Ester Vee and her granddaughter Karine Vee

This is me and my granddaughter Karine Vee having a walk just outside the place where we lived; you can see our window in the background. This photo was taken in Tallinn in 1989.

My younger son, Tarmo, wasn’t lucky in his marital life. At 20 he met a very young girl. She told my son she had no place to live, and he brought her home. We knew nothing about this girl. Each time she was telling us a different story. She had no documents, and we didn’t know how old she was. However, my son was in love with her, and she stayed. In January 1988 she gave birth to a girl. Later we found out that she had run away from a children’s home where she had left her documents. We received them after the girl was born. They gave her the name of Karine.

Tarmo was in love with the girl and wanted to marry her. Few times we wanted to convince the girl to go to the executive committee to obtain permission for them to get married. She happened to be under age. We obtained the permission, but the girl refused to get married. She showed no interest in her baby either. She used to disappear for a few days and then for several weeks before she disappeared for good, when Karine was four months old.

This happened, when I just came to work at the dormitory of the Teachers’ Training School. It never even occurred to me to send Karine to the children’s home. I took a leave to take care of Karine, and when I had to go back to work, I used to take her with me. We expected her mother to come back, but she never did.

At that time I realized that this girl was the gift of life to me. I always wanted to have a daughter. When I was pregnant with Tarmo, my husband and I were expecting a girl. And now Tarmo gave me a girl. I was happy, but I didn’t know what to do. I decided to send her to a nursery school, and then, if she didn’t like it there, I might quit my job. However, Karine did well at school. She didn’t cry and was healthy and happy there. So, I could continue my career while raising my granddaughter, who was quite like a daughter to me.

Karine is 17 now. She is a very nice and beautiful girl. She studies in a music school and can play the piano well. Karine makes me very very happy. Tarmo loves her, too. He got married and has two children: daughter Maris, who will turn 15 soon, and son Tanel, who is 13. Unfortunately, Tarmo and his wife divorced a few years ago. The children stayed with their mother, and Tarmo moved in with me.