Monday, August 19, 2013

For Granted

As you can see, it has been a LONG time since I have written.  This summer has absolutely flown!  We've had our share of fun, we've had our share of rain, but overall the summer has been good to us.  Obviously busy, or I would've sat down and written long before now.

For our anniversary, my husband bought me a Kindle Paperwhite.  I have been DEVOURING books since. The one I have "suggests" books to you based on what you've downloaded into your Kindle.  A lot of suggestions came from a book I read earlier in the year about the Holocaust.  One suggestion that I am currently reading right now is Rena's Promise - Two Sisters in Auschwitz.  Usually I can read a book in a night (I know, it's ridiculous), but this one I have to keep turning off and reading more later.  It is THAT unnerving.  It's an account of Rena and Danka, two sisters who were separated while trying to escape the Nazis but then ending up together at Auschwitz.  From the birth of Danka, Rena always promised her mother that she would protect Danka.  Now that is her life, protecting her weaker sister while trying to survive the attacks, the beatings and work.  They are at Auschwitz for 3 1/2 years - Rena obviously survives, we do not know about Danka yet.  The things that they cherish the most besides each other, scraps of food, water, newspaper for when they are having their periods, the very very basic necessities.  I cannot say that these are what they need in order to survive because all around them, women are dying from malnourishment, dehydration, disease.  This is what they have though, can you imagine it?

The part where I had to stop last night nearly made me throw up.  Rena and Danka were standing in line for roll-call.  Along comes trucks filled with little children, some no older than Zoey, some younger, some older.  They were clinging to their stuffed animals, curious as to where they were going. The only place these precious little children were heading was to the gas chamber.  Some followed their "leaders" willingly, some were excited, some of course were old enough to be very scared.  A few things ran through my mind at this time.  First - how must you feel as a parent, having your children ripped from your hands?  How must that line formation felt, knowing there was NOTHING they could do to save those hundreds of children?  All I could picture was myself, in that line, watching my own child head to her untimely death.  I know, it's an extremely morbid thought, but that is what I was thinking at the time.  That's why I had to put it down.  I went into Zoey's bedroom, kneeled down on the floor and just kissed and hugged her over and over, and I wept.  Almost sensing my sadness, she stirred a bit, said "I love you Mama," and then rolled back over and fell back asleep.  I could not sleep after that.  I must have checked in on her 10 times last night.

Alongside of that, I think about Rena and Danka and their struggles to survive, all the while clinging to the only person they have left - their sister.  I think about MY sister and how we would surely do the same.  It makes my heart ache for her, and I just want to drive the 5 hours to go see her, hug her, kiss her, and not let her go.  I cannot IMAGINE living through this kind of hell that millions and millions experienced.  I'm not finished with the book yet, I do not know what happens to Rena's promise, if she's able to get her sister through the three years or not, everything aludes to no so far, but I am holding out hope.

As much as I want to delete this book from my library right now and not look back, I can't.  I've never felt such emotion from a book in my life.  I have taken so much for granted, especially my family.  I take my pantry for granted, I take my tampons for granted, I take my medicine for granted.  Every last bit of it, I take for granted.  I can say that I give thanks every day for the people in my life, but still - I take for granted the fact that I will see them all, happy and healthy tomorrow.  I can bet with 99.99999% certainty that this world will never again face something like this in our lifetime.  However, we just never know.  We don't.  I can also bet with 99.99999% certainty that the people of that time didn't think they'd ever face something like that either.

I know once I've finished and as time fades the pain I'm feeling for these people, I imagine these raw emotions will subside some.  I can guarantee that I won't think about their pains and struggles every time I sit down to eat a hot meal or enjoy a hot cup of tea, I know that I will end up taking that for granted again, but I will try my hardest not to.  I can guarantee one thing though, I will continue to be thankful every day for the family and friends that are here with me, there is NOTHING more precious than them.  Nothing.  It makes all of those much needed "things" that I think I need seem absolutely pointless.  What we NEED is each other. That's it.  Love your people, love people you don't know - just love.

I love you all.