The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

Reflections on Life, Family and Community

The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Chapter XXXIX

15

Biene Hitting Rock Bottom

“I think this is what we all want to hear: that we are not alone in hitting the bottom, and that it is possible to come out of that place courageous, beautiful, and strong.” – Anna White

Biene in Distress

February 6th,1966, Velbert

My beloved Peter,

I have not been feeling well for quite some time. I must come quickly to you. Every day I am expecting news from the embassy. I received my first salary today and now have saved up over a thousand marks.

family157

Biene wrote this letter at the back of this early Picasso card.

At the moment I feel so depressed that I am not as strong as you would like me to be. But this time will also pass. I don’t want to see anybody and yet I have to put up a nice front every day, which is getting on my nerves. I feel totally run down. But Peter, I must quickly come to you. Do not be distressed; otherwise I become really sick.  Hopefully my father didn’t write you anything bad. I can’t take it any more! Dear Peter, if you don’t lose your trust in me, I will find it also again in me.

After all I belong to you! Your Biene

February 13th, 1966, Velbert

My dear Peter,

In what kind of painful unrest must you have been through my silence! Peter, please forgive me. Now I feel better, and it seems to me as if I had gone through a dangerous illness. Peter, my nerves and my entire being were completely out of balance to the point that I had almost lost myself in something at the end, which would have ruined our entire life. But now I have overcome this weakness and I feel my faith and strength return again. How I yearn for that day, when the long wait will be over! O Peter, I am ashamed of myself that I almost did not succeed in fending off the insidious indifference, which suddenly appeared as an enticing way out. But now, Peter, you need not be worried about me any more. I only hope that you are fine and that no treacherous temptations seek to lure you, when you suffer too much from loneliness.

When I am with you, Peter, it would be perhaps best to go and see a doctor to get some professional advice. For I feel we should not have a baby for the first little while. Do you think, he might be able to help us?

My dear Peter, when you are lonesome, always think that one day it will be like in Michelbach again, where together we were happy and sad. And for our wedding, Peter, we two drink a bottle of Moselle wine just like we did on that evening in the thunder and lightning storm.

All my desires and dreams still live in me and still have the same power.

Yours in love, Biene

Three Options for Biene

February 25th, Calgary

My dear Biene,

Actually I was less disquieted by your letter than I had expected to be. Perhaps the reason for that is that the time for your arrival is approaching and that many problems will go away on their own. For unity with his nature a man can only achieve in marriage, and in it rests the possibility of our happiness. This thought allowed me to go steadfastly through the last couple of months, although I always felt the temptations, about which you have written me. You once spoke of the great assurance of the protective effect of my ring. I sometimes wonder, if in the presence of your parents, relatives, and friends you are still wearing it.

Even though I am no longer fearful about the dangerous uncertainty, my main concern still is that you want to come to me and leave your parents about your true intentions in the dark. I am sensing that this weakness will be the beginning of never ending problems. Therefore, I ask you to let me clarify this point for you. Let me write to your parents that

  1. you will fly to me in the spring and look at land and people,
  2. decide to marry me and stay
  3. or fly home and don’t marry me.

Please write me a clear yes or no. Each way shall be OK with me. Take your time.  For it is an important decision. Dear Biene, what I need here is an emotionally stable wife, who rather spurs me on to stay than to beg me, driven by homesickness, to return to Germany. I would also like you to have the courage to fight for the love, which you esteem so highly, and defend it.

At Christmas you condemned my letter to your parents so quickly and asked me to apologize. I heard of women, who followed their husbands out of love, although they knew that they had done something wrong. And at Christmas I had only wanted your best! O Biene, could you only this time be resolute and tell me to write this letter to your parents. I would be a lot happier then. Otherwise your mother’s solution would be the best way out. All parties except you perhaps would be content. Of course, you will still have to convince the ambassador that you wish to thoroughly study the country first, before you decide to take Canada as your new home country and marry me. That decision would be all right for me considering that I have to jump over the next hurdle – English was the first – as student teacher at the local high schools. For to marry, then seeing my wife fly away again, spending huge amounts of money, never mind who pays for it, I see all this in its total senselessness in the highest degree as cause for inner strain, which I must avoid at all cost now and in the near future.

My dear Biene, you see therefore either way is fine with me. You can decide for one or the other without fear, because no answer will hurt my feelings. But in secret I still hope you would go for the first one, because I wish that you become my wife.

Always in love with you!

