We always went to Limburg on Sundays. It was a 40-minute drive from Wiesbaden.

I had to wear my First Communion dress, or my Bavarian jacket.


Either marked me as German, which I hated.

We would go to a two-hour mass, in the Cathedral, and then we would visit my grandmother and her sister.







Oma’s sister lived in a dark and cold apartment. She was dressed all in black, and talked about “vice” and “sin” and “speculators,” as if these were the Weimar years.


I did not set foot in Limburg for decades, and then Marlies moved to Limburg in 2008, without telling me.

Soon after this secret move, Marlies had a stroke and was put in the hospital.  And then she died at the end of that spring.