A bit over four years ago I published the above post. There are some pictures in it reminding me of Gaby’s birthday and some family visits, when Lucas was 3 and Alexander barely one.
And then I included some pictures of my parents: One of my father with Gaby, when Gaby was just six months old. We lived at the time at my father’s place in Düsseldorf. My father was very fond of the baby and straight away when he came home from his office he would go to pick up Gaby for a while to talk to her.
There is also a picture of my mother with Gaby when Gaby was nearly one year old. We were in Berlin for a visit at the time. The picture was taken at my mum’s balcony. I inserted these two pictures of my parents because I had been thinking how very different from each other my parents had actually been. Reading what I wrote about it some four years ago, did bring back quite a lot of memories for me. These memories are still very strong memories. I find it interesting to reflect on all this and copy here what I wrote in September 2015:
“The older I get the more I seem to reflect on times past. I often felt very much out of place as a young person. Also I tended to be “zurückhaltend”, that is I was usually more the listener and observer and did not show a great deal of affection and emotion. On the other hand, I also remember times when I felt free and communicative and very talkative.
When I think of my parents, the most remarkable memory about them is, how very different they were. Here is a bit of how my father may have influenced me, and then how my mother’s influence was so very different.
My father was the most open minded and tolerant person. He liked to talk to me about a lot of things. He always treated me as though I was trustworthy and mature for my age, able to understand different points of view. Very rarely did I see him being angry with me. He only tended to be somewhat angry when, all of a sudden, I behaved in a very unpredictable way. Despite his open mindedness he was basically a very conservative man. If I showed signs of departing from his view of the world, this would upset him personally. Still, he was loving and forgiving, and eventually he was always able to accept my departure from some of his conservative views.
Now, my mother was in every way the opposite of my father. On the whole she was maybe rather tolerant as far as I was concerned because she loved me. But she made it very clear, that she did not love my father anymore. She showed not the least bit of tolerance towards him, on the contrary, she showed a lot of hatred, for in her opinion he was a “Versager” who did not do anything for his children. She thought it was not up to her to look after him when he had serious health issues. Maybe she thought he was just pretending. Also, she hardly ever talked to me about things that were important to me. She tended to keep very important things from me, for she wanted ‘to protect’ me! At least, this is how I remember it. I knew she loved me very much. Still, I always felt I was not the daughter she imagined I should be. I remember she telling me, I was an “Oppositionsgeist”. So I must have been speaking up about some things that disturbed me a great deal. I felt very bad for opposing her, but I could not help it. Of course, on the outside I tried very hard to go along with what she expected of me, just to keep the peace. Alas, I think I came into inner conflict about it. In short, I often did not feel happy about myself.”
I ask myself now, how come, when I felt very much loved by both parents, I still did not feel very happy in myself a lot of the time? I think I felt torn between my parents . . . .
But ging back to that diary from the 2nd of September 2015 I wrote that we had cake on that Sunday afternoon when we had family visits. One of the cakes was a freshly baked cheesecake. Peter baked it! Here it is still in the oven:
And I wrote: The following Sunday, which is Fathers’ Day here in Australia, we are all going to meet for lunch at a Thai Restaurant. So, this was four years ago!
Fathers Day in Australia is always on the first Sunday of September.