Your Peter

Calgary-WebA (1)

City of Calgary – Photo Credit: http://www.moneysense.ca

Peter’s receives Papa Pankin’s Letter

February 28th ,Calgary

My beloved Biene,

My brother Gerry just brought me your father’s letter. From his point of view he is completely right, yet I cannot agree with him, because his ideas belong to an antiquated world. He writes that a husband must be able to support (feed was the word he used) his wife. Today most marriages begin with both working together. He writes that Calgary is the end of the world, because he still believes that Germany is the centre of the universe. Just imagine, how strange, he believes that I am abducting you to Canada. I could only smile about this statement For isn’t it your greatest desire to come to me? I was also puzzled about his paradoxical attitude that I could marry you if I had a lot of money. However, since I am as poor as a church mouse, he believes it to be irresponsible on his part to lend us any financial support.

My dear Biene, do not worry. I am not angry at your father’s answer. I only wish that you come soon.

Yours in love, Peter

IMG_3641Book of Dreams

Two Pages from the Book of Dreams

Biene is going to the Canadian Embassy

March 7th , Velbert

My dear Peter,

In two days I am going to Cologne. I am all excited and also glad. Do you remember the day, when you came from Cologne and we two traveled together to your mother’s place in Watzenborn. Our farewell was still ahead of us and now comes our reunion. How many days, often sad days, lie between! I am longing for the day of my departure and I am looking forward to seeing you again so much. As always I am also a little afraid. But it is a pleasant fear. What will be all ahead of us, Peter! Do you really believe that I don’t wear your ring at home? I never ever took it off, Peter. You must believe me; otherwise you really hurt me. Although sometimes it may have appeared to you that I was not as strong at home as I had promised in England, you must not lose faith in me, Peter.

Right now the first warm spring days have arrived and the pleasant anticipation to be with you is beginning to thaw my inner frozenness, which has held my feelings captive for the last little while.

As soon as I am back from the embassy, I will write you in greater details and will also answer your question to your last letter.

In love, Your Biene

15 thoughts on “The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Chapter XXXIX

  1. Edda

    Gut, daß Ihr trotz solcher traurigen und schweren Zeiten durchgehalten habt, denke ich jedes Mal beim Lesen Eurer Briefe.Und es hat sich ja erwiesen, daß es richtig war, allen, die gegen Euch waren , beweisen zu wollen,, daß Ihr es schafft!👍
    Und der beste Beweis sind doch Eure tollen Söhne …Und Enkel und Schwiegerkinder!
    Bin schon gespannt auf die Ankunft Bienes bei Dir und Eure Hochzeit!!😁
    Herzliche Grüße!
    Edda

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Das erste Buch geht zu Ende mit Bienes Ankunft in Calgary. Das zweite Buch wird von Bienes Eltern und Großeltern handeln. Manches wird dir aus Bienes Blog bekannt sein. Doch gibt es viele noch unveröffentlichte Episoden aus Herrn Panknins Leben, das dich auch interessieren könnte. Ob ich noch zum Schreiben des dritten Buchs komme, weißt nur der liebe Gott. Vielleicht werden einer von unseren Söhne den Ariadne Faden in die Hand nehmen und die Geschichte weiter schreiben. Vielen herzlichen Dank, liebe Edda, für deinen lieben Kommentar!

      Like

  2. Ann Coleman

    I love how open and honest you two were with each other! That’s the basis of a solid relationship, so I’m not surprised to know that even though you went through so many trials be be together, that you had a long and happy marriage!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anonymous

    Peter, you and Biene’s correspondence is heart breaking at the same time a proof of your deep love for each other and the fact that you were meant to be for each other. At times it moves me so much reading your and Biene’s letters, since my parents didn’t approve at all my decision to go to the US for a man I loved, whom they had never met. Therefore I so totally understand Biene’s situation. Having in mind back than, I finally booked a one way flight from Germany to the US, meaning no return ticket. It takes a lot of strengths to go for that. I am glad to know that eventually Biene took that leap.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      I believe that Someone, who wrote these heart-felt lines, must be Cornelia. Please correct me, if I am wrong. Thank so much for your understanding and for sharing your own experiences!

      Like

  4. Des

    I feel bad for Biene. She must have been in a prolonged state of anxiety over the tug-of-war between her parent’s wishes and her desire to join you in Canada. Unresolved issues can lead to depression, even to a point of physical illness. Although you always bounced back to each other, you both experienced some tough times in this prolonged separation. Des

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Thank you, Des! You have the heart-felt understanding, which only a person with a wealth of life experiences, no doubt some of them quite painful, can express so well. As you can also glean from our protracted correspondence, we never promised each other a rose garden for the time after the wedding. It was a great leap from the realm of letter writing into the rough and tumble of daily living with one another. Have a great day, Des!

      Liked by 1 person

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