D. (dalaruan) wrote,

the heritage - dedicated to Ida (1890 - 1928)

Edith! The 7-year-old girl played with her elder brothers in a room nearby when she heard the breathless voice of her mother. Go, tell your father I must speak to him. The girl ran out in the sunshine to the barn. Her father, a farmer and mayor of a small village, hurried to her mother's sickbed and shut the door behind him. After a short dialogue which the children curiously tried to overhear he went out to harness the horses. In the afternoon he returned with the officiating notary from town, who went to Edith's mother, bedridden by tuberculosis since two long years now.

"My mother knew that she'll die, so she wanted to dictate her will", my aunt Edith told me more than 80 years later. "Oh, she must have felt death coming soon, for shortly after the notary's visit she died. I saw her testament for the first time 14 years later, when I was of full age. Her signature...it was so frail, so frail. She knew that my father had to remarry soon after her death...imagine, we were four children, and a farmer needed a wife, there was so much hard work to be done. My mother also knew he will have children with his second wife, and that this wife will benefit her own offspring someday. So she wanted to dispose her dowry not to her husband but to her children. She had a dowry of 5000 Goldmark, my dear, quite a sum at that time! To each of my three elder brothers she disposed 1000 Goldmark and to me 2000 Goldmark 'to enable my daughter a good formal education'. Because of this heritage I could attend a college, earn my own living and grow up to be an independent woman. My father wouldn't allow that, I was only a girl. But she did."

I admire this woman, who was so clear-sighted at the verge of death. Who died in the old way, with a keen sense for the very hour of her death, settling her matters, settling the matters of the ones she was responsible for.

Ferdinand Hodler - Valentine Gode-Darel

More than half a century later, after war and flight, closed and reopened borders my aunt visited Ida's grave and wept bitterly for a mother who could only guard her by her last will.

Tags: death, dedication

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