When your World is Falling Apart

My dad Eriks Raisters saying good-bye to the girls of his homeland for the last time
My dad Eriks Raisters saying good-bye to the girls of his homeland for the last time
Elvira and Eriks in Germany shortly after they got married.
Elvira and Eriks in Germany shortly after they got married.
First new gown after the war
First new gown after the war
Overlooking the rooftops of New York wishing they were the rooftops of Riga
Overlooking the rooftops of New York wishing they were the rooftops of Riga

When you are young
And there are so many dreams to be shared
When the future looks so bright
The dark shadow of war is the last thing you need
As storm clouds gather
You realize the last hope you had has disappeared
And your hopes are bursting like bubbles in the air
It no longer matters if you have love to share
Your life is at stake and you must decide
Your dreams like rose petals crushed beneath so many feet
Your bright stars have lost their glitter
Love is but a fleeting thing
Now life has to be considered
She left her hopes and dreams behind
Friends she never thought she’d meet again
But a few possessions and then a row boat in the dark of night
Lapping waves heading toward an unknown future
Would there be light by dawn?
He a poet and writer
With many friends and companions
Wondered if he’d ever return
What the future would bring
No choice in the matter
If they got him he’d hang
No crimes he had committed
It was a crime to love your homeland
So in separate places and times
They made their way to an unknown land
It was but for God’s helpful hand that they found Germany
A displaced persons camp is no place for the young and the dreamers
Crushed and heartbroken wondering what the future will hold
Life was tough and life was good
They were young and alive
What they didn’t know then they discovered later
They’d never return home again
But God lent a hand
He saw that they meet
Love is ever stronger
More dramatic as bombs fall from above
Sure they’d have so much more to share
Back in their homeland
Where they had their dreams
What’s wondrous about romance during wartime?
Is that you have a chance to create a whole new life together
Off with the dreams of yesterday
Off with the dreams of returning
Forward into the future
To build new dreams on a foreign shore
To begin to share a whole new life
Forget wartime and the strife
Perhaps passion is more intense
Kisses more fiery
You never want to be alone again

More by this Author


Comments 36 comments

Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

wow what a story..!! is this about your parents? I love this story

I am sharing

Debbie


xstatic profile image

xstatic 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Wonderful tale of new beginnings brought on by the lunacy of war! What a story is right! Shared as well...


rahul0324 profile image

rahul0324 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

A timeless tale you have woven with your words!

Ecstatic and flawless poetry

I stand in awe


pongogirl2 profile image

pongogirl2 4 years ago from California, USA

such a great poem:) so beautiful:)Everyone should read your poem:)!


EclecticFusion profile image

EclecticFusion 4 years ago from Tennessee

Beautiful and I love the photos! Wonderful poetry!


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM

This poem is wonderful and what a tribute to the two people, I assume your parents. I can feel the emotions they were going through at the time. The photos are lovely and poignant. I really enjoyed reading this and I feel for your father who never saw his home again.


wetnosedogs profile image

wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

Divine words, great pictures and the video song is just right.


Fennelseed profile image

Fennelseed 4 years ago from Australia

You provide a very real glimpse of the harsh reality of displacement. So very cruel and unfair, I can only image what it must have been like, but only those forced from their homeland will ever know. Thank you for sharing this story and the very precious photos. Beautiful writing, Gypsy, my best wishes to you.


Vincent Moore 4 years ago

I can't fathom the heartbreak of displacement. So many people like your mom and dad were displaced and lost. War is a horrible tragedy to so many souls. I weep whenever I watch clips and documentaries of the second World War, it displaced so many people and so many were lost to death. It was a barbarian war, one the world will never forget. Hugs to you sweet poet.


Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

Pamela Kinnaird W 4 years ago from Maui and Arizona

Escaping from a country, keeping hope and faith alive, finding love -- so many emotions in this poem. Thank you for sharing these -- which must be very special, sacred even, to you.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

So glad you shared your parents' story in this way. I'm going to check on whether you have written more about them and their life's journey.


