My speculation on how these letters eventually came into my hands is a bit of romantic daydreaming. I like to think that Yuri must have had a hand in binding them into the heavy leather cover. He would have the means to do that. I want very much to think that he and Trintje actually traveled to Gerhard’s original home and got to meet and embrace Katarina. What a lovely meeting that would have been. At least, that is my fantasy. I like to think she had an audience with a prince and his wife. That would be something that no Mennonite would ever pass up, and then receiving official documents from them; that would carry some considerable weight. It would be all over town in the blink of an eye. Katarina could then have confronted her father-in-law who, after reading the letters became contrite and penitent, and thus passing them on to another of his sons and so on down the line. Unfortunately that could not have happened because David the father died on September 25th of 1802, about the time of Gerhard’s last letter.
But I cling to the notion that such a meeting took place and by it, Katarina’s life was thus fulfilled and Gerhard’s letters were not in vain. I fantasize that she kept the letters close to her until her demise. Perhaps a brother of Gerhard’s received them to pass them on to the next generation. I’ll not waver from that thought. The time is getting shorter in my own life until I may have the opportunity to join him where he now is. I’ll ask him about it.
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