“Thanks for telling us about your history. I found it fascinating. I have always admired your positive outlook on life and also not being afraid to speak out and make comments on political events and standing up for your beliefs. thank you.”
It is great to get a comment like this one that Elizabeth made in response to my previous post. I hope I am telling the truth when I say I probably always had a rather positive outlook on life. Even during times when I felt very down there was always hope at the back of my mind that things would turn out all right. Something comes to mind what I did when I felt depressed: I looked for people I could talk to about my problems.
My problems resulted mainly from a feeling of self doubt. I doubted that I was any good to anyone. One day a friend of mine told me: “You know, God does not make rubbish!” This simple statement somehow brought about a change in my thinking. I started to believe that I must have some kind of value. I started to accept myself the way I was. I think Peter did not like me to have friends that were not his friends. But I told him that I needed people to talk to. I said that I just could not talk solely to him all the time.
In my last post I said that some things I could not change as for instance the war- and post-war conditions. In the meantime I talked with Peter again about our dear first born daughter who passed away on the 15th of July 2012. She was a very strong willed, loving and courageous woman. Yes, I say woman for she was close to 55 when she died. Even though, in a lot of ways she seemed to us a bit like a teenager right until the day she died. But these days women stay younger for longer, right?
The daughter’s name was Gabriele. We called her Gaby. Some Australians called her “Gabby” which I think was fitting for she liked to talk a lot. So she was a good organiser, a good talker and had an outgoing personality. However she was a quadriplegic with breathing difficulties. Some of my blogger friends may remember that I mentioned this before. Gaby was not the intellectual type. She never got around to doing university studies. But I believe she made of her life as much as was possible under the circumstances.
When Gaby ended up in hospital as a four year old, she soon started bossing every one around. The very motherly head sister called her “the boss” of the ward. Who knows what career Gaby could have had had she been able growing up without these extremely severe disabilities! A vaccination against poliomyelitis could have prevented Gaby falling sick during the 1961 polio epidemic. Peter and I assured us again and again that we were not neglectful since the vaccine was not available at the right time. It was a disastrous set of circumstances. Still, the regret is there of course. Peter would say it was fate, I say it was the will of God. Gaby understood the position we were in. We did whatever we could do for her throughout her life. And she always showed us that she loved us! She was a “pain in the neck” as the saying goes, but she also had a very big and generous heart. Gaby was loved and admired by a great many people. She had a marvellous memory for faces and names. And she liked to keep in touch with every one in our family.
I wish that some things could have been different. But I have to accept that some circumstances could not be changed. The decisions I made during my life always felt right at the time, even though later on I sometimes doubted whether I had made the right decision. I think with most important decisions like marrying and having children I overcame any doubts. There is one decision I certainly never regretted: Our coming to Australia. I regard it as a blessing that we were accepted as migrants in 1959. Coming to Australia for me was the best decision we ever made. I never had any doubts about this.