Jennifer Silagy profile image

Jennifer Silagy 4 years ago from California

Beautiful! And I love the photos.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia Author

Thank you so much Debbie. Yes it is their story and dad was on a list just to be hung for being patriotic about his country. Mom would have wound up in Siberia. I wouldn't be writing this.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia Author

Thank you so much xstatic. I truly admire my parents for being so strong and so brave but there were no choices given.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia Author

Glad you liked this Rahul. Let's be glad we don't have to go through something like this to find love and a new life.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia Author

Thank you so much for your comment pongogirl12.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia Author

Thank you so much Eclectic Fusion. Glad you like this and the pics.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia Author

Thank you so much for your comment suzettenaples. Dad died in New York in 1967 but mom got to return to her homeland with me when she was in her 80s. She died in Riga in 1996 and she and dad are both buried where he was born here in the country in Ranka - Vidzemes region.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia Author

Thank you so much wetnosedogs and glad you liked this.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia Author

Thank you so much for your comment Annie. It was a very hard time but since there were no choices one had to run. Incidentally the pic of the rooftop where my mom is sitting in N.Y. is atop of the apartment house in which I lived as a child.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia Author

Thank you so much for your comment Vincent and hugs right back to you. It astounds me at how brave you had to be just to get up and get away. Glad mom and dad made it through all that.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia Author

Thank you so much Pamela. Yes these memories are precious and one's never to be forgotten.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia Author

Thank you for your comment RTalloni. Yes I have more stories written under my True Stories group.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia Author

Thank you so much Jennifer and glad you liked the pics. Amazing that pictures survive a lifetime and I'm glad I have them.


BeyondMax profile image

BeyondMax 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

What an expressive emotional story, so heartfelt and insightful, amazing pictures!


scrittobene profile image

scrittobene 4 years ago from Melbourne Australia

Poems like this one written about real events are so much more powerful. It makes me appreciate just how resilient and spiritually strong men and women can be when faced with the grim realities of war and adversity. Thank you for sharing the story of your parents' struggle for survival. Such stories must be told to teach us all how to combat evil but moreso, to show us how we can endure, overcome and prevail despite it all.


coffeegginmyrice profile image

coffeegginmyrice 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

Oh my, the life and love story of our parents! Isn't this so lovely Gypsy Rose Lee, how you have put it together into poetry. It is like I can see them before my eyes and the many faces of war (My pa had a story he shared with us too during the Japs; very frightening!), how lives and couples inlove struggle masked by a thick cloud of faint hope. I am glad your parents found each other back in their arms. What a warm composition accompanied by beautiful photos of your mom and dad!

Love it all the way and sharing!


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia Author

Thank you so much BeyondMax glad you liked this and the pictures. Yes, it was a very tough time for my parents. Glad they found one another.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia Author

Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment scrittobene. One of course will do anything to survive but I can also imagine how very frightening it was. Glad they got together in the DP camps.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia Author

coffeegginmyrice thank you for your comment and the vote. War is a terrible thing to go through and people are lucky if they can find something good out of it all like love.


Faith Reaper 4 years ago

So profound is this piece. It really brings one right there to that time and place. Such sweet photos of your family. This is brilliant. In His Love, Faith Reaper


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia Author

Thank you so much for your comment and glad you liked the pics Faith Reaper. It's great when not only memories but photos also remain. It was an awful time but it is wonderful that during everything that was going on they still found love. God bless.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Dear Rasma,

Powerful story of love, really amazing and inspirational to think about.

This seems like another perfect inclusion as a link in your interview.

Heartwarming tribute to your parents. Voted UP and UABI. Hugs, mar


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia Author

Great idea Maria and thanks for thinking about it. My PC crashed giving no signal on 9/11 of all days and I'm poking around on my hubby Martin's old and worn laptop. lol So difficult. Put in an anniversary tribute to them and the laptop lost it, had to retrieve it and edit. lol At least I'm online. Eagerly awaiting your interview. Hugs from Riga.


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 4 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

A very profound and moving story. I am glad your parents found each other and were able to start new lives together.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia Author

Thanks for your comment Rosemay. Yes, I believe it is their love for one another that kept them going.

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