OT: Memorial

Papas Baum (4 of 81)Forgive me for being selfish and writing an Armitage-less post today. But I had been planning to write this little memorial ever since the summer when so many of you expressed your sympathy over the sudden loss of my father. I was inundated with very welcome messages of consolation and many of you also very generously showed your compassion by donating to one of Richard’s charities, organised by Obscura and Servetus, as well as donating to the local history society that my mother and I had named as a recipient for donations instead of flowers, organised by CDoart. My mother and I were blown away by your kindness and sympathy! It certainly made me see the light in a time of darkness. I cannot thank you enough for the words, the love and the acts of compassion I received in the summer, but the least I can do is acknowledge it again and share with you what I was up to last week, because your donations may have gone into it…

You may have noticed that I was absent for a number of days, and except for a few 140-character messages on Twitter and a few “likes” on WP I had gone silent. The reason for my absence was a trip back home, the first since my return to Ireland after my father’s death. There was a specific occasion for my trip home. At my father’s funeral service, the chairman of the local history society had announced in his eulogy that the society wished to honour and commemorate my dad with the planting of a tree. And they had expressed their wish that myself and my children were present for the planting. This ceremony took place last Saturday – incidentally my birthday, made more special as we were not only celebrating my own insignificant birthday but my father’s life and the lasting impression he hopefully has left.

Papas Baum (78 of 81)My father was a refugee. He was born during WWII in an area called Lower Silesia which is now part of Poland. At the young age of 4, my father became a displaced person, being moved West together with his parents and his older brother, and finally settling in a village in Northern Germany. His new home could not have been any more different from his previous home – from the mountains of Silesia to the edge of the North German Plain. They had very little – essentially the clothes on their backs – and I remember hearing with wonder the stories my father used to tell me of receiving the great gift of an orange for Christmas, or a cabbage, left outside their new home by anonymous donators from the little village.

Being so young, my father quickly became friends with the children in the village, learning the local dialect (which is completely different from the dialect of German that was spoken in Silesia) and feeling at home in his new surroundings. Despite being a blow-in, he considered Northern Germany his home, identifying strongly with it, and taking an active interest in local history, language and customs. He was one of the founder members of the local history society and contributed to books, exhibitions and articles on local history as well as compiling a comprehensive volume on the etymology of topographical names of the region. It was a wonderful compliment when the society chairman in his speech on Saturday called my dad “a true local”. In many ways, he was probably more attached to the village than the locals themselves – maybe a result of the early loss of his birth home…

A small group of fellow locals and family members gathered on Saturday to witness the planting of the tree.  The tree chosen is a Ginkgo, and the choice could not have been better. The Ginkgo tree hails from the Far East, and is quite well-known in Germany due to a poem that our national poet, Goethe, wrote in 1815.

Ginkgo Biloba Goethe

Goethe wrote the poem for the late love of his life, and in it he uses the two-part leaf of the Ginkgo as a metaphor for friendship. I, however, love the reference to the East in it – literally translated Goethe starts the poem “This tree’s leaf, handed into the care of my garden from the East…” – just like my father then, blown into the village from the East. Papas Baum (11 of 81)Goethe muses about “two” which are “one” – I like to interpret it as a reference to one life living on in another life, a man living on in the next generation, or a grandfather living on in his grandchildren. My children and my father were very close, despite the distance between Ireland and Germany, and I can see in both my children many similarities both in looks as well as characteristics with my dad. How extra special then, that my children were asked to plant the tree by digging the hole, placing it in there, and watering it.

Papas Baum (53 of 81)And so the tree now stands in the garden of the local history museum, a traditional half-timbered house that used to be the home of the local forester, built in 1781. My father always loved this house, played in its grounds as a boy, and later frequently visited it when it had been turned into a museum. Personally, I prefer this tree, which has been given a temporary plaque with his name on it, as a place for commemoration and contemplation, rather than the graveyard in our town where a little stela carries his name. The graveyard makes me sad, but the tree gives me hope: Ginkgo trees are said to grow as tall as 40 m high, and they may grow as old as a 1000 years.

