Chapter 1

Here is the first chapter of her story- my unfinished work- with much still to be added and edited. Based on fact, enhanced with imagination and love.

This is for you Grandma and for all of us to know you better. 


My story wouldn’t be complete without the people who have gone before me. The lives they have lived and the hardships they have faced. Each of these pieces has influenced who I am and where I am today.

Chapter 1

April 13, 1930. Riga, Latvia.

In early spring, when the crocuses and snowdrops were beginning to peek their heads through mounds of piled up snow another life was about to enter this world.

Young Olga and Voldermars Abers were expecting their first child.

Some few days hence the new president had been voted in, Alberts Kviesis would now lead their country. Olga was nervous, wondering how their lives would change in the days ahead. A new president, a new baby, so many new things. As she slowly cleaned up the dishes from their breakfast, softly singing as she worked around her large abdomen, her mind drifted back to the days before her marriage.

She had always loved to sing, singing was in her blood. She smiled to herself recalling the fun times with her friends, singing in summer song festivals. Singing as they would walk home in the long summer evenings, when the sun barely slept.

Her thoughts grew more serious as they led her to a dark young man, Voldemars. With his dark complexion, eyebrows and an appearance not like other Latvian men. She always had secretly thought to herself that he looked rather like a Mongolian. He was a quiet young man; he had a knack for fixing and creating things.

But his stories from his time in Brazil were enough to chill ones bones. A few years back the Latvian Baptists had migrated to Brazil and he had been one of those to leave the homeland. Young and free he had gone along. But he had disliked the climate and come back to Latvia.

She mused to herself, wondering what might have been had he stayed there, and whether she would have gone so far from home herself.

A sudden cramping in her abdomen suddenly pulled her back to the present and she begin to wonder what might be happening. Another contraction and she realized perhaps her time had come. She waited a bit longer and then quietly told Voldemars they had better head to the hospital. He glanced up quickly from where he had been reading, jumped up and grabbing her coat helped her into it. Then running quickly upstairs he informed Olga’s mother Darta that their time had come and they must get Olga to the hospital.

Darta hurriedly removed her apron and said she would be going along as well. They hurried out the door and walked along on either side of Olga, supporting her when she was overcome by a contraction they made their way to the trolley stop.

Time seemed to drag as the trolley rolled through the streets to get to the hospital. Between contractions Olga noticed  the passersby purchase pussywillows from the street vendors and thought about what a special day this was to be having a baby. On their arrival at the “Otra Pilsetas Slimnica” or  Second City Hospital, Olga was swiftly whisked away from them and they were left to wait and wonder.

Several hours passed in worried silence when a doctor finally came and informed them that all was well. Voldermars eagerly bounded to his feet asking if he might see them? “Don’t you want to know what you have, my boy?” asked the doctor? “Yes, sir” responded Voldemars. “A girl, a dark beauty.” Darta smiled in relief and joy, at long last, a grand-daughter.


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