The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

Reflections on Life, Family and Community

Chapter 41 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part I


One more Painful Twist



Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.

Nelson Mandela

Biene’s Father Gets a Stroke

March 17th, 1966 Velbert

My dear Peter,

Today in anticipation of spring the sun was shining its warm rays into our office and distracted me from my work. Herr Richter, a very understanding and capable department head remarked that I was in my thoughts already in Canada. But as brightly the sun may be shining and as much I long to be happy and light-hearted, it does not look as cheerful inside me. My father is very sick. He had suffered a stroke and must get rest for a very long time. I am sure that the excitement about me contributed to his illness, but the main cause was clearly his unhealthy life style. Dear Peter, you can imagine how things are now with me. Now that I can come to you, I cannot stand it here at home anymore. Also the barely concealed accusations that I am responsible for my father’s illness are tormenting me. I had been so happy after my trip to Cologne. Now I feel the full force of despair all over again. After an encouraging and conciliatory talk with my mother I had immediately booked my flight with the travel agency for April 6 to be with you already for Easter. Everything appeared to be so promising and now …  If my father quickly recovers, I will not postpone my flight; for I believe that the tension caused by my planned departure is harming him more than the certainty that I will be going away soon. I believe that it will be a relief for all of us, as hard as it sounds.

Letter continues next Friday.

32 thoughts on “Chapter 41 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part I

  1. Pure Glory

    What a twist that Biene’s father’s heath has on her plan to join you in Canada. She, hover, seems more clear headed than previously despite her father’s health issues. Looking forward to the continuation next Friday.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Wavering and waffling has been a major characteristic in her way in dealing with complex issues. But you recognized her determination to come to Canada at this critical point, where indecision would have brought her grief. Nothing could hold her back any more.

      Liked by 5 people

  2. Amy

    Oh, how awful for Biene. Not only that her father was sick, but that she was made to feel responsible. It’s interesting that her response was not to feel “guilt-tripped” into staying in Germany but more determined to leave. I commend her strength!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Biene’s resolution to come to Canada is all the more remarkable, since in spite of all the problems they created she dearly loved her family, especially her mother. In the end she was rewarded with a genuine reconciliation with everyone who opposed her decision to marry me. Thanks, Amy, for your kind words for the woman I love and have been married to for over half a century!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Stella, oh, Stella

    To accuse Biene that her father’s illness was caused by her, was just another hit below the belt from her family. Good that she had booked the ticket. If Biene says he had an unhealthy lifestyle, I trust she knows what she is talking about. I think she was also right about that her actual leaving would ease the tension for everybody.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Indeed it turned out to be a great relief for all parties involved. It was a good thing that Biene did not have to rebook her flight. It was the right thing to do to ease the immense burden that was weighing down the entire family. Thank you for your interest in our story, Brigit! Your comments are always appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person


    Peter, what a pressure on Biene with her father’s health issues. I can so much relate to her situation, it’s so similar what I have experienced moving to the US, about 28 years ago. My first visit in 1991 after I have moved to the USA, my father passed of a sudden death in the middle of a conversation with us. My mother had blamed me than , that it was my fault for his passing, because he was so sad about my decision to go the USA living with my love there. He had had heart issues since a long time, yet it didn’t hold back my mother to accuse me for his sudden passing. This is such horrible situation to deal with and I truly admire Biene for her strengths to follow through with her already made plans to come to Canada. Well just sharing my similar story with Biene. Have a wonderful weekend my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      What a sad story, Cornelia! Did your mother ever make an attempt to show that she was sorry for treating you so shamefully? Or did she take the grudge with her into the grave? Thank you for sharing your traumatic experiences!
      Fortunately, our story had a happy ending also in regard to our relationship to Biene’s parents. After we visited them with our first-born son three years later, they completely accepted me, Biene’s decision to remain in Canada and came to visit us four years later. Have a wonderful weekend! Peter



        Thank you Peter for your kind response. Unfortunately my mother never took the chance to step up to that point. We had a life time difficult relationship, yet after many years I have forgiven her and I am in peace with her and learned to appreciate the good things of her she had taught me. I am so happy for you and Biene that it all eventually worked out beautifully. Have a blessed day.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Des

    Hi Peter. Sorry to read about Biene’s father. I’m sure it was very upsetting, but it appears that Biene took on some guilt, which is unfortunate. However, I think the decision to plan her exit to Canada, in spite of the veiled accusations was very wise. These are tough decisions.

