I do remember where I was and what I was doing, the day mom received the white envelope with the black border around it from Germany, announcing his death. I felt that closeness we shared in my heart, that my brain could not remember. I am the keeper of that announcement, and of all his photos now.
Mom had shared many stories with me about how very close Opa and I were up until mom and I left Germany, when I was three. He didn't want us to leave. I was stuck to him like glue, as he was with me, and would hang out with him in his workshop. I had my own set of tools that matched his, and if he hit his thumb with the hammer...so did I! And when he hit his thumb and cursed in German...so did I! Mom had said that no one would ever forget that one.
Opa was a German Mountain Trooper in Russia, during WWII. His military career ended when he was shot in the shoulder. When I was at the age of 13, Mom and I traveled back to Augsburg, Germany, our home town, for a four week visit...I do remember the wonderful times Opa and I had together...that was the last time I saw him before he passed.