The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

Reflections on Life, Family and Community

Chapter 33 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part I


First Semester at the University of Calgary


Brand-new University of Calgary – Author’s own Historical Photo

“I will ask no more of life than this that I might love you through all my days, and that you may find peace and joy in the constancy of my heart.”  Robert Sexton

Faithfulness Revisited

While searching for a quote that described best my feelings about love and faithfulness, I came across many quotes about fidelity, loyalty, and faithfulness. These virtues have always found strong support across the ages from philosophers, theologians, and rulers, as long as they were part of an individual’s commitment to an ideal, religion, or country. When I narrowed my search down to the love between a man and a woman, I discovered to my dismay that there were two camps of opinions, which differed from each other like day and night. The dark side would have scoffed at Robert Sexton’s quote as if he was promoting boredom and loss of freedom in human relationships. It ridiculed commitment through faithfulness by quotes, such as ‘The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those he didn’t commit when he had the opportunity’, ‘A bridegroom is a guy who has lost his liberty in pursuit of happiness’, and ‘Absence makes the heart go wander’. The list is almost endless.

Biene and I were poorly prepared and had nothing except our love to repel the onslaught of subversive opinions and temptations. To this day I am grateful to Biene’s sister Elsbeth for trying to warn Biene about the dangers of a long separation. Even though we were not too happy about the doubts she had cast into our hearts, she at least forced us to confront the issue. By being made aware of the perils for our romantic relationship so far apart from each other, we were able to recognize situations that could potentially destroy it.

Before Biene went to England, she had to learn first hand how a commonly held opinion could put belief in faithfulness into question as something both unrealistic and old-fashioned. A nice young man, a fellow student of the Wuppertal University, no doubt infatuated and attracted to her natural charm and beauty, pursued her and in vain tried to weaken her resolve to wait for me. She was dismayed to see that so few people believed in the power of love, which would give us the strength to be faithful. Incidences of this kind prompted her to ask for a ring as a form of protection against aggressive suitors in Germany and  in England.

I for my part had no such outer sign, with which I started my studies in Calgary. But I thought being male I would find it easier to avoid the pitfalls of temptation. For in the mid sixties it was the man, who would normally invite a girl to a date. While being very worried about Biene in this regard and actually sharing my concerns with her, I myself felt secure in my belief that my female fellow students, who may have taken a fancy to me, would not pursue me, as Biene’s aggressive suitor did in Wuppertal. As it turned out I was quite mistaken. I had to learn and I learned quickly that their methods were not as obvious, rather a lot subtler in their outward manifestations.

For the eighteen-year old female graduates from high school, the faculty of education was the most favourite department to enrol. Very few were willing to face the exacting demands of engineering, nor were they welcome in this male dominated field in those years. But there was also another reason why they were outnumbering young men in the teachers’ training program almost at the ratio two to one. This was still the time when well-to-do parents would send their daughters to college in the hope to marry them off to a professional young man, who would be acceptable within their socially elevated family status.


22 thoughts on “Chapter 33 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part I

  1. Edda

    Jeder muß eben für sich entscheiden, was ihm wichtig ist.. Diejenigen, die sich über die feste Beziehung zweier sich treuer Menschen lustig machen oder sie nicht ernst nehmen und sie gar zerstören wollen, werden nie erfahren, wozu Zuneigung, Freundschaft und Liebe befähigen..
    Da seid Ihr wohl mehr als einmal in Versuchung geführt worden, wenn ich das richtig interpretiert habe..?☺😉
    Also, ehrlich gesagt, hätte es mich sehr gewundert, wäre es nicht so gekommen! Seht Euch mal Eure Fotos aus jener Zeit an..Da gibts nichts hinzuzufügen….
    Aber das Wichtigste ist dann, allen Verführungsversuchen des anderen Geschlechts zu widerstehen..😉 Und das scheint Euch ja letzten Endes
    gelungen zu sein..Obwohl ja noch einiges zu überwinden galt, schätze ich mal..
    Herzliche Grüße !!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dina

      Well said, Edda. Dem gibt’s nichts hinzuzufügen! 🙂
      Very well written, a most enjoyable read, Peter. Im in awe of your sophisticated English! 🙂
      Herzliche Grüße aus Norwegen,

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Peter Klopp Post author

        Liebe Dina und Edda, seid herzlich gedankt für eure lieben Zeilen. Ihr seid da beide einer Meinung und es sind Worte wie eure, die mir die Kraft und auch den Mut geben, über so persönliche Erlebnisse zu schreiben. Viele liebe Grüße aus dem fernen Kanada!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Peter Klopp Post author

      Ein ehrlicher Erlebnisbericht darf es nicht unterlassen, die eigenen Schwächen bloßzulegen und bei Versagen NICHT die Schuld bei anderen zu suchen. Denn hat man sich selbst im Griff, fällte es einem viel leichter, Versuchungen jeglicher Art zu widerstehen. Klick doch mal bei Dinas Blog an. Sie hat einen fantastischen Blog, den sie zusammen mit ihrem Mann Klausbernd und ihren allerliebsten Töchtern führt. Ihre Familie lebt in England. Allerliebste Grüße aus Fauquier, BC!


      1. Edda

        Hallo, lieber Peter!
        Genau das habe ich getan,gab da viel Interessantes zu lesen!!
        Ich war auch schon in Versuchung, Dina (Hanne) zu schreiben ,nur hab ich ja nichts vorzuweisen!😉
        Vielleicht mach ich es aber doch..😀
        Liebe Grüße!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ann Coleman

    Long distance relationships do present challenges! I am so glad that both you and Biene stayed strong in your commitment to each other. Honestly, I think that distance is a true test of commitment. If a relationship can withstand a separation, then it can withstand anything!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Thank you, Ann, for your comment, which shows much understanding and insight into the inner working of a human relationship. Our separation was indeed the test of our commitment. Thank you also for following our story with so much interest1


    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Your kind words mean a lot to me. Thank you for reading our love story! Yes, the story is indeed intimate and self-revealing. If I left out the things one considers too private, the story would lose a lot of its authencity.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Bun Karyudo

    My wife and I were also separated for a time before we were married. It was not always easy for us, but at least we had the advantage of relatively affordable telecommunications. I think things must have been even more trying in the mid-1960s, Peter, when the written word was the only realistic way for most people to keep in touch and the world was a much vaster place.

    Liked by 1 person

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