    Sometimes, when dependencies intensify it’s best to put some distance there before the situation becomes even more unhealthy. Sometimes an equilibrium is reached. However, I know from experience that some people spend their whole adult lives trying to find a happy middle ground of interaction with a parent. Often, such an elusive place can never be found.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Thank you for your support in Biene’s decision! She was absolutely right to leave a very ugly scene behind and come to me in Canada. After her arrival she maintain ed contact with her mother, who was actually on our side but had to go along with her husband’s hard line attitude. When our first son was born, we went to visit Biene’s parents and so there was even in terms of reconciliation a happy ending.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Edda

    Das ist wirklich wieder so ein Schlag vom Schicksal gewesen, bei dem einem eigentlich nur die Frage durch den Kopf geht:’Warum auch noch das zu allen anderen Problemen? ”
    Der arme Vater, das war sehr,sehr schlimm. Aber Biene unterschwellig die Schuld an seinem Zustand zu geben, war auch sehr hart und ungerecht.
    Ich denke, es war die richtige Entscheidung, trotz alledem die Reise zu Dir nicht zu verschieben! Denn das hat sie ja nicht,oder?
    Ich stimme Des zu: Abstand zwischen sich und die Eltern in solchen und ähnlichen Situationen zu bringen, ist richtig und hat sicher bei Biene damals dazu beigetragen, manchen zusätzlichen Konflikt schon im Voraus zu entschärfen. Manchmal muß ein solcher Schritt halt sein,um noch mehr Schmerz zu vermeiden..
    Aber es geht ja bald weiter!

    Geht es Euch gut, Peter?
    Herzliche Grüße!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Liebe Edda, in der Zwischenzeit hast bestimmt auch gelesen, was Cornelia dazu geschrieben hat. Ihre Auswanderung nach den USA wurde auch nicht von den Eltern befürwortet. Als ihr Vater dann plötzlich starb, hat die Mutter sie mit der Schuld an seinem Tod belastet.
      Da können wir aber froh sein, dass wir uns am Ende mit Bienes Eltern und Zwillingsbruder versöhnt haben und ein ausgezeichnetes Verhältnis hatten.
      Übrigens schreibt dir Biene gerade eine Mail.
      Vielen Dank und lieber Gruß!


  7. taphian

    Es ist ja psychologisch sehr interessant, lieber Peter, dass Bienes Vater gerade in dem Augenblick, wo sie weggehen möchte, einen Schlaganfall bekommt. Manchmal möchten Menschen damit etwas erzwingen. Gut, dass Biene trotzdem von ihren Plänen nicht abgerückt ist. Liebe Grüße aus Hamburg, Mitza

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Bienes Vater wurde pflegebedürftig, die Mutter rackerte sich ab. Ich denke, sie wollten wohl die Tochter in der Nähe haben, um mit Hilfe rechnen zu können. Das hat Biene auch richtig erkannt.
      Knapp 20 km südlich von hier brennt es nun auf der anderen Seeseite. Der kleine Ort Edgewood ist bereits in Gefahr. Viele liebe Grüße aus dem verrauchten BC!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      So wie du und alle meine Leser bereits wissen, das normale, wenn auch etwas ungewöhnliche Leben begann für Biene und mich erst, als ich sie in Calgary in die Arme nehmen konnte. Hab noch eine schöne Woche! Peter

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Tiny

    How sad. You two had to go through so much. And it must have been terrible for Biene to feel that others may have thought her father’s illness was caused by her plans to leave. I look forward to learning about happier times.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Thank you, Tiny! Happier times are on the horizon. But with the happier times also come new challenges. I will need a break, when I am finished with Book I. Greetings from BC, where we were blessed today with the first significant rain in six weeks. Best wishes! Peter


  9. PlantsandBeyond

    Biene is wise beyond her years. The nerve of her family to blame her father’s poor health on her only ignited her desire to leave the toxic and unhealthy environment. I am sorry you had to deal with so much and esp. the guilt that they were trying to pin on you. Oh my…

    Liked by 1 person

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