This I Believe

Torben - Preston, Iowa
Entered on December 18, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family
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Reunited family is stronger than before

I was born after the Berlin wall fell but I was still affected by it. A part of my family lived in East Berlin. The other part of my family lived in West Berlin, when they build the wall. The children Herbert und Paul were visiting their grandparents in the east while their parents were still in the west. The children Paul und Herbert Behrendt tried to get over the wall. At first they failed, and Paul got wounded very badly. Because of Paul’s wound they had to wait a year before they tried a second time. The second time they tried to get over the wall it was 1.30 a.m. They jumped in the Donau river, which had big chunks of ice on it. They swam through it, than ran over 10 miles through high snow. Finally they climbed over an unsecured part of the wall and fhought their way through the destroyed Germany to their family. The Grandparents stayed in East Germany and were executed 5 years later for joining a political group. Herbert is now my Grandfather.

Currently my parents, uncles and aunts also are often traveling away from our family. Uncle Michael spent 2 years in the US as working for a sister company of the Allianz and they offered him the leading position in this company. However he preferred a lower paid job back in Germany. My father founded a traveling business, so he worked in countries like Spain, Switzerland and some other European countries. He gave it up because he missed his family and his third child was do to be born. His job was to risky to him, so he became a teacher to have a constant income for his family.

My brothers, my cousins, and I are following the principle of traveling away from home and coming back, too. My oldest brother went to the USA 5 years ago, my oldest female cousin was in China for one and a half year, my youngest cousin is in New Zeeland and I am in the US now. All of us returned or planning to return.

My parents told me that they understand each other better after been apart for some time. I had much trouble with my oldest brother and did not like him much because he was in power while my parents were not at home. He always told me what to do. He said, “ Torben you are not old enough. Mom has forbidden it. His game is to violate.”

I could continue this list forever. I really have to say that I did not miss him so much during the year he was away (I enjoyed my freedom). When he came back our relationship was much better. He lent me his ID so that I could buy beer or go to parties. He let me watch his movies even if they were sixteen+ movies and kept me out of trouble.

That is why I believe that a family is stronger after reuniting than it was before.