We all have stories. Some of which are only uncovered when triggered. The memory of Victor & Tante Lucy is such a memory.
They were friends of my grandparents who lived two floors below them in a Toronto apartment building. They had no children of their own, so they spoiled my sister and I as they would nieces. I recall Lucy’s offer to take us to a movie. I was thrilled as movie theatres were forbidden in my church community. She also arranged for us to have a little paid job bagging vintage comic books for her nephew, we would have done it for free. When our Oma (grandmother) would take us for a visit it was always a cheerful one. Victor passed when I was 13 so my memories of a serious, quiet man in his corner lounge chair are vague.
The stories have come to front of my memory files because I’ve been challenging our staff to discover who they are; their “why”. In the last number of weeks I’ve had this conversation with a variety of persons for differing reasons. “Why” is my power word for 2017 it caused me to be reflective.I sent out a link to the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator a well-known personality testing tool to our staff last week, in hopes it may spark self reflection.
Some recent troubling questions I’ve been tossing around are;
- How can one deal with demons if you don’t know you have them?
- How can one move to self-actualization?
- How can you assist someone who seeks affirmation from other’s for their self-worth?
- How can you help someone who feels unlovable?
Sometimes we do not realize the significance of a person or occurrence in our life, like Victor & Lucy. I knew from my grandparents that there was a connection between Victor and Anne Frank. I did not understand it fully. Yes, he’s THAT VICTOR Kugler who assisted in hiding Anne and her family. He worked with her father. Thankful for Google, I was gob smacked reading his brave story. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Kugler
Victor Kugler (5 June 1900, Hohenelbe/Vrchlabí – 14 December 1981, Toronto) was one of the people who helped hide Anne Frank and her family and friends during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. In Anne Frank’s posthumously published diary, The Diary of a Young Girl, he was referred to under the name Mr. Kraler.
Two responses to the questions above; Service & Gratitude.
- When you serve others with NO expectation for anything in return you unknowingly grow self-worth.
- When you are grateful for the smallest blessings (breath- be grateful for the breath) you find peace and love. From my childhood recollections Victor was an unassuming man, not seeking glory for the sacrifices he made. Lucy was cheerful even as a widow. Although she could not attend our wedding, the ever thoughtful “Tante” sent a meaningful signed gift of a cook book.
I am blessed by people who wove their lives into mine. I am discovering who I am by the stories & people in them who’ve shaped by life.