Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remembrance Day.... parent's wedding.

Today would have been my mother's one hundred
and eleventh birthday...
unlike the weddings of today, no designer dress or
multi-thousand $ reception. Just two very serious
young people, my mother, a university student, my
father just discharged army surgeon.

Life ahead .... uncertain.
Prospects ..... non-existent.

Medical positions were all filled ... they worked at
anything they could find. Father had perfect pitch
and tuned pianos for a while. They farmed but with
the arrival of children, ends refused to meet.

The depression of the thirties did not make things
easier. Father joined the police force reaching the rank
of inspector, mother worked as international telephonist
since she spoke 5 languages.

Their story of the years between the wars is worthy
of a book by itself. It was mother's fortitude that kept
her fledglings safe and together after the terror of 1940
when my father was deported to Siberia.

In 1944, her elder son already twice wounded and sent
back to the front, with the imminent threat of another
Russian invasion, she bundled up her brood and fled.

The story of flight, famine and 5 years of being displaced
persons, fills yet another book.

Starting again in Australia, a strange land, a strange
language and cusoms, even the seasons upside down
and not a penny to scratch with, at 51 years of age was
not exactly a picnic either ... yet she brought us all up
safely and helped each one of us to get a good start in
life. We owe her so much more than life itself. She was
a philosopher and poet who spent her working life in
Australia hunched over a sewing machine in an army
uniform factory just to put a roof over our heads and
send me to university.

Mother was truly a remarkable woman, see also her
granddaughter India's post.


  1. What a beautiful tribute, and I read her granddaughter's too. That lady deserves to have a book written about it all. I'll buy one of the first copies!

  2. Arija, what an amazing story! So, are you going to write that book! As her daughter, you have so much to tell! I cannot imagine this but on some levels I can, since my mother also raised 5 kids all on her own here in the USA after being abandoned by my father. We were poor but we were never in danger like this! My Mom had to go on welfare, but she went back to college and became a teacher to support her family. She then took care of all of us, her own mother and her grandchildren. She is also an amzing woman. How wonderful to read about yours, for I know that she shaped who you are!

  3. A beautiful remembrance a touching story forever in your heart!

  4. A truly wonderful remembrance Arija. You Mother had to be a remarkable woman, just look in the mirror to see how marvelous you turned out. Against many odds, such a survivor, she obviously passed this along to her children.

  5. Arija, a beautiful tribute to the most important people in our lives who rarely get the praise they deserve. Thank you for sharing your memories on this special day.
    Smiles and blessings

  6. and the best form of immortality is being remembered by the folks who love you...

  7. War wreaks such havoc on families. The story of your parents should be a book. Have you thought of writing it, Arija?

  8. Cedar
    if I manage to finish it before my call, I'll send you an autographed copy as a present.

    Kathie dear
    thank you for sharing your story, so few of us have lived simple, easy lives, and if we had, where would have been the learning?

    mothers are the very cornerstone of life.

    we certainly learned to scratch and mend and see the needs of others less fortunate still.

    thanks for the smiles and blessings, they always come in handy.

    I can only write as much as I know, but yes, it is a part of my story and is slowly, very slowly, putting itself into words.

  9. As I read the words I could feel how much you love and admire your mother. She certainly lived through some very hard times.

  10. Oh, Arija I do hope you write the book. Your post is so moving and a great tribute to your wonderful mother.

  11. A wonderful story of survival Arija. I would LOVE to read the book. I had a grandmother born in Sweden that deserves a book too. She was born with a deformed hip, had failed surgery on the kitchen table at 13, wore a special lift shoe all her life, and that didn't stop her from climbing ladders to paint the house. These women were so very special.

  12. Your story shows tragedy and drama.. you come from strong people... you are strong too! you are the sum of these experiences...

  13. Such an incredible and amazing story, dear Arija! I can't even imagine what her life was like! I was an only child, most often looked at by parents as though they wondered where I had come from! It is hard to conceive that kind of parental love and devotion -- although I hope I have given it to my four. Such an inspiring story and I do hope one of you write her story, I'll surely purchase copies right behind Cedar!


  14. A teary-eyed thank-you to parents like yours and to you for writing about them.

  15. It's such an amazing story Arija. Your parents would be so proud that you and India share their story with obvious love and admiration.

  16. Oh Arija, what a wonderful tribute to your mum. Thanks for sharing.

  17. My, what a story! You can certainly be proud of your family. Yes, do write a book, Arija.

  18. Oh Arija I am in tears.

    What a remarkable woman. And to start over at 51, I am 53 and I can barely get out of bed.

    Your father in Siberia. Just the little things you have told us could be a dozen books.

    I love the picture and the poseys in her hand.

    No wonder you are magic Arija.

    I am now going over to see the other tribute as I need to know more.

    Love Rene xoxo

  19. Dear friend, with tears in my eyes I was just wondering if your brother who passed away was the same brother that was being kept by the Russians?

    Your daughter's post was lovely.

    Love Renee xoxo

  20. A great tribute to your mum, who was a true heroine! I admire her because only the strongest of people can do what your mum did.

  21. Your mother sounds like a truly wonderful and courageous person, Arija. That's a wonderful tribute.

  22. What an amazing woman your mother obviously was Arija. How brave and loving and caring. You clearly inherited her best traits.

  23. Dearest Arija. 'Remarkable' is such an understatement for your mother. Her life was an epic journey. I cannot imagine starting life anew at 51. The photograph is beautiful and heavy with story. Thank you for sharing.


  24. Hi Arija, what a sweet post. I visited India's post and she writes well as you do. Love that antique sewing machine, and I have learned a few stitches just looking at my aunt who is a seamstress now retired.

  25. My dear Arija,

    my throat is tight, my eyes teary, my chest feels proud for the WOMAN your mother was. Her sacrifice turned to gold in the women both you and your daughter became. And there is still a generation of great grandchildren who will be so much more because of her.

    In all of you she has realized all of her potential. A philosopher, poet, and wonderful woman who also happened to sew. For survival.

    How proud your family much be!




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