When I was growing up my grandparents used to say that I looked like Papa’s sister, Kätchen. She was one year younger than Papa and they were very close.
Also, when Kätchen first arrived in Boston from Germany, her first friend was my grandmother. Both girls were 8 years old, and my grandmother, being the little teacher she was, enjoyed teaching Kätchen to speak English.
My grandfather told me it was love at first sight when he met Grandma Honey (Mary). And lucky for Papa he saw Mary quite frequently when she came over to teach and play with Kätchen.
As Kätchen grew, she blossomed into a strikingly beautiful woman. Her dark brown eyes and hair and fair skin were lovely to look at. She was also a sweet and kind person, and those who knew her adored her.
The beautiful Kätchen married Raymond on April 8, 1918, in Boston, Massachusetts. She died on January 10, 1919, in Boston, Massachusetts, at the age of 21. She was about to give birth to their first child, but the Spanish Flu epidemic was ravaging Boston. Her husband had been away at WWI and came back. Anxious to see his wife, he snuck in to see her.
Unfortunately, he carried the Flu into her and their unborn child. Kätchen became very ill with the Spanish Flu and a few days later she and her baby passed away.
Her husband Raymond lost the will to live and died in 1925.
Both Grandma Honey and Papa spoke of her often. In many ways, Kätchen had been like a sister to my Grandmother.
It is probably the reason I have been so careful during our current Pandemic. I know how easily a life can end if you are not careful.
I like to remember the good stories that Grandma told me about Kätchen. The games they played and as they grew Kätchen taught Grandma Honey to cook in her family’s kitchen. Two young women sharing their lives as best friends.