Papas Baum (62 of 81)How beautiful to think that this tree may be there for a long, long time, even after my children and I are gone. Whether the name on it will mean anything or the plaque will survive the decades, is meaningless. The exotic tree will stand, I hope, proudly showing off its characteristic leafs, unique among the surrounding beeches, and firs, and oaks. Maybe future children will play in the garden of the museum, noticing the strangely shaped leafs, listening to birds twittering in the branches, wondering what kind of tree it is, where it came from and how it got there.  If it sparks curiosity and enjoyment of nature and the environment, it will be the perfect embodiment of my father’s spirit.

171 thoughts on “OT: Memorial

    • Thank you, Obscura – it was a lovely ceremony, I found it quite uplifting and happy to watch my children dig and plant. Life-affirming, quite literally. And I am very glad to have this place now as a spot to return to and quietly think of my father.

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  1. I don’t follow your blog enough to know that you had lost your father. Please accept my condolences and my apology for the lateness of my expressions sympathy. There is nothing in the world like a good daddy. I won’t say I know how you feel but I will say I, too, have lost my “strangley shaped” father. I miss him every day. Hugs and thank you for sharing.

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    • Thank you, Kitty, and not to worry – sympathy and a hug is always welcome because the loss never lessens, really. I had the great luck of having a wonderful father, and yes, I miss him every day, but I remember him with happiness despite the lump in my throat. Thanks for commenting x

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  2. Guylty, this is beautiful. I’m absolutely bawling sentimental tears, both joyous and wistful. Happy belated birthday, and thank you for sharing the beauty of this post with us. ❤ You really brought your father (and your family) into our lives for a while.

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    • Thank you, Christine 🙂 I think you have described my feelings when writing this post perfectly: joyous and wistful. I like remembering him, he is close to me that way, and I do not want him connected to tears but to feelings of warmth and security and happiness – all of which he gave me. Ooops, now I have made myself cry, too, because underneath the gratitude there is the regret that he is not around to hear this from me. I trust that he knew how much I loved and valued him.

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      • I’m sure he did… with this much love and sweetness in your words, he must have felt it, even if you didn’t say it as often as, or in the way, you’d wished to. ❤

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  3. I was touched by your post, Guylty, and the feeling of continuity through generations that is evoked by the planting of a tree. The gingko is also one of my favourites for its leaves of purest gold. Thanks for the poem by Goethe as well–a wonderful translation!

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    • Trees are just beautiful – and unique, just like we all are. But so much stronger and longer living. I am so grateful to the local history society for planting the ginkgo because it is such a wonderful, positive, life-affirming spot of remembering, so much more than the grief-stricken desolation of a graveyard. I have resolved to visit the tree every time I am going home.
      The Goethe poem is really nice – the translation, I should’ve pointed out, is not mine.

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  4. A beautiful and moving tribute to the memory of your Father, Guylty. I love the symbolism of the tree as a memorial to a loved one’s life with its’ roots deep in the earth and its’ branches reaching toward heaven. I lost my Father 15 years ago and miss him everyday but am comforted to know that he lives on in my heart and in my mind..I am literally a part of him. My deepest sympathy to you and your family. Thank you for sharing.

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    • Nicely said, Widoedm, about the deep roots and the branches reaching to heaven. I agree with you that even the daily realization that our fathers are not here anymore is a comfort, because it is still a daily thought, and in the thought is love. Thank you for commenting, and for your sympathy. Oh, and welcome to my blog 🙂

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    • Thank you for such nice words, Zee. I think the worst part about death is the thought that we (or those who have died before us) are forgotten. I know my dad lives on in my memory – but it is even more beautiful for me to know that he is living on in other people’s thoughts too.

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  5. Lovely remembrance, thank you for sharing the story with us, It will be a special thing to watch it grow. As you said how wonderful to have a place other than a graveyard to remember and honor your father. Happy belated Birthday 😀

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  6. What a lovely tribute to your father. The tree planted in his honor will be such a lovely reminder of his life. I loved hearing about your father’s journey. You and your family were lucky to have him. I am so sorry he left all of you too soon. Happy birthday belatedly. Thank you for giving us the gift of your words and pictures. They make our world a happier and more beautiful place.

