What are Vitamins for the Heart? Additionally to the physical help for us the spiritual support has likewise a big meaning. ‘Vitamins for the Heart’ is the title of series in which we publish new articles monthly. The Vitamins are compositions out of texts, which we are friendly allowed by the authors to present on our webpage. Because we had many positive reactions to the vitamins we also want to present them on our webpage and hope that they will also bring many others a big pleasure.

Vitamins for the Heart

A Beautiful Long Life

By Wolfgang Schmidt:

This month my mom turned 99 and my dad is 101 and they just celebrated their 75th marriage anniversary (Crown Jewels)! They survived 2 world wars and had 9 children. Two of them, twins, were born right after WW 2 and went back to heaven at birth. My parents, being good old Catholics, didn’t believe in artificial birth control. Now they also have 19 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.

They are definitely getting older and weaker now, but everybody who knows them is amazed at how they keep going living in their own house, since 2 years with a helper and my brothers and sisters doing the shopping, mowing the lawn etc. Everybody knows they love God. They have a beautiful statue of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, built into the front wall of their house (photo) and on the entrance door my dad as a medical doctor had Moses’ rod with the snake embroidered in it. In the back of their house at a veranda they had an artist build into the wall a colorful stone mosaic of the first miracle of Jesus, turning water into wine .

My parents used to drink wine every evening, living in one of the best wine areas along the Rhine. When my grandpa was still alive, they would go to the winemaker to buy and taste wines with their friends. Everyone would get a little glass of wine and tell which area and year it was from, which type of grape etc. down to as many details as they could guess without seeing the label of the bottle.

When my dad retired at 70, he started to study history. He said he had to do something to keep his brain functioning. Because he was collecting coins about the popes and has a complete stamp collection of the Vatican, he decided to study the popes’ history. To keep his body moving he worked every day in the garden and still does. He says: “If it wouldn’t be for my garden, I’d be dead a long time ago.”

My mother would go for daily walks, lately with her walker, to get her exercise, and she reads books every day. One time a close friend of our family asked her: “With such a big family, you must be facing a lot of problems. How do you handle that?” My mother replied: “At home I have a chest of drawers. One of them I call my ‘tolerance drawer’. If a problem comes up I just stick it into that drawer and move on.” Then her friend said: “But after some time that drawer is full, isn’t it? Then what do you do?” Her reply: “It always settles, and then there is room for more!”

I admire my mother. She had a lot of work with 7 kids and the crazy things some of us would do, but I cannot remember a single time she’d yell at us 5 rowdy boys when we were small and rambunctious. We would ‘inherit’ the Lederhosen from our older brothers, right down the line to the youngest. And we wouldn’t waste food and give God thanks for it! I remember when we’d cut a new loaf of bread, mother would first sign 3 crosses on the back of the loaf with the knife and then we’d cut it.

My parents believed in Jesus all their lives and I’m sure it was He who helped them survive wars, hardships, deprivation etc. My dad would always give God the credit for his faith. He’d say: It’s just His grace!

A few years ago I asked them if they had a chance would they have liked to change something in their lives. Both of them immediately answered: “Nothing”. To which my dad added: “We have 7 kids who get along with each other. What do we want more?!”

He says nowadays many people don’t want to have children anymore, but when they get older, they regret it. On the other hand, as a former gynecologist who still got up many times during the night to deliver babies without inducing labor, he says, every woman deep in her heart wants to have children. My parents love kids and as we adopted our abandoned Congolese baby, they immediately accepted her and liked the idea.

They still love each other a lot. Their last wish in life is that when one goes, that the other can follow soon after. Isn’t God’s love amazing? Admirable, after 75 years of marriage! My mother’s golden marriage ring is so worn out from the many years, it’s thin like a needle.

Although it wasn’t easy for them to let one of their sons go and be a missionary, after some time they were happy for it and supported me in it. Surely their prayers helped me out of many a messy situation. They like to help financially. My dad says money is filthy! Still in the days of the German Mark he’d say: “You can’t even take one tired Mark with you when you have to go”. When they pass on to the other side, he doesn’t want people to spend a lot of money on wreathes and flowers for their grave. “Why?” he says, “we’ll be in heaven! We don’t need those flowers anymore.” Already years ago he said: “My suitcase is packed, I’m ready to go.”

People admire, how they still keep smiling and are happy so much. My dad loves to tell jokes, one after another, even if he told it to you before. After all, he comes from and lives in a city which is famous for its humor (and the birthplace of Gutenberg).

Recently when I noticed how difficult it was for him to put on his jacket and I tried to help him, he said “No thanks, I need to do it myself.” When I mentioned that it’s not easy for him, he replied: “I have no choice. I have to get into it.” Makes me want to fight until the end! May we all have a heavenly perspective on our lives down here! — Wolfgang Schmidt

Copyright © 2015 Aktive Direkt Hilfe e.V.

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