81 years ago. Leipzig, a big grimy city in Saxony. A girl was born. The storm clouds of war were on the horizon.
81 years ago joy came to the home of Willy and his Black-forest-born wife Roesli. They named their first and only child Christa Roesli Fischer.
81 years later we celebrated God's goodness on 11.11.18 with two of her grand children - Asha and Enoch. Asha almost 18 mirroring her Oma's completed 81.
What a journey it has been.
|Mum on her 81st birthday with her confirmation picture - when she was 13 in Leipzig with her parents at the Kreuzkirche - a Free Methodist Church in the then Marxist East Germany - where her father Willy Fischer was a lay preacher|
And the journey continues.
She has walked down some paths which were watered with tears, but in this golden part of her life there is also much beauty shining through.
The home that Mum and Dad built is nestled in the Landour hillside... but also exists the hearts of their many sons and daughters scattered around the globe.
The meals today at Shanti Kunj glow with light, and sparks of which were shared around countless tables where Mum rustled together what best she could. With love making up for the simplicity of the fare.
A true child of the outdoors, Mum gets deep joy from the myriad greens that make up Mussoorie. Her youth-group outings in the Erzgebirge may be far in the past, but her current Spaziergange on the foothills of the Himalaya are an extension of her long walk of delight.
One of the key's to Mum's youthfulness that shines through her 81 year old self is a deep delight in the small beauties that are around us. A song sung with gusto, a musical piece played by a student will bring Mum to her feet in applause and genuine appreciation for both the tune she heard as well as the effort that went into it. Walk along the hillside with Mum and you will find her thrilled by the petite mosses which the monsoon clothes the hillside with - tiny forests at the foot of the gnarly Himalayan oaks. Look! There are some of her mushrooms growing which she will occasionally harvest if she is sure about them. And then there are Mum's beloved Dahliyas.
This year has been a particularly good one for Mum. Her 'eye-brow' walk is festooned with these beauties. And so is the pushta around Shanti Kunj. There must be dozens and dozens of flower images in her mobile phone. She shares her joy widely, and we have received some splendid Dalhiya photos via whatsapp here in very unHimalayan Lalitpur. And then there are the sunsets too...
|Mum with Sheba on the 'Eye-brow' path|
Every day she digs deep into that splendid book, and will spend a generous slice of time with our faithful Vickey discussing a passage of Scripture. She songs of worship to her beloved Jesus and her fervent prayers have given life to many. There are still those who come to be listened too, to be quiet, and to be prayed for. Inwardly, we are being renewed day by day...
Occasionally someone will ask us: "What about your Mum? Is she alone?"
I usually smile at the thought. She misses Dad. Of course. But the old life of Bombay days and the open house that she held all the years of her marriage with Dad continue. At any given time there are a long list of invited guests at Shanti Kunj - both old friends as well as new folks who are experiencing the charms of getting to know this remarkable lady for the first time. And this is further flavoured with the odd dash of those who just show up unheralded, but always welcomed by Mum's great heart of love.
So we plunge on into this great vast mystery of life - the here-and-now collection of days - and the one eternal of which this one is just the faintest vapour in the light of the every-widening arrow of time. All who know her will agree: Mum's done a pretty good job of using her days.
We have much to learn and are privileged to have received her love. Nine-square is an amazing age to be - and that too with so much vim and vigour!
Our next gen Eichers are amazingly blessed to have an Oma like this. We all dearly thank the Lord for His goodness and mercies in Mum's life. 81 years of fullness.
|Enoch and Asha with their beloved Oma at Shanti Kunj on 11.11.18|