Thursday, September 27, 2007

seeing each other again

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.

21 comments:

  1. The photo of the brothers is so precious. May God continue to comfort you and give you hope...

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  2. You made me cry. Maybe because I just finished reading the historical accounts of what happened in Russia at that time and seeing the results so many years later. My dad's only living brother stayed behind in Russia because he was adopted by an aunt. My dad also only found out the truth later, because he was of the impression that this was a cousin. To make a long story short, the brother and family imigrated to Canada in 1978! Talk about reunion! Yes, just a glimpse into the reunion we will have in heaven!!!

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  3. You made me cry too. What a sweet story. Just makes you think...What matters most.

    corinne

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  4. Reunions in glory...what a hope for us all! Thanks for sharing this story.
    Ten years ago I travelled to Europe with my parents, and together we went to visit my dad's aunt who had been left behind in Russia in the 1920's, and recently moved to Germany. She was the youngest sister of my grandmother, and when I met her it was like seeing my grandma once again. Family reunions are special times!

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  5. Such a beautiful tribute ... we are so lucky and it's so easy to take our lives and family for granted ... how cool to think about the whole family reunited.

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  6. Bless you --- so sweetly written, there are no words to express the depth of emotion that you must be feeling right now.

    God be with you!
    LaTeaDah

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  7. I cried too...my Dad immigrated to Canada from Russia in those hard times and had to say goodbye to some family members. What a sad time that must have been.
    Thanks Lovella for the post even if you opened "the floodgates" for some of us!!

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  8. Wouldn't your uncle have been surprised to learn that his life and passing would be read about by such a varied collection of people, and that tears were shed by those he had never met. We don't really weep for him; we weep at the inevitable separations from our loved ones that we all must face inevitably.
    Such a different sorrow than the sorrow of those who have no hope of reunion.

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  9. I got goose bumps reading your story. I too imagine the rejoicing that is happening in heaven with your grandparents and their children. What a powerful picture of your dad and his brother meeting. What a blessing it is to have a heritage of faith, isn't it?

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  10. that was beautiful Lovella. knowing how wonderful heaven must be makes it easier when those we love leave us here on earth.

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  11. Add me to the list of those you made cry. This was so beautiful, Lovella. I am so thankful that we can KNOW that we'll see our loved ones again.

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  12. Truly so heartfelt Lovella. Well said. Thank you for sharing this.

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  13. oh lovella,
    the tears are streaming down my face, this too is such a familiar story to my family. my father had a reunion with his brother and thankfully my grand parents were still alive to embrass their son after being seperated for 35 years. he was left behind, and all the rest were able to go to canada. thankyou for sharing this story so thoughtfully with such tenderness. where would all these people be who experienced such hardship and tragedies with out GOD?

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  14. Add my tears to the already full bucket.
    Beautifully written, Lovella.
    I can so easily imagine the joy of your parents greeting Bernhard on the other side of the river.

    We sorrow on this side but one day we will all be rejoicing on that side.
    I am so looking forward to the extended family of God enjoying the reuntion to end all reuntions.

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  15. Actually knowing people on the other side makes it all the more real. What a beautiful sight - greeting one another.

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  16. what a beautiful post...

    hugs
    Kimmie

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  17. This is beautiful Lovella! Very moving.

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  18. what a beautiful story of family love and reunion....
    we forget what people have had to go through in years past... before coming to the full freedom of America...
    and isn't it wonderful to know that you will indeed see them again!!!

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  19. Beautifully written. That's all I can type as I can't see the screen because my eyes are welling up.

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  20. Lovella....I am reading this post for the first time.... In waiting to hear how my mom is doing I was looking for pictures of papakrut to post and your blog came up on google. (see my July 26th post)... anyway...one thing led to another and I backtracked to read this wonderful post. How special that your father got to meet his brother before passing...what a history your dad had. You know, my dad was born in 1919...one year after your dad then I guess...so we must have very similar life views...family ages etc. My dad is 89 now, mom is 87. We have been blessed to have them in relatively good health for most of their lives...they have been blessed.

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  21. Hello Lovella,
    I just found your blog through Mennonite Girls Can Cook Blog. I too live in BC. I was drawn to this particular post because of the word adoption. My husband and I have been married for 16 years, and we have 3 beautiful children. Our oldest joined our family through adoption, and the birth of each of our children is a unique and precious story. I expected to read an adoption story and I did, but the end was difficult for me as you spoke of your parents being in heaven. My dad passed away 9 months ago from cancer, and he was only 69. Some days I miss him so very much. I probably spoke to him and my mom almost every day on the phone especially in the last year and a half as he was on bed rest. Anyway, I have been so blessed to have had loving Christian parents and to have had a wonderful dad for 36.5 years. My mom is still here and we are very close, so it is hard sometimes as we walk through this time of grief with because I can't take away the heartache, but I can pray for her. I am so thankful that I know I will one day see my dad again in heaven with our Saviour. Praise the Lord!!! Thank you for sharing this story with us, I am having a hard time not to cry tears of heartache and joy. Thank you.

    My husband's grandmother came Canada with her two sisters in their early 20's from Russia. Their parents and brother were not allowed to come and they never saw them again. My husband's grandmother lived to be one month shy of her 101st birthday.

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Thank you!