By now, you’ve probably figured out, that for me, the fascination of genealogy is not about the names, dates and statistics, but rather the study of how our family members lived their lives. I believe that when a person has learned to forgive themselves of their failures and rejoice in their successes – then that person has lived a full life. My grandmother – Anna Marta Lipsdorf Geier – lived such a life. She was born at the turn of the 20th century (on 17 Aug 1906 in Hohendorf, Germany) at a time when great strides were being made in industry, science and medicine. She was one of five children born to Franz Hermann Lipsdorf and Wilhelmine Auguste Anna Roestel.
Anna Lipsdorf survived both World War I and World War II. Throughout her life she suffered much and witnessed many things: the total destruction of her country during both world wars; the murder of her husband (Kurt Willy Geier) by Russian soldiers at the end of World War II; the trial of raising three children as a single mother in war torn Germany; the ensuing cold war years and the erecting of the Berlin Wall – sadly, she did not live to see the reunification of her homeland. My grandmother also witnessed the growth of the automobile industry, air travel, the beginning of the “information age” (I wonder what she’d think about this blog?!) and the rise and fall of many world leaders. All of these experiences made my grandmother a complicated woman – but they also made her a very strong woman. When I look at her life – and the lives of all our ancestors – I see the past unfold – and I also see in her (and all of them) our future. In all of my grandmother’s triumphs and adversities, she turned out to be who she was meant to be – and so it is for all of us. She was a wife, a mother and a dearly loved grandmother, well-respected and thought of by others. Hers was a life fully-lived.
In loving memory – I love you – and I still miss you and think about you – every day….deine Judi.