The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

Reflections on Life, Family and Community

Chapter 30 of Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part II

12

Biene Withdraws her Wish for an Engagement Ring

Pristine Lake in the Rockies

Calgary, June 2nd

My dear Biene,

I must quickly write you this letter, and indeed for three reasons. Some very pleasant events have come up during the past two days. First and foremost I must ask you not to take my last letter too seriously. I had no work and I was worrying about our future. I missed you so much, and then I began to ponder about how it would be for you to meet me again poor and penniless. At such moments I worry too much. I believe that you already know that part of me well enough.

Today I came home rather exhausted. Yet I was happy and content. In my mind I saw you receive me tenderly in your arms, perhaps because I looked so very dusty and tired. Now I must let the cat out of the bag. Right on the first day of my search I found work. I have a good, but tough job with a construction company, and I am getting $1.80 an hour. Isn’t that a good beginning? Here I will stay until I find something better.

Yesterday I paid a little visit to the University of Calgary. From the bus stop I walked the last mile up the hill. You would not believe, dear Biene, how the people were gawking, because I was not driving a car. At the registration counter they gave me a very friendly reception. They retained my high school diploma for translation into English. Everything that I needed to know for the teachers’ training program in the Department of Education was in the book that the receptionist handed to me together with the application forms. There you have the latest information from me. I will write you again, whenever I can spare another hour.

Be kissed a thousand times! Your Peter

Velbert, June 4th

…Yes Peter, and then I read your letter. When I came to the line, where your expressed your concerns, a strange mood suddenly took hold of me, as if I was lying with closed eyes on my back bathing in brilliant sunshine. All at once a shudder seized me, because a dark cloud had drifted over the sun and for a moment withdrew all warmth from me. But this really happened only in the twinkling of an eye, because I could not understand why you were writing me this. I thought, ‘Why do you want me to be afraid of the future?’ Now I feel ashamed of these thoughts and I am sad that I even allowed them to surface in my mind. Peter, please, you must forgive me. There are certain days, when I am a little sensitive. So I did not recognize at first why you wrote me about your doubts. It was because you care so much about me and worry about my future happiness. I only saw the words, ‘ Did you consider all this very carefully?’ and ‘I don’t want that my wish become an obligation to you.’ I did not notice all the other words at all, which were so much more important. Fearfully I thought, ‘Doesn’t Peter no longer believe that our love can be much stronger than all the bonds of family and friends put together, and would he resign himself to the fact that I would no longer be willing to come to him any more?’ But immediately I felt sorry that such thoughts occurred to me, and all of a sudden I understood with my whole heart what had motivated you to lay all the possible future problems before my eyes. I am not ignoring them, Peter! I know exactly what it means to leave everything behind one day.

I talked to my mother about it and asked her, if she could bear to see me leave, because you wanted me to become your wife. You will see how great my mother’s love is. I regret more and more that you were unable to come for a visit before you left for Canada. She said it would be quite natural that I would leave her one day. But a mother would only let her children go with a light heart, if she knew that they would be happy…

Dear Peter, I feel just as strongly as you do that I could not be without you! Therefore, you must not ponder and mull over such thoughts any more. They put brakes on your zest for action and initiative. And in the end I would even believe that you cast doubts on our love, and that I could never endure. Peter, please promise me to put these depressing thoughts aside. You know that it is so simple for you to make me happy.

Now I would like to say something regarding my last letter. But I do not want to hurt you, and therefore understand me correctly. I would like to tell you that I am sorry that I had asked you for a ring. Perhaps you are not yet able to fulfill this wish, because you do not have the money or you believe that it isn’t the right time for it yet. Therefore, let us do as if I had never asked for it. I thought it would be nice to wear a ring from you, I also thought that perhaps you would be glad that I would want it. Peter, right from the beginning we two ran a course, which was quite different from the ordinary, and for that reason it is sometimes a bit complicated between us. And yet it could be simple, because I sense from every word from you that in your innermost being you are so closely connected to me. Oh Peter, don’t you understand? You must be able to understand that it is easy to give up something if one loves one another. And never would I like to make you unhappy again as I once did, when I had not yet recognized it.

Greetings with all my heart!

Your Biene

 

 

12 thoughts on “Chapter 30 of Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part II

  1. corneliaweberphotography

    Hi Peter, another beautiful post of your both love. Your hourly pay at your job back than seems like nothing for today, I remember when I came over the US, like 27 years ago, my hourly pay at a bookstore was $ 4 . But I was to happy to have a job. Biene’s English is so perfect, like literature English, wow, how did she learn it back than? Thank you for sharing your story as always. Cornelia

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      When you consider the buying power of the dollar some 50 years ago, then $1.80 was actually a good hourly pay. And your wages 27 years ago were not bad either. Thank you, Cornelia, for your compliment on Biene’s English. Most of our letters at that time were written in German. So what you read on my blog is a translation.

      Like

      1. corneliaweberphotography

        Yes putting the $s in perspective I agree with you Peter. Back than for example to have a Chinese lunch buffet for $3.99 was great, instead of $ 10.99 nowadays. Well than your English translation is beautifu. Thank you for responding, Peter.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Edda

    Hallo,Peter!
    Auch wenn es schon so lange her ist,würde ich Biene am liebsten heute noch sagen,dass der Wunsch nach einem Ring doch etwas Schönes war und sie sich dafür nicht entschuldigen muss! Das war richtig rührend von ihr..
    Eure Beziehung war ja von Anfang an wirklich ziemlichen Belastungen ausgesetzt und ich denke nach wie vor,ihr habt die Zeit der Trennung gerade wegen eurer Offenheit zueinander überstanden!👍
    Liebe Grüsse an euch beide und habt eine schöne Zeit trotz aller Aufregung!👋

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Liebe Edda, du hast ganz recht. Es waren schwere Zeiten. Überall drohten Gefahren. Unsere Offenheit in Bezug auf unsere Gefühle hat uns über manche Krise hinweggeholfen. Der Wunsch nach einem Ring ging natürlich (wenn auch nicht gleich) in Erfüllung. Vielen Dank für die guten Wünsche und liebe Grüße aus Kanada!

      Like

  3. Bun Karyudo

    It seems you both took the matter of engagement very seriously. There would be many more happy marriages today if other people were equally thoughtful beforehand. Oh well, it seems I’ll have to wait a little longer for the post with an engagement ring and a chainsaw.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Dear Bun, there is much insight in your comment. You are right. In hindsight our long separation was a great learning experience, which prepared us for the many challenges we were to face later down the road. Nowadays people are rushing to get married, only to find out that they were not meant for each other.

      Liked by 1 person

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