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Hella’s Letter to Grandma Ellen

Hella Kramer, Bonn, Germany

Hella and granddaughter
Dear Ellen,

Thank you for sending your letter on “The Aging as a Natural Resource” and the idea to exchange letters on the subject for International Family Magazine.  I want to answer in my way and with my ideas.  Since we began our long lasting friendship so many years ago in Paris, we communicate a lot. We talk about the different countries we have lived in and, about their traditions and culture.  And we have had many fruitful discussions.

You know I was born in a part of Germany at the border to France. It was very early in my childhood that I was confronted with French traditions and then later, with English and American. I went to medical school in Munich and Paris.  All my life I tried to teach my two children and now my grandchildren, to be open to the world and to different countries.

Now as a grandmother, I am no longer working as a medical doctor and I try to communicate with my grandchildren about different ideas and bring my part in.  I go with them to museums.  Especially now at Christmas time, I go to bookstores to find special books for them and the family.

Lately I met my oldest granddaughter at my favourite bookstore.  How charming to meet her there. Dear Ellen, we as grandparents can really do a lot for the next generation.  We buy their skiing equipment when their working fathers and mothers have no time.  We take them to Switzerland and teach them how to ski. My husband as a grandfather is thrilled to ski with them.

But more than just regular duties we can fulfil as well. Since we are no longer the working generation, we have more free time. We can go to nursery homes and visit older people or patients.  Many friends call me to discuss their health problems and show me their medical reports and, I am able to give them advice.

Seniors in their sixties and seventies like you and I are a real resource because we still have energy for work and helping, and we work with pleasure for the family and the environment. Especially you and I who had professional careers and learned many skills and expertise and we can offer our knowledge and wisdom.  This life style I took over from my family and I try to give to the next generation.

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