Friday, April 17, 2009

The last survivor / Den siste overlevende

I was listening to the radio this morning, and heard that Milvina Dean had to cancel her talk at the University of Southhampton, England, due to ill health.

She is 97 years old and the very last survivor of the Titanic. She was supposed to answer questions today, about how the Titanic tragedy affected her life.

I just couldn't stop thinking about this woman. She was only nine weeks old when the ship sank on April 15th 1912.  Her dad felt the collision with the iceberg, and he went downstairs (3rd class...) to his wife to tell her to dress the children and take them up on the deck. Milvina was carried aboard a life boat, where she was brought to safety, together with her mother and brother. Her father drowned.
Her father had the dream of starting anew in America, where they would have more opportunities than in England. They were not supposed to be on this ship, though, but because of a coal strike, their ship Philadelphia (and other steamers) had to wait until there was enough coal to get hold of. (Titanic's maiden voyage was priority)
White Star Line got in touch with Milvina's father, asked him if they could consider rebooking to the Titanic. He was all excited about it, the ship was so famous...

Milvina did never marry, never did she have any children. Today, at 97, she has a hard time paying for her nursing home, and she is actually auctioning away her belongings now, to get money...
I have all sorts of feelings thinking about her, about her life, about Time.  She was there...

Jeg hørte på radioen i morges, at Milvian Dean hadde måttet avlyse foredraget sitt på Universitetet i Southhampton, på grunn av sykdom.
Hun er 97 år gammel, og den aller siste overlevende fra Titanic.  Hun skulle svare på spørsmål fra salen i dag, om hvordan Titanic-tragedien har påvirket livet hennes.
Jeg klarte ikke å slutte å tenke på denne kvinnen, som bare var ni uker gammel da Titanic sank, 15. april i 1912.  Faren hennes følte det, da skipet traff isfjellet, og han gikk ned til lugaren (3. klasse...) for å be sin kone om å kle på barna og komme opp på dekk.

Milvina Dean today

Milvina as a baby, with her mother and brother

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