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    • Thank you for the nice words, Kathy. It is consolation and catharsis for me to write about him, and to share details about his life. We were lucky indeed to have him, and I did always know that I was blessed to have him as my father. What I am, I am because of him. 🙂

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  7. i feel very touched you decided to share this with us ❤ It's a wonderful heartfelt idea with the tree and a much better place to remember him at and that is a great tree! Glad you now have even after his passing something wonderful to remember him by and nice that all the family could participate. Hope it soothes to think of the lovely tree and your wonderful father and the lovely times you had together. He seems to have had a good and rich life 🙂 Big hug!

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    • It is nice to share a nice story, and I am very lucky that you are all such kind and patient listeners/readers. The tree is indeed a wonderful thing to remember him by, I don’t think it will ever make me feel sad and lonely to visit that tree. I also like to think that he would have liked the idea, especially because he was so fond of the outdoors…
      Thank you 🙂

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  8. I would hardly call it selfish, choosing to share this poignant family moment with us. I was so touched when I read it, unable to compose a response before leaving for work. What a lovely gesture on the part of the historical society, and a beautiful tribute that you have written about your father. Also to imagine a gift of a humble cabbage or an orange inspiring others generations later. Thank you for sharing with us. The ginkgo has always been one of my favorite trees… any kind of living fossil always attracts me. I love the bright fall color and the delicate shape of the leaves. It did puzzle me a bit, planting in the fall. Are the winters mild in the village?

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    • I always feel a bit guilty when I write about personal matters – who wants to know?? But then again, writing about things is cathartic, and sharing it feels like giving and receiving at the same time. Every life has so many stories – like the orange and the cabbage, for instance. To think, that such humble gifts once were so special…
      Re. planting in the fall: Winters in the North of Germany are harsh. Well, they are below freezing point, with a lot of rain and wind. But it is in winter time that the trees “sleep”, and therefore now is the time that trees are planted so that they carefully take root and then blossom again when spring warms up the earth again.

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      • That makes sense, allowing the tree to concentrate on root development for the first several months, but around here, conventional wisdom at the garden centers has (I thought) always been to plant trees in early spring… not that I’m any kind of expert on tree planting, and we’ve had our share of failures, so maybe we need to try this new approach. =) And humble gifts are still special. I need to remind myself of this as we approach the holiday season.

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        • Yes, humble gifts are just as valuable. And those gifts that don’t cost anything at all, are mostly invaluable. Like your comments or the attention you bestow on others. Priceless! So thanks. ❤

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  9. It’s very beautiful your father story. Thank you for sharing! And so beatiful photos…

    Your story remembered me, in a way, my father. He died the 9th of November, 1989, the day of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. He would have been happy to know this.

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    • Glad you liked both the post and the images, mariana. I am wondering whether the whole ceremony was much less sad for me because I participated in it through the lens of my camera… And I am happy if my post brought back nice memories of your own dad. What a day to die – the 9th of November is considered a day of destiny for German history… (And the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall is coming up soon.)

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  10. You speak of your father with exquisite emotion and pride, evoking loving admiration in those who did not know him but through your eyes. It’s not so unusual for a child to love their parent but it is beautiful to witness a child who admires and respects their parent. Thank you for sharing such deeply treasured thoughts and memories in inspiring shades of joy. You touch our hearts and honour us!

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  11. Danke für die wunderschönen herbstlichen Fotos, die Farben leuchten als wollten sie auf die letzten Herbsttage noch “Alles” geben……ein wahres Feuerwerk!
    Ich finde den Gingko Baum wunderschön,er ist nicht so wuchtig mit seinen zarten Blättern und leuchtet so intensiv gelb im Herbst. Ich nehme an, er ist noch nicht alt genug um sehen zu können ob es ein männlicher oder weiblicher Baum ist?
    Interessante Geschichte vom Leben Deines Vaters, schön, dass Du sie mit uns geteilt hast ❤

