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  • Patrick Brischetto

Memory

My darling mother is blessed with many qualities that make her an amazing mother. Unfortunately, a good memory is not one of them. Often she is forgetting where she has put her phone, her glasses, her car keys (which is inconvenient when we are already late for something), who she was supposed to be texting. I could make a list for days…


However it must be said that we all suffer from a brain fade of memory every now and again, even my perfect self included. A recent occasion where I forgot the location of my phone got me thinking about the importance and power of memory in our lives.


As it happens a few weeks ago I met a quite remarkable lady; Hedi Auf Der Mauer. As a 98 and a half year old, she has more memories than most.


She remembers how at 6 years old her German Shepard dog would come into her bedroom and curl up at her feet in the mornings

She remembers meeting her future husband Frank in the Hitler Youth (not many can say that!)

She remembers her home town of Bonn being bombed in 1945

She remembers the exact train carriage she travelled on when evacuating to a neighbouring town.

She remembers escaping from Russian controlled East Germany by waiting for the Russian sentries to reach a certain point before crossing the border.

She remembers the faces of the people she was with that were not courageous enough to cross; she never saw them again.

She remembers finally seeing Frank again when he was released as a POW in 1949.

She remembers her wedding back in her hometown of Bonn in 1951.

She remembers going on a boat in 1953 that would take her to Australia, her new home.

She remembers the sad day of when Frank died in December 2018, at the age of 95.

And it is her goal to reach her 100th birthday, so she can remember that too.


Perhaps we won’t become aware of the true importance and power of memories until they are all we have left.

Hedi Auf Der Mauer in June 2019. Photo by Anthony Brischetto

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