In Schweringen I found a stay in the most peculiar way. A request was sent to a lady named Ilona and she liked the idea. She thought her English was not sufficient so she enroled her daughter Valesca to manage the communication. None of them however were my actual host. That turned out to be Valescas grandmother!
And for that I am most grateful! Wanda is her name, she is 84 years old and she doesn’t speak English but that surely didn’t stop us from talking and sharing stories. It’s amazing what can be said with a piece of paper, gestures and some good will. Wanda told me a great deal about her family.
She herself have five children and they in turn have 15 children and they in turn have seven children… 🙂 I could see in her eyes that her love for them was enormous and she continued by telling me the story of how she, as a twelve year old, came to Germany from Ukraine in 1940.
I understood that it was a hard times but she swiftly went on by telling me about how she met her husband, Helmut. He was badly injured in the battle of Stalingrad and was held captive in Russia until 1948 when he was sent home. They got married in 1950 and then had their growing family.
All of this that she told me, and I could see that she had it all in fresh memory, touched me deeply. I was thinking for myself that a person who have seen all of this and gone through all that AND still can find compassion in her heart and be so generous, is truly a remarkable person! I certainly will have a special place in my heart for my memory of Wanda.