Excerpt from the historical fiction book, Three Years of Her Life – C. E. Robinson
Halfway in the book, in January 1961, Erik and Elizabeth visit Grandmother Edna in Maine. Erik uncovers Grandfather’s secret in Germany while he is doing cardiac research at a Hamburg hospital. Both Elizabeth and Erik are worried how Edna would take the news. They should be very worried.
They moved the lunch leftovers to the side. The sun, low over the mountains, cast its shadows on the wood floor. The frozen lake glistened. Elizabeth’s intuition is correct, the winter stillness at Sunset Inn is the perfect setting to tell her grandfather’s story. Edna looks even more at ease than in her own home. Or maybe she is just relieved she is finally getting the answers she is looking for.
Edna propped her elbows on the table and rested her chin in her hands. “Well?”
Elizabeth took the pocket watch out of her purse and gave it to her. “Grandma, take the photo out.”
“Out? Why would I do…” As Edna removed the photo from the frame, she spotted the inscription on the back side. Do you know in over two decades I never thought to look under. I don’t suppose either of you can read Yiddish?”
“My grandmother taught me,” Erik said. “May I?” He leaned closer to Edna so he could read the words for her. “Ir zol Iebn. Aun zeyn gezunt aun hobn mer, You should live. And be well and have more. Antshuldigt. I’m sorry.”
“There’s more isn’t there?” Edna said. “Spit it out. I resigned myself to Gustav’s cheating ways a long time ago.”
After Edna heard the last words Erik said, she put her hand to her chest. Erik and Elizabeth stood by, ready to catch her if she collapsed in shock. Edna, finding out the truth about Gustav, was anything but collapsing in shock. Hearing what she said, loud and clear, put Erik and Elizabeth in shock.