My Dear Elsa
Elsa grew up during the 1920’s in Sweden . Hers was an unstable home marked by poverty and hardships. Her mother grew frustrated as her children entered their teens and when Elsa and her sister came home late on Midsummer’s Eve in 1936 her mother complained to the authorities. Child Welfare Services took custody of Elsa, her brother and two sisters. Her siblings were placed in foster homes, but Elsa had a speech impediment and was instead committed to a mental institution. For 31 years Elsa remained behind the locked doors of the institution. Deprived, abused, the victim of medical experiments and enforced sterilization, Elsa has every reason to be bitter and angry. Instead Elsa knows how to savor each day, finding joy in simple pleasures like tasty apples, pretty pictures and friendly people. “It’s much easier to be happy than to be bitter,” says Elsa. She is a familiar face at auctions, church functions and parties. Wherever she goes she has a kind word to say to the people she meets whether they are friends or strangers. Once considered to be “mentally deficient,” Elsa has lived on her own for the past 45 years even doing her own taxes. She has a talent for poetry and a remarkable memory for details. Today she is an enthusiastic, vibrant and talented woman who lives life to the fullest to make up for so many lost years. Hers is a story of endurance and tears, triumph and laughter, and the joy of living.
Length 60 min
Elsa lived the last years of her life in a nursing home. Crippled by rheumatism she was confined to a wheelchair, but her mind and her memories remained fully intact and she always had a new story to tell or a song to sing!
Elsa Lundh died June 14, 2008