When I was a teenager and upset about my parents initiated divorce and what people called me, my German step-grandmother Hanna, told me I should develop harder skin like an elephant, to protect myself. I was a little clumsy then too, so it fit me well.
Perhaps she had noticed how a part of me had started to disappear. She and my grandfather Åke therefore often gave me a small elephant made of wood, stone or even ivory as gifts, often purchased on one of their trips and often antique. And thus, I started collecting little elephants. Maybe it was even this store, called "Jumbo" in Cascais, she and he had been to.
It was here in Portugal, I was on a vacation in 1972 with them and my parents, happy on the beach playing. And it was here in 2015, I really started to heal and find out why and how to.
When I looked at the color of the suntan of my arms a couple of days ago, it made me feel it's the same Hanna used to have. Maybe my skin becomes harder with it. I hope so.