This week my Uncle Bernhard passed into the presence of his Lord and Saviour. He was born in Russia in 1914 and lived to be 93 years old. I know really very little of him and never had the pleasure of meeting him. He was child number 12 with only my dad being younger. He was born in a time of Russia that was very difficult for Mennonite families. They struggled to keep their homes safe and their children fed. My dad was born in 1918 and his mother passed away in 1920.
My Dad was invited to live with his Aunt and Uncle who lived quite close by. They had not been able to have children of their own and welcomed little Aron into their home. When the opportunity came for them to immigrate to Canada, little Aron went with them.
They never spoke freely of his adoption and he only learned of it when he was in school from some other children who had heard it from their parents. Even though he lived in a loving home he longed to know more about the family he left behind.
Years later the contacts slowly began and the rare and treasured letters from Russia to Canada were read over and over again.
Several years before my Mom and Dad passed away my parents travelled to Germany to meet his two surviving siblings. In this photo you can see the two brothers looking into the eyes of one another for essentially the very first time. The emotions of the room can be seen on my mother's eyes as she witnesses a little bit of heaven.
When my parents arrived home from Germany we had many questions and so did they. It seemed that the experiences that the family survived in Russia had been too difficult for them to speak of. Even the memory of little Aron going to live far away when Bernhard was six years old, still brought the old brother to tears.
When we received word this week that Uncle Bernhard had passed away an odd sense of quiet took hold and my heart clenched in emotion as I imagined the reunion for my Grandparents and their 13 children.
So, now the tears are dried away and the rejoicing has begun as the table of Oma and Opa is full once again.
My Dad often spoke of his desire to have all his children around the table with him in heaven. Well Dad we're not there yet but count me in . . .I'm coming. In the meantime give Mom a kiss from me . .your little girl.