Life, from my mother’s point of view.

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This photo of my grandmother with my mother on her lap was taken in Berlin in 1942 or 1943, during the war, right in the middle of it, so the date tells us, but not the expression on the faces we see. My grandmother looks serene and happy, elegant, filled with love for her firstborn child, and I find my mother’s all-time sovereign expression already there, ready to master anything, wartimes and everything there was to master after that, kindergarten, school yard and first boyfriends, first in postwar Germany, then in the Russian sector, situations you didn’t choose, that you were just born into, forcing you to leave everything behind (a beautiful villa by the river) when fleeing from the GDR, much later she faced marriage and divorce, her job and my puberty, fate and luck, summers and winters, sickness and health, rain and shine, Christmas and wakes, new countries, new opportunities, and new problems, new houses and new gardens, filled with old friends and new decor, and whatever was lying ahead on this day in 1942 or 1943, she was already sure of herself to master it, overcome it, celebrate it, decorate it. She still has this adorable expression on her face: let it come, all of it, I’m happy to deal with it. I’m glad to have this photo as an inspiration in my new apartment, and by that at the place where it was taken: in Berlin. 75 years later.

 

2 thoughts on “Life, from my mother’s point of view.

  1. I already admired your mother as a style icon after reading about her YSL wardrobe and love of black clothes and also for her organisational skills after reading about your move to Berlin. But my admiration is all the more deeper after reading your beautifully written and moving tribute – she really is a remarkable woman and one day I hope to be half as stylish, organised and resilient as she is.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a beautiful tribute to your dear mother. As Bette Davis said, growing old is not for sissies. Let us hope we can age with wisdom and strength ready to face whatever may come while retaining the amazing outlook she has.

    Liked by 2 people

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