Posted by: David D. Daggett | July 28, 2008

Unbelievable Love, Part I

Unbelievable Love, Part I

       In a way this has nothing to do with Ironman . . . to me, it has everything to do with Ironman. Us Iron-people are tough, right? The truth is that most of us are very soft, we just happen to have a work ethic in us that accomplishes very tough things. People who are capable of tough things sometimes need a bit of help to reach our softer side.

Onkle Günter with Our Son

      The first time I ever thought about going on a trip to Europe was to do Ironman Europe in 1989. I have previously discussed some of that trip in The Magic.  I loved the people, the race, the country, and the culture so much that I have returned many times. It also just so happens that our family heritage is largely German.

With a little help from my Uncle Paul and Uncle David, I was able to track down the distant branch of our family tree that stayed in Germany. So, on my next trip to Ironman Europe I included a visit north to Bünde to visit Rosel and Günter Darnauer and their family. They would be my parents generation, with the common ancestor six generations back.

“Onkle Günter” and “Tante Rosel” don’t speak any English. Somehow that never really seems to matter. Their daughter Sabine, her husband Andreas and son Lennart have also been to our house in North Carolina. Gunter’s Brother, Harold, and his wife Doris don’t speak English either. Their Daughters Maike and Nadine complete our family tree in Bünde.

When we returned with the whole family a couple weeks ago they rolled out the red carpet like you have never seen! We stayed, ate, played, toured and laughed. We were moved by Günter’s memories of World War II. We went to the road named after our ancestors, and saw the house they left to come to the new world. Günter even had a copy of my great grandfather’s report card!

Most of all, our kids had a great time mainly because they knew they were loved. Günter, Rosel, Harold, Doris, Sabine, Andreas, Lennart, Nadine, and Maike, we love you too. We only hope we are capable of showing and caring as much as you showed and cared for us!



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