Once-in-a-lifetime. I never thought I would get to see Berlin. Two wonderfully nice German students were our guides, and brought us to the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, a part of the Berlin Wall that is now an art gallery, and other places. They helped us navigate the subway and, most importantly, spoke German for us when we went to restaurants and shops.

Being old, and having lived through the Cold War, these landmarks mean something to me, and it was amazing to see them in person. There was more to it than that, however. I got to walk 15 miles that day, in the land of my ancestors. I felt like it was happening to someone else. This sort of thing just doesn’t happen to someone with my class background and history. My German heritage comes from a part of my family I haven’t spent time with since I was a little girl, but I remember the smattering of German words, the food, the handful of heirlooms in the house, the stories my grandmother and uncle told me. These are precious memories to me. I am more grateful than I can say.

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