Sunday, November 22, 2015

October 18, 1940: Turn the Light On!

Letter from Ella to Opa


Berlin, Charlottenburg October 18th 1940

My very dear boy, For so long I have not heard from you. Please Hunschen write to me more often. Today I will send only a short note to let you know I am well. I hope, on Sunday I can write more in detail, and answer several of your questions. 

Your eye matter has me worried. Why did you not wear your glasses? When you were here, you always did. I did not know that you don’t use them anymore. Make sure, that you always have good light for reading and working. That is so important. You will need your eyes a lot later on, so treat them with as much care as you can. It made me very happy to hear that the Shelley’s are so nice to you. It is always a comfort that there are people like them. I wish I could one day thank them myself. That they can have my boy with them, has to be a great joy for them.  

Let me end for today, my beloved boy.

I kiss you much,
Your Mama

Ella sends a short note to let Opa know that she is alright- and to remind him to write her. I'm sure he is writing her- I hope enough because she really does depend on his letters for her sanity at this point. 

Why on earth is Opa not wearing his glasses? Surely he's not trying to be cool or something? He wore glasses as long as I knew him. No one in my Dad's family could see- and I'm lucky that so far I still don't need glasses. Just hearing aids. But that's another set of genes.

Opa not wearing his glasses prompts Ella to say something that I have heard my dad say multiple times throughout my life- so Opa must have heard it multiple times from Ella and repeated it to my Dad: "make sure you always have good light for reading and working." My Dad was constantly turning on lamps, overhead lights, etc. for me when I was reading or working on homework. I love light- but natural sunlight- and so it's not intuitive for me to turn on a light. So I admit that I would be reading by a dull light many days, and my Dad would just flip the light switch and remind me that I needed to have good lighting so I don't wear my eyes out. He would tell me how he didn't do it and he started losing his sight in college. I'm not sure that story is true- but he's sticking to it. Either way- it's a Doeppner thing to nag about lighting. 

Ella is so appreciative of the Shelley family who shows Opa such hospitality and kindness. She then says the sweetest thing: "that they can have my boy with them, has to be a great joy for them." Ella's love is so full. I love how kind and sweet she is to her children.

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