Today, eight years ago, my Dad died. Since some years, my Mum and I take the day off and do something nice and meaningful together. We decided, to visit the village where my Mum grew up and where I spend a lot of weekends and holidays of my childhood.
My Great Great Grandpa once build a fabulous house there in the Badgasse in Berolzheim, Baden Württemberg. Nothing huge and pompous, but three floors made of red sandstone, hard work, laughter and love. It stood there for two World Wars and was always full of children and adults. My Grandpa died in 1986 and since then my Grandma was the last person living there. In 2008 – she was already 90 years old – she still heated her rooms with a wooden stove in the kitchen. But the house risked to collapse and so my Grandma moved to an assisted living home. All the daughters already lived somewhere else and so the house was sold to a neighbor who demolished the dilapidated building and put up a garage instead.
My Grandma died in 2014 at 95.
Those are some pictures from the 50s to the 80s showing members of the family on the steps in front of the house.
I haven’t been to Berolzheim since more than 12 years because I didn’t feel I could bear the sight of the non existing house – the place of some of my dearest childhood memories – being replaced by a garage. But today I felt, I go seeing it. I frequently feel, that my attachment to “things” is quite tight compared to others and when I talk to my Mom, I know, that she feels just the same. It is – like if the things are gone – the memories are gone, too. I don’t want to attach myself to things. I wanted to feel, that those memories won’t be lost, just because the house has gone. And they aren’t.
Just yesterday I read the following: “Jeder Mensch sucht nach Halt. Dabei liegt der einzige Halt im Loslassen.” (Hape Kerkeling). I would translate it like that:
“Everyone is looking for something to hold on to. But the only possibility to find something to hold on to, is to let go.“
And in those times of change, there are things that will go and others that will come. And some old things have to go to make space for new things. And all of that is normal and good and maybe will even become much better than before. Who knows? Maybe it was a possibility for a good change in the life of someone?
I’m sad to see it gone. But is is still engraved in the corner of happy memories in my heart.
2 thoughts on “A Journey Into Memory”
A beautiful, bittersweet post. The old photos of your family are wonderful.
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Thank you Caroline, it was not easy to see all that. But … life.