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    • Der Ginkgo ist wirklich ein interessanter Baum – ein lebendes Fossil, grazil und doch so robust, wenn man das Blatt anfasst. Und eben doch auch so komplett anders als alle andere Bäume. Das strahlende Gelb hat mich auch fasziniert. Keine Ahnung ob männlich oder weiblich – welchen Unterschied macht das? Ich kenne mich gar nicht aus…
      Und die Geschichte von meinem Vater habe ich gerne geteilt – allein schon weil es immer wichtig ist daran zu erinnern, wie nah uns in Deutschland eigentlich Flucht, Vertreibung und mittelloser Neustart ist…

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      • Thema Flucht und Vertreibung: bin da ebenfalls vorbelastet, sogar doppelt. Da ist schon eine ganz besondere Erfahrung, die unsere Eltern da mit in die Familien gebracht haben. Es war immer Thema in meiner Jugend. Gehörte für mich dazu. Im Nachhinein wird mir erst klar, was das wirklich für ein existentielles Erlebnis war. Das wirkt bis heute nach und prägt nachhaltig das ganze Leben. Ich bin mir sicher, das hängt uns als Kindern auch in irgendeiner Weise noch an. Am interessantesten finde ich, dass die Integration der sog.”Heimatvertriebenen” so unglaublich gut in die deutsche Gesellschaft funktioniert hat.

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        • Das ist wohl wahr. Für mich war das auch Fakt und Realität, immer wunderlich, aber nie wirklich beängstigend. Hinterfragt und nach den Auswirkungen gefragt habe ich erst viel später. Und ja, ich glaube, dass auch wir als Nachgeborene davon geprägt wurden. Nein, ich will Schlesien nicht wieder haben – aber Flucht, Vertreibung und Schicksal der Heimatlosigkeit liegen mir am Herzen.

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          • Also bei allem Kummer über das erlebte, wollte keiner unter den gegebenen Umständen wieder zurück (Sudenland). Alle waren froh, im Westen zu sein. Das hat die Integration natürlich mächtig gefördert. Immerhin landeten manche aus meiner weiteren Familei auch in der “Ostzone” nach der Vertreibung. Das war dann am langen Ende auch nicht sooo der Bringer. Ein “Hoch” auf den 9.11.

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  12. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story with us! A special tree to remember a special man. Add readers of this post to the long list of people your dad has touched. 🙂 As always, my thoughts are with you and your family.

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  13. Thanks a lot for sharing this beautiful pics and story with us!!!! I am glad that you and your family had such a special day.
    And happy belated birthday to you :*

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  14. You do us a great honour to graciously share this very private and emotional moment with us. Thanks for the beautiful pics and the heartwarming details of this very special event.
    What a wonderful idea to keep his memory alive by planting such a special tree. He must have touched the hearts of a lot of people during his life. And obviously he passed on this rare gift to you, as you keep on making us happy with your lovely posts. You are a generous soul.

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    • Thank you for such nice compliments i.f.! It’s probably not as gracious as you make out – but a selfish way for me to think while writing my thoughts. But nonetheless – the tree idea was wonderful, and I think my dad was well-appreciated by many people. If I have some of his gift, then I am happy indeed.

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  15. What a beautiful tribute–both the tree and your words. How lovely to have a living memorial for such a special person. And thank you for bringing back memories of my own dear father in the middle of this crazy work day!

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    • I am really glad if my memorial post for my dad triggered some nice memories of your own father, Susie. It’s always worth remembering those who made us happy, isn’t it?

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  16. Your post nearly made me cry because of your genuine and kind words you use to share with us (just virtual friends) such personal and intense feelings and this make me feel one more time very proud of this little community. I was very interested by your father’s life. Very interesting life. He would deserve a book about his life. He must have been a very generous person (now I understand why you are what you are). And I love love trees but I don’t know them (except the Oak ! LOL). This is the Gingko ? Such a beautiful tree, same colour of the sun. And this has to remain in your heart every time you will think about your father. The warm and the colour of the sun.

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    • Don’t say “just virtual”, Katia. There is no difference. Or if there is, then I often find it much easier to bare my heart and soul with my virtual friends than those whom I have to look in the eye. It’s easier to admit sadness, or worries, or silly infatuations when you feel you have like-minded people around you.
      I love your description of the ginkgo tree as “colour of the sun” – yes, very radiant and bright at a time of year when the days are dark and short. What a nice image you have given me there – thank you!

