult to raise them after the war, although both Germany and England profited from the economic boom starting in the mid 50ies. Both my Grandmothers were tough women dealing with everything in the best way they could. They were very modest and always there for the family.
I know it’s 2010 now and that both Maria and Margaret were fairly old and died in a natural way. But I feel nevertheless there is a gap now. A generation is on its way out and so is a part of my younger self.
In Tamworth, three days ago, my Father, my Uncle Nigel, and my Cousin Tom carried my Grandmother Margaret Frances Kennedy out of St. John’s church in Tamworh and lifted her into the hearse that brought her to the town’s cemetery. It was a very intense and true moment in my life. I will never forget it. I feel that it has put a lot of things into perspective.
Farewell Oma. Farewell Grandma. I miss you.