Above Photo Courtsey of Stephanie Ray
Roots grow where they are planted. Even from one country to the next. Mine were transplanted from Germany! My Dad came to this country in the 1950’s, transferred for his job as a textile chemist.
Mom came a bit later with my brother on a trans-Atlantic ship.
They lived briefly in New Jersey and Virginia before moving to North Carolina. My Dad traveled a great deal which left Mom alone with my brother in a new country not speaking the language. I do remember her telling me the local German Deli was a big help.
The youngest of four , I was born in Charlotte, NC. A funny story I always heard growing up was when the Nuns said to my Dad , “ See you next year!” My Dad said ,” No you won’t !”with a smile on his face!
We had visits from relatives frequently and Mom also took us all to Germany! I was four and don’t remember it. I can just imagine though. Mom told me I was crying at take off and the stewardess gave me some plastic wings, which I was apparently pleased with!
A lifetime of memories. Both Mom and Dad wrote their stories of growing up in Germany and the War. I cried when reading it! Both Mom and Dad have journeyed on and I miss them terribly still!
One thing I wish I had done is ask more questions! I still have relatives in Germany. My Aunt, my Dad’s sister is still alive and recently turned 90.
One thing I would suggest for those wanting to keep family history is ask questions of your parents and Other relatives to capture the unique stories so they can be shared and passed down. Start early, make notes . I have many pictures and some of long ago. I don’t have all the names but know what side of the family they came from! I’m really grateful Mom and Dad wrote their stories.
Photos from Stephanie Ray
by Stephanie Ray
I am my Mothers daughter,
The youngest, a fledgling
Something I shared with Mother
Also the youngest of six
Born during a different time..
Never to enjoy the security of her Mother’s lap.
Transitions through war, then rebuilding, then peace
Brought her together with my father
Then to this country ..
Yet another transition
Learning a new language
Caring for the eldest
while my father traveled the world
to support the growing family.
Another move, another transition
To rest in a new nest
Where I, the fledgling came to be,
Held close in the security
Of my Mothers arms ..
Love freely given . Hugs abound
The lap of love available always ...
The final transition in a dream, a gift to me ,
That she was free
She as a butterfly, flying to and fro
Weaving between us to say hello ...
and good bye.
I am my Mother’s daughter
~ In loving memory of her mother