Thoughts, gratitude from Arin Trook’s parents-in-law |

Thoughts, gratitude from Arin Trook’s parents-in-law

Helga and Gunter Scholze
Guest commentary

We are deeply grateful for all the support the Aspen community has shown toward our son-in-law, Arin Trook. Our gratitude is beyond words to find so many friends and community members of Arin to help our daughter Liesa, our grandchildren Kosma and Ria, and the family in these difficult times.

We truly regret not being able to travel to Aspen now. We so very much would like to take our daughter and grandchildren into our arms and to give comfort in this moment of grief, but our health conditions do not allow. We are grateful that our elder daughter Suz, and other family members and friends are there to help with the most urgent tasks.

For us, being so far away, it is still inconceivable what happened, and that our wonderful Arin is gone from one minute to the next. We had the privilege to get to know Arin 12 years ago. We picked up Liesa and Kosma from the Berlin airport, where they arrived from India. Kosma, after a minute-long hug, whispered in our ear that there is a new person, Arin, in Liesa’s life now.

Arin came shortly after this and stayed half a year in our home at the easternmost edge of Germany, where he very easily learned the German language. He quickly got to know the nature around our home and soon wore out the tires on my bicycle while exploring the local area.

We soon felt that Liesa and Kosma would head far away. Arin always gave us a deep feeling of trust that they would have a stable life abroad. We noticed how much sensitivity and love Arin encouraged and how he inspired Kosma’s attention toward nature. We remember small experiments such as a toad race next to our small garden pond. We never saw our daughter happier. Helga, Arin’s mother-in-law, was enthusiastic to learn how friendly and attentive Arin was to everyone. She loved their joint sushi preparation sessions. We also remember short trips into the neighboring mountains, the scenic Elbsandstein and the Polish Krkonoše, and small climbs at granite walls at the nearby Königshain quarries. It was always deeply fascinating how intensely Arin came in touch with the rocks through climbing. We couldn’t even go on a short walk without him climbing a few meters up the rock walls, encouraging young Kosma to climb, as well.

We always enjoyed our visits to the United States to see our kids! Arin found, wherever he landed, a wonderful cozy nest for his family. He thrilled us with perfectly orchestrated trips through the National Parks of the West or into towns like Silverton. It was an unforgettable way for us to get to know how and where our daughter and grandchildren lived. We also felt his strong love for his work life, to his companion teachers, and to his students. The last several years, Arin was unable to visit us in Germany during summer with our daughter and grandchildren because of his commitment to his work at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies. His passion for the outdoors and environment was contagious.

Only now do we realize, through the condolences, offers of support and donations, how much he was loved and how much influence he had on the community. We can certainly see what a huge gap he has left behind; not only in our lives, but in the community as a whole. He was truly a son to us. Thank you.