Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost
January 17, 2017 - Florida Keys

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Guten Tag Across the Ocean

I’ve had some very surprising communications the last two days. Let me tell you the story.

On Friday when we dropped our car off at my mom’s house, she was worried about her sister in Germany. My mom and her sister communicated by mail and she hadn’t received a letter in a while. Her sister had not been well, and my mom had a feeling something was very wrong.

My mom had an email address for her sister’s son, her nephew, my cousin, but she wasn’t sure if it was still valid. Since my mom doesn’t want to have anything to do with computers, she asked me if I would try sending a message to the email address and see if my cousin would respond.

A little background on my family history would probably be helpful at this point. In 1958 when I was 11 months old, my family immigrated from Germany to the United States. Both of my parents were born and raised in Germany.

My dad’s family, his parents and brother, also immigrated at the same time. My mom left her parents, her two sisters and their families behind. My mom was 20 years old at the time. It must have been very hard for her to leave her family and move so far away.

Over the years we visited Germany a few times and I got to meet my grandparents, two aunts and uncles, and eight cousins. Some of them also visited us. The last time I saw any of my German cousins was 30 years ago when my mom and I, along with my son Eric, flew over for a visit. Eric was 18 months old at the time.

Yesterday morning I sent an email to my cousin Rainer. I wrote in English as my German is quite rusty. I knew my cousins all learned English in school so I was hoping he could read my message. I told him he could respond in German as I could speak and read much better than write.

By afternoon I had a response with some sad news. My aunt Lily had died on Thursday. Rainer was also able to reach my mom by phone. Apparently, he had tried a few times, but my mom couldn’t hear very well and thought it was a wrong number.

Since yesterday Rainer and I have exchanged a few emails with some pictures. He is married and has a very cute little girl who has just started school. I sent him my blog address and his wife has signed up as a follower.

It turns out she also writes a blog. She is quite crafty and has created some wonderful items. I’ve joined her blog as a follower. Blogger actually translates it into English so I was able to read her entries. The translation isn’t the greatest, but between what I can read in German and the translation, I am able to understand it quite well.

I asked Rainer to share my email address with my other German cousins. I’m hoping I might be able to reconnect with all of them. The internet is truly an amazing invention. I’m so excited to be able to reconnect with my family across the ocean!

Auf Wiedersehen.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!