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  17. Thank you for sharing this story Guylty. I found it heartwarming that the little boy who was dispossessed of his birthplace so young found somewhere he could live in peace for his whole life. The tree is a wonderful memorial to a man who clearly meant so much not only to his family but the town he spent his life in.

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    • I am only realising now, that I have shared the story and am hearing your feedback, how special that story may be. It never appeared to me thus, having grown up with it. Refugees after the war were nothing special – I knew so many people who came from families like that. And in Germany no one ever made a big deal out of it. It was a fact of life – now let’s just get on with it. But it must have been deeply traumatising for so many. I do wonder whether it has also left an impression on the later generations…

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  18. Ginkgo for memory … and I am grateful to be able to see that part of northern Germany again, familiar to me from other contexts, through your eyes. Beautiful post.

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    • You are absolutely right – Ginkgo for memory. How could I forget that??? 😉
      Yes, the little glimpse of the Oberförsterrei must have looked familiar to you. Do you ever feel like re-visiting?

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      • I don’t think about it often, but seeing this pictures reminded me of a beautiful day about ten years ago we spent there, and some Butterkuchen and Tee that we drank … and then I thought how much I missed it. It seems like a closed chapter until something opens the book again, like your post 🙂

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  19. Thank you for sharing. What a wonderful idea to plan a tree as a memorial for your dad. It has given me an idea, to plant one for my dad next spring. My dad loved trees and being in the woods, he also knew trees very well. I have at this time decided not to bury my dad’s ashes, they sit in a chair in my living room, maybe later just can’t do it yet. On Monday it will be a year since dad passed away and 11 years since mom passed away. I can feel it will be hard year, but know they are both at peace and no longer in pain.

    Happy late birthday.

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    • Any time is a good time for doing something in memory of others. Planting a tree is a vote for life, and a visible sign for your to remember every time you pass it. Go for it, Katie!

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  20. Thank you for sharing this wonderful memorial with us Guylty. I love the photos and the poem, so fitting for one so treasured and loved as your father. I hope knowing that there is a special tree growing brings you strength and peace and a smile when you think of it. Won’t it be wonderful when you go back and see how big it’s grown?
    Best wishes to you, and happy Birthday xx.

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  21. Thank you for sharing your dad’s story with us, Guylty- it’s lovely to think your children could play a part in honouring him in this special way, and that he will be well remembered in his home town.
    Happy belated birthday wishes!

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    • I was so pleased that my children were given such a big part in the ceremony. My daughter was very tearful during the preceding speech, but then she literally dug in, and in the end the whole occasion was joyful and turned out a great day.
      Thank you 🙂

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  22. Das also war der Grund für deinen Besuch in D … Schwierig, ja, aber gleichzeitig so ein schöner und positiver und bejahender Anlass. Danke, dass du das mit uns teilst. *umarm*

    PS: Hätte ich von deinem Purzeltag gewusst, hätte ich dem irren Igel auch einen Glückwunsch mitgegeben, aber so kann ich es halt nur nachträglich sagen: ALLES GUTE!!! ❤
    (Jetzt werde ich mich noch tagelang fragen, wie alt du jetzt bist – argh! *gg*)

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    • Joanna, doesn’t this possibilty sound absurd? But nonetheless even more crazy things have happened at this indescribably cruel times. Hopefully NEVER, EVER again there will be a war in our countries (and of course in any other place of this world).

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    • Thank you Joanna.
      We went back to Silesia with my dad a couple of times and he showed us the house he used to live in. He was born in Jelenia Gora but lived in a tiny village called Maciejowiec. And no, your family is not living in his former house – it is a ruin ;-). – I loved the whole area, btw, what a beautiful part of Poland. We hiked and explored some of the Karkonosze and stayed in Karpacz. I’d go back for holidays any time.

