On July 17, 1914, my mother Alma Pedde was born. Today, on July 17, 2009, she would have been 95 years old. She died at age 88 on July 28, 2002.
My mother was a bright, talented, perceptive person. She was born in the wrong place, at the wrong time, under the wrong circumstances, into a world that was unrelentingly cruel to her and her family. Yet, she was optimistic and forgiving all her life. I have written elsewhere about our family history and won't repeat myself here. For anyone who can read German and who might be curious, please read my mother's history, or my father's, both penned by my mother at my request. Some of her 165 or so poems, universally positive and optimistic, can be seen here.
Back in the 1970s or so, I had a silver brooch designed for my mother, pictured below:
The eight jewels are the birthstones of my mother Alma, my father Julius, and their children: Wanda, Edgar, Erwin, Albert, Siegfried (me) and Alfred. Wanda was born in 1931 and is still alive and well. Edgar lived only a few months in 1938. Albert lived from January 6, 1942 to March 2, 1945. Erwin lived from April 19, 1944 to February 17, 1945. I was born in 1945 and my brother Alfred was born in 1949.
My mother is gone now, but her spirit and sense of fairness live on in her family. And her brooch now resides with me. It will be passed on to subsequent generations. And so will her genes and the memories she left with us.
Happy birthday, mom.