On the 12th of September 1912 my Grandmother, Elsa Schaefer left Grossgartach. She was only 17 years old. Alone, she came to America. She carried a small tan, cloth-covered diary with marbled page edges and a small pencil holder stitched into the back cover. The inside cover has this inscription: zum Andenken von Deiner Mutter. S. Schafer. (in memory of your mother, S[usanna] Schafer). This diary is one of my treasures. It speaks to me of courage and adventure and destiny. Her destiny and mine. When I was 17 I traveled alone to Germany to be an exchange student. I was drawn there because Grandma was drawn here. I knew our paths and lives were meant to come together and meant to understand each other. Growing up on the farm next door to Grandma, I knew her well and loved her dearly.
This week I honor her and give thanks for her courage to find her destiny. The road she traveled has made all the difference.