“Dear Dorothea” – How a Birthday Letter to a Stranger Inspired me

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After I got my Green Card I wanted to start a mini job immediately. There was an Energy that wanted to be used. I had to wait six months for my work permit, it was very boring not to have a task. I thought about how I could offer value and what makes me unique in the U.S. What are my skills? It took not long and I found an answer to this question. I am fluent in German and English. With the help of the Internet, I found a platform for small translation jobs. After a test for each language pair, I was approved as an online translator. I was very excited about this opportunity. Unfortunately, I found out quickly that the translation board is empty most of the time and the rare jobs are very small, paying just a few cents. Because of that, I thought about canceling my account. But then I got something special to translate from English into German. I don’t know the name of the person who requests a translation. The only information I get is the content and context. My Task Board notified me that I have a new translation job. It was a birthday letter addressed to Dorothea*, a woman living in a nursing home in Germany. The sender, an in America living friend, must also be an older woman based on the topics she talked about. I found it fascinating to read her stories. I pictured her sitting in her room typing the letter into this website. Maybe she had someone who helped her. She mentioned that it is hard for her to see her husband losing his abilities and that he stopped talking. And regardless of this challenge they still would visit the nearest park and enjoy the view onto the lake together. Also, she is very proud that her granddaughter graduates from high school and has been accepted at a prestigious College. I do not know this woman but she seems very nice and strong. Just reading her words made me feel like she tells me her story in person. So many questions started running through my mind. How do they know each other? How did they communicate before? Is the sender of this letter maybe also a German woman who left Germany a long time ago? Maybe she was following her love? But why would she need a translator? And how is Dorothea doing? Does she have family who cares about her? I imagine how happy she will be when she finds the birthday letter from her friend in the mailbox. (Or maybe they are more up to date than I think and this will be a birthday email..) I felt like I was reading a book, or watching a movie, but this is the reality of someone. And this could be my reality 50 years from now. One day I won’t be able to do the things I can do now. I will have friends who live too far away to visit. To be aware of that is not a bad thing. Life is short. We should follow our dreams while we can and be thankful for the people who we love and love us. This letter showed me that happiness comes from little things, like a walk in a beautiful park or the view onto a lake. On top of that, I got a sneak peek into another international friendship. Friendship can work regardless distance or language barriers. I am so lucky to have amazing friends in Germany and now I am less worried that I could lose them because I live so far away.

This Job did not really help to pay the bills. However, it filled my heart with joy and made me more grateful for the wonderful people in my Life!

*I have changed the name of the original person, to respect their privacy.


4 Comments Leave a comment

  1. I Love to read these stories and i know you are strong as hell and will always go your way! everyone who knows you and everyone who get’s a letter from you within the Next 50 years is blessed.
    just always listen to your Heart and never give up!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. i enjoyed reading this post.You write so well and yes the old lady’s experiences could happen to any of us,regardless of which part of the world we live in.I look forward to more beautiful posts from you.


    • Thank you Sheela! It warms my heart when I know someone’s reads my posts and get maybe inspired too. And you are right, it does not matter in which part of the world we live. I think we struggle all with the same issues and are happy about similar things. Greetings from Charleston to you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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