My Family, My Friends, My Life

These Lifted Me Up Along the Way

by Isabell von der Waldesruh

My Family, My Friends, My Life
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My Family, My Friends, My Life

These Lifted Me Up Along the Way

by Isabell von der Waldesruh

Published Jul 19, 2017
216 Pages
Genre: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Historical



 

Book Details

Persevering Through Hardship Can Lead to Pure Gold!

World War II was in full force when Rita Lulay Malsch, the youngest of four girls, was born in the picturesque city of Heppenheim, Germany, where she inherited a love of theater, art, and literature. Right before Germany lost the war, her father escaped, but the family of six faced terrible hardship when he died suddenly. Rita later married and the couple was transferred to the United States, but jobs were limited due to her lack of formal education. She eventually opened a licensed family day care, but in 2002, tragedy struck when she was hit by a drunk driver, and she was forced to close her business. Her third spine surgery left her paralyzed from the waist down. After a lengthy rehabilitation, Rita returned home and began using a walker. While adjusting to a new life, she found that drawing and painting were an important part of her healing process as she learned to “exercise, trust God, paint, and take life as it comes.”

 

Book Excerpt

The war ended on September 2, 1945. When the Red Army reached downtown in the battle for Berlin, Adolf Hitler committed suicide in the afternoon on April 30, 1945. Germany had lost the war. My father had escaped to avoid becoming a prisoner of war. He got rid of his uniform. He had met kind people who donated civilian clothes to him. He was then able to travel home unnoticed. My mother always shared with us children his amazing homecoming. My sisters and my mother stood in front of our house on Heppenheimerstrasse 31 in Kirschhausen, a suburb of Heppenheim at that time, chatting with the neighbors from across the street. It was a pleasant Sunday evening in October of 1944. We had arrived home from a prayer service at church. I was told that Marianne had called out, "Down the street, at the mill of the Mitsch Family, walks Papa." Mama, holding me in her arms, said to her, "That can't be, Marianne!" The longer my mother stared at this man in civilian clothes, the more she recognized my Dad's gait, but he was a walking skeleton. It must have been an unbelievable shock and and joy at the same time for my mother to see Daddy coming home alive. She was so deeply connected to him that she sensed when he was in grave danger, lying somewhere in a ditch so far away in an extremely hostile land. She experienced many of these premonitions during the middle of lonely and scary nights. Her faith carried her through much darkness and anxiety during this time. I was ten months old when I met my father for the first time. It seemed that it took a while for me to get used to this stranger in our house. Whenever I was asked where Papa was, I pointed at his picture which stood in the antique oak cabinet in our living-room. Later, on several occasions, I envisioned myself, either in a dream or awake, lying in my crib in a white romper experiencing an air raid alarm. My mother and my sisters always told me that I was a good baby. I rarely cried, smiled a lot, sucked always on my two middle fingers, and had beautiful chubby cheeks. I do recognize those in my baby pictures.

 

About the Author

Isabell von der Waldesruh

Rita Lulay Malsch was born and raised in the medieval city of Heppenheim, Germany. She and her husband have one son and currently live in Colorado. Rita’s artwork can be viewed at ritalulay-malsch.fineartamerica.com. Shortly before Christmas in 2016, I experienced an intense desire to write about my life. As I began to make notes about my life from childhood and young adulthood in Germany to my present life in the United States, I recalled and relived every single past experience again. Sometimes my memories brought me great joy, while some memories were unpleasant as well as painful reminders of past events. It took me three months to write this narrative about my life. After reading my manuscript, I pondered about what to do with it, and whether I should just print it out and place it into a folder. Because I have one son and two grandchildren, I concluded that they would be interested in reading my memoirs that begin when I was born at the end of World War II in Germany and continue into the present time. My story had become a life of its own, and its voice, inside me, spoke louder and louder about publishing my manuscript into a book. I read two books about how to write your life story, which have been a great help to me on how to organize my manuscript. I contacted Outskirts Press, and my autobiography was immediately accepted for publication. A wonderful adventure had started; and at 7:00 a.m. on July 19, 2017, my late mother's birthday, I received the Press Release of my book titled: "My Family, My Friends, My Life," These Lifted Me Up Along the Way. I chose a pen name of Isabell von der Waldesruh.

 

Multi-Media

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