My name is Sarah. For over five years I have been working on a project in my spare time that has evolved from a hobby to a blog and writing a book. My project starts with a box of old letters that I found while helping clean out my Grandmother's apartment. She and my Opa (German for Grandfather) had a beautiful love story full of mystery. Opa was born and raised in Berlin, Germany and was able to escape to the United States at 19 years old. Grandmother was a farmer's daughter, born and raised on her family's homestead in Kansas. The most unlikely and improbable thing happened to my grandparents: they met. Love and marriage followed and only later in my adult life did I learn that there was more to the story.
When my husband and I found these letters, we immediately started sorting through them and realized we had more than just postcards and anniversary cards. There were letters in French, German, and English- spanning the time of 1939-1950s. These letters had been mailed across the Atlantic during war time and after, and then were saved and carted to every house my grandparents had ever lived in. And no one in the family knew they existed. Inside were clues to the journey that really brought my grandparents together. Inside was heartbreak and scandal. Inside was a glimpse into what it meant to be a Jewish refugee from Germany. Inside was insight into what it meant to be a Jewish woman hiding in Berlin. Inside was the story of a Jewish girl hiding in France. And an older couple, the wife Jewish, hiding in Amsterdam. Inside was a new strand of DNA that I didn't know existed in my family. Inside that box- was an awakening. Inside was my dream come true: a real story about real people doing life one courageous (and yet not feeling courageous) day at a time.
My research has brought me to family I never knew existed, friends I never knew I needed, and stories that were at risk of being buried and forgotten.
This project has been simmering on the back burner all these years. I have been a stay at home mom, a hospice chaplain, and a caregiver for my Grandmother all in this time. My family recently moved for my husband's job (he's a pastor), and I quit my job as a chaplain. I looked for work in my new home, and found a job that was exactly what I was looking for. Except... The book. When faced with the very real possibility that I may never finish this project if I take a full time, emotionally demanding job- I decided this is it. This is my year to follow the dream. This is my year to finish what I started. So as of September 6th, the first day of my children's school will be the first day of my new work as a writer.
I want your help. This year I will be writing full-time. I will work part time on my blog: www.tomandmarjorie.com
. And part time on the book- A Book About Love- which will be my telling of this love story - with characters that are/were real- and have shaped who I am today in infiite positive ways.
Here's where your money will go: First and perhaps all of the funds will go towards travel. I have a handful of key people I still need to interview- people who are still alive who knew my Opa and are survivors of World War 2. I have family that I have reconnected to that I need to sit and interview, see their pictures and documents, see their box of letters. Here are the following locations I would like to visit: Washington (state), California, Australia, England, Amsterdam, Germany, and France. I'll start small and see what I can do.
If the fund goes further, I will use the money to revamp my website/blog, then to market myself and create this book.
If you feel compelled to support me and my project- to support a dream and support a story that needs to be told- please consider contributing to my travel and writing fund. Thank you so much.