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        • Yes, Hirschberg 🙂 Although I liked small Cieplice (Bad Warmbrunn) better. Both my grandparents were born, baptised, confirmed and married there. It felt really special to me, to know that my ancestors walked the streets 🙂 But no worries, I am not one of those idiots who want to claim any of those places back. History is history, and Silesia is Poland. I can visit any time I want, and that is all that is needed.
          To my shame I have to admit I had never heard of Teschen and had to look it up. It looks like a big enough place! And I loved the music in the video – Klezmer music? Was the text sung in Polish, German and Czech, representing the three nationalities that live(d) in the area?

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          • Yes ,three nationalities: Polish, Austrian;) , Czech and three religious beliefs . Protestants, Jews and Catholics coexisted here in relative peace for almost 300 years .
            PS: Czech bard wrote this song,it’s about love and tolerance.

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            • Oh, of course, Austrian – the Austro-Hungarian Empire ruled over the Eastern part of Silesia for a long time… I only got as far East as Krakov when I was travelling in Poland. Loved that city – it was like a Mini-Prague.

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  23. Guylty, this is a real wonderful chronicle of your recent visit to your “hometown/village”.That pic of the Heimatmuseum looks almost enchanting and romantic (oh, I know that doesn’t sound all too pleasing in your ears!! LOL) at least in the bright sunshine of last weekends magnificent autumn weather!! The whole ceremony seems to have turned out good and adequate for all the participants. I loved to read the story of your father/family, as in our generation almost everybody’s upbringing was more or less strongly influenced by experiences of our parents and grandparents during the WWs.
    Let me not forget: All the best (belated) birthday wishes for you.
    Hugs ( see you soon?? mmmmhhh…)

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    • Thank you, Linda 🙂
      You know, I am quite fascinated how interesting ordinary people’s llife stories are – that there is in fact a story to tell about everyone. Hollywood has kind of corrupted us into thinking that normal life is not worth talking about…
      And yes, the WW was still quite present in my youth even though it was essentially 30+ years over by the time I was born. But we all had grandparents who fought or suffered in it, and somehow it was part of my youth, too. I find it is the strongest anti-war story there ever could be…
      Hugs back (did you get my e-mail?)

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      • Absolutely, there is nothing more interesting than normal life stories. Hollywoods’ endless sequels of cartoon characters and those incessant SF films produced for years and years leave me literally cold. There would be so many stunning stories that could be found and told…

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        • I have often thought that children ought to be given an obligatory school project where they have to research their grandparents’ or families’ stories. It’s important to know where you come from, and to explore the time and historic context the ancestors lived in. But well, I am a history head…

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          • Researching my family history is one of my hobbies….fits and starts depending on my mood, but when I do get going I can be engrossed for hours. When a gem appears it makes the dry data research worthwhile. I have become the family archivist – old photos, papers, service records and medals somehow find their way to me. Visiting the villages and towns of my ancestors in Dorset and Devon, and in Ireland on our trips there was goose bumpy stuff.

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          • Sometimes they are in the US but this is a very touchy subject because family situations are so complex (adopted or fostered children, blended families, etc.) I actually kind of think they should keep it out of schools. At my last university you could take schoalrly genealogy for course credit, though.

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  24. What a wonderful,post, Guylty. And a beautiful memorial to your father. I couldn’t agree more that a place like that is so much better for remembrance than a cemetery.

    My brother and I planted trees for our father, too, with his ashes (only later did I read this is not good for the trees!) Three English oaks (three to stand for Trinity, as he was a life-long Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge and loved it very much). And the wood in which these trees stand is now known as Paley’s wood (that was his first name).

    The ginkgo tree is so beautiful. And has given me a little idea 😉

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    • Oh, are you going to plant a Ginkgo, too? I think it is a lovely gesture that you planted a trinity of trees. (BTW, I think my f-i-l also attended Trinity College Cambridge…) Paley – that is a very unusual name, no?

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      • Oh, I wonder when he was there… As an undergraduate? What was he reading?

        Yes, Paley is an unusual name. It was my grandmother’s maiden name. There is a connection way back with a theologian who wrote a book called Paley’s Evidences.

