Marlena Fiol's articles
My husband and I are blessed to have four grown children, two each from a prior marriage. This week’s podcast interview with Harriet Brown caused me to reflect on a question that I had until now not given much thought: If I need financial help — which fortunately I do not at this moment. Do my children have any obligation to assist me? Do they even owe me their love?
On August 26, 1943 — the day after their wedding — my parents John and Clara Schmidt were at the Newton, Kansas train depot, on their way to South America. They were ‘called’ to serve as doctor and nurse for a new settlement of Russian Mennonites in the Chaco desert of west Paraguay, a place considered nearly uninhabitable.
My father and I hurt one another. Deeply. He was an angry disciplinarian. I was a horribly rebellious child. You can imagine the rest. Fortunately, we found mutual forgiveness several decades before he died — for ourselves and for each other. “Doa ess nuscht tweschen ons — there is nothing bad between us,” we said to one another in our native Low German at every farewell.