Hero Child

Biography Barbara Rogers
Foreword: A Hero Child
Chapter 1
Table of Contents
Send a Comment


two grandparents provide safety


soon after I left my first marriage I dreamt that


I had escaped
a tightly secured and fiercely guarded fortress
surrounded by huge walls and barbed wire
protected by scary, aggressive dogs
as I got away from that frightening place
my children were with me
I took us into safety
by bringing them to the two grandparents I loved
—my mother’s father and my father’s mother—


visits to our paternal grandmother were childhood highlights
we children fought fiercely over our turns

I loved her old-fashioned apartment that I still can see and smell
she had a musical bird in a golden cage
I enjoyed hearing it sing—and remember the melody it whistled

my grandmother had time and patience
she loved company
I was allowed to watch TV and eat chocolate with her
we also played games together or talked
the most wonderful thing—to be allowed to stay for dinner
I recall the silver knife holders that decorated her elegant table
I can taste the delicious dark bread and hard-boiled eggs
I loved the nicely prepared and tasty food I was served
I felt special and welcome
I spent peaceful times with her—away from chaos and noise

once I asked her what her names were
they seemed so old fashioned to me
that I laughed, learned them and know them to this day
Friederike, Therese, Emma, Wilhelmine
and Irma—the name we shared

I remember my maternal grandfather as a kind and gentle man
he had time for me—took me seriously
he enjoyed my visits
when I was a teenager we had real conversations
and I played the piano for him
he did not show me off but listened
delighted at my progress
amazed that I adored Bach

I can see the chair where he used to sit
often with a brown fuzzy blanket over his thin legs
his hands, bent by age, were lying in his lap
he could not play the piano anymore

I have a note from my grandfather, which I treasure
he wrote it to my mother while I visited England as a teenager
your daughter’s letters from England are written
in the style of the grand ladies of the eighteenth century
she is a talented writer
it brings a smile to my face when I read it

I felt very close to these two grandparents
I cannot remember them ever being angry or impatient with me

© Barbara Rogers

back to table of contents

Screams from Childhood