        No, my idea is not about planting a ginkgo, but I’m not going to tell you any more at this point 😉

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        • F-i-l read mathematics in the early 50s there.
          I was wondering whether Paley was really a surname that had been given as a first name. (f-i-l sports one of those, too – Carmichael… do you think it was a requirement for acceptance in TCC to have a weird first name 😉 ??)
          I am intrigued re. the ginkgo 😀

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          • Hmm… My father would have been quite a new Fellow then. He was a natural scientist rather than a mathematician (though he was very good at maths). Ask your f-i-l if he remembers Dr Paley Johnson.

            No, you just had to be very clever to get into Trinity! They have more Nobel prize winners than most countries 😉

            Re the gingko, you will have to be patient 😉

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            • I’ve been trying to verify which college f-i-l was in, but no luck yet. I’ll ask him later (he is holding an exhibition of his paintings in our house today.)
              LOL Nobel prize winners.
              And lastly – patience… is a sweet torture 😉

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  25. G- this was really special to me. Don’t ever think it’s selfish to share like this 🙂 it really blesses me.

    I was touched to realize that Sat. was not only your bday (& my son’s 🙂 as I already told you)- but your father’s special remembrance day.
    I somehow felt bonded to your father’s story… gosh tearing up even now, I’m such a sloppy mess 😛 🙂

    I discovered this year that my dad’s father’s side may well have ended up in Prussia from Eastern Europe also, rather than being rooted in Germany as we always thought. Possibly some from even further east, Russia or the Caucasus. Just considering all the implications of past generations migrating, migrating… and also because this side of my family is more of a mystery than the others. Must find where the key fits to uncover them 🙂 My imagination runs riot with your pictures and your dad’s story. I also loved Goethe’s ginkgo poem- also thought immediately of the link to memory, as Servetus did. Just thank you again.

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    • Ah, SH – thank you, you are too kind *hugs*. Didn’t mean to make you cry – but I am really glad if my post has made you (and others) think of their fathers, dead or alive, too. The first men in our lives 🙂 – I feel quite lucky to have always had a good relationship with my father. It’s a gift that keeps giving, I think, because it makes a daughter strong and confident and independent.
      I love family history and genealogy. I am sure you know that programme “Who do you think you are?”. It’s fascinating what you can find out. You could search for your dad’s family name online and see where it takes you. And yes – a lot of migration and change.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Such a lovely memorial and touching story. I’m relatively new to these blogs and I just wanted to express how sorry I am about your Dad. My Dad passed away in July and it’s been pretty hard. I love the tree idea I think next spring We’ll plant a tree for my Dad probably on our farm which is the place he loved the best.
    Happy belated Birthday

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Nina, first of all, my sympathies to you, too. I know what you are going through. It really isn’t easy. You wake up every morning thinking “Oh, another lovely day”, and then the realization hits that he is not there anymore to share it with you. It is heart-breaking, but I think it will get easier, eventually. ((hugs)) Planting a tree is a wonderful idea – watching it grow will be a lovely reminder of him.
      Thank you so much for commenting, and welcome to the blog. xx

      Like

      • I’m so sorry, I didn’t get to message you sooner. Between dealing with migraines and helping My Mom I haven’t had much time online.

        Thank you and Yes, that’s exactly how I feel too. It just doesn’t seem like he should be gone. He had been sick for two years they said he had Alzheimer’s then this summer they think his cancer came back and all the sudden he was gone. I guess I knew it was coming, but nothing prepares you for it. I’m not married yet so I’ve been staying on my parents’ horse farm to help them. My younger brother was in a bad work accident in Dec. 2008. He spent so many years in and out of the hospital and then My Dad got sick and now he’s gone. So it has been rough, but I do believe it will get easier and hopefully next year will be a better year for us. My Mom loves the tree idea we’re thinking about a maple tree because he loved fall.

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  27. Beautiful tribute. I love the warm autumn colors of the photos. My father passed away October 28, 2002, and I find that I miss him even more as I get older. He was from Maine where I learned to take long solitary walks, exploring the town and surrounding woods, often coming in late after dark and my dad would be sitting in the porch with his cigar waiting for me. When I walk amongst trees, especially this time of year, I feel closest to my dad.

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