Blogs by Edeltraud F. Fellendorf
WWII AUTHOR'S SECOND BRUSH WITH DEATH IN BERLIN
1/20/2010 4:10:51 PM
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Have you ever noticed how tragedies strike on the most ordinary of days?
Momís second brush with death came when her Mother sent her to get some meat from the store. Funny how she remembers it was a cloudy, rainy day. When she got there, she ran across a neighbor, Mrs. V. Mrs. Vís arms were loaded with potatoes and other items from the grocery store next door to the meat store. By the time she had finished shopping, she had several heavy bags.
Since Mom lived nearby, Mrs. V asked her if she could help carry some of the bags home. Mom agreed. By the time Mom had finished getting her own groceries, Mrs. V was busy gossiping with a friend. Mom knew her Mother would be angry if she took too long. Her Mother was in a hurry to start cooking. Then she made a decision that would save her life. Instead of waiting for Mrs. V, she excused herself and went home.
Momís Mother was just starting to cook the meat when the air raid sirens sounded. As usual, she and her Mother rushed to the basement of the apartment across the street, which was more secure. Afterwards, someone came to the basement saying Mrs. V had been killed; the location of her death wasnít mentioned. Naturally, Mom was very sad and shocked. She had just been with her.
Once everything settled down, Momís Mother sent her back to the grocery store again to get some salt. While walking back to the store, she unexpected ran across Mrs. Vís body. She let out a scream that made her throat ache. The sight was a horrible one for a 12-year-old:
Mrs. V lay on her side near the beauty parlor, tucked in a fetal position. Her eyes half open. An enormous puddle of red around her head and shoulders.
Potatoes and other grocery items were scattered on the ground. Some had come to rest in the pool of blood that had gathered around the corpse.
Mom averted her eyes, not wanting to look closer, and passed the body as quickly as she could. Still, she had to get the salt.
Mrs. V was the Mother of six children. Her husband was somewhere on the front. Her oldest son, just 14 and a canoneer, was away. The next oldest child was a girl of 11. Mom was the one asked to tell Mrs. Vís little girl her Mother was dead. She was later told a piece of shrapnel had ripped through Mrs. Vís neck, causing her to bleed to death.
Mom is still amazed by the fact that it could have been her lying there as well if she had helped Mrs. V carry her groceries home that ugly day. If she had waited.
I wonder how many seemingly innocuous decisions have saved our lives?
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