Tuesday, February 5, 2013

one of those things that puts life in perspective...

i guess it's just that the ages were just right or something,
but i didn't have any relatives in world war two.
or any that i knew of.
no real close ones, i guess.

when i learned all the horrific things of that war in my history class,
i remember being deeply affected.  i remember watching some movies
on it in class, and all the awful pictures of the concentration camps.
i remember actually crying as i watched. just so full of sorrow for what
had happened.

and yet.....it was still history.
i had no family in it.
it really didn't enter my mind how close it all was in years.
it just seemed far away.
maybe it had to be in my head, as i tend to keep awful
things distanced if i can.

as an adult, i'd meet older people here and there who were in world war two,
but not many, usually quickly at an event, and i still didn't think much of how
it really wasn't that long ago.

but now i'm engaged to a man of jewish descent.
one day a few years ago, i was sitting in his uncle's living room,
getting the tour of the family photo album.
his uncle would point to people and say 'they died in the camps.'
and he'd move along, and then say that again.

i was stunned.
it was by far the closest i ever came to understanding just how near
that war really was.

how would that feel to run your finger over their photos and explain
to someone that's what happened?

in talking family history with my guy last nite, he pulled out some notes he had
taken about his family.

as we read the notes together, there it was again.
complete with an uncle who had lost his wife and children in the camps,
and an uncle who had his child killed in his arms by the nazis.

i looked down at those typed words and thought about how different
history class must have been for my guy.

while i cried for the sorrow of it all, it wasn't my family.
it never even occurred to me it would be.
it was so far removed from me.

and yet, when he learned about it in class, what must he have felt?

i looked at him.
i wanted to say 'i'm so sorry for what happened to your family.'
i'm not even sure if i said it out loud or not.
my head was flooded with those feelings and thoughts.
and i tried to explain how i just never 'got' how close it was until
him and his family.

i realize that's me.
i realize i'm thick headed and really good at making things look pretty
and all that kinda denial stuff.

i'm not proud that i didn't 'get it' before.
but i get it now.

apparently the uncle who lost his wife and children in the camps
remarried a woman who lost her husband and children in the camps.
the sorrow they must have carried together boggles my mind.
and my guy can't mention them without telling me what wonderful
people they were. he really liked them.

how did they come out of that losing all that they love,
and be wonderful people?

how is that even possible?

and THAT is why i wanted to post this during this month of love.
because love and hope are the only possible explanations for that in my head.

i don't mean they found each other and fell in love and everything was rosy.
that's not what i mean.
of course not.
maybe they fell in love.
that'd be nice to think.
maybe they did.
but i would guess that they understood something about deep deep sorrow
and somehow found each other because of that and understood what
mattered in life and somewhere mixed in i would think would be some
sort of hope and love.

i have no idea.
but i'm pretty sure there had to be some mixture of it.
in a way i will never really understand.
a love like i never really will know.
and i'm pretty sure they never lost sorrow.
a deep deep cavern of sorrow.

the fact that they could ever smile again, let alone be described
as wonderful seems to be something to honor. something to celebrate.

and i so wanted to include this blog in the love month theme.
i wanted to honor these people who traveled such a hard road,
and still were capable of loving and living...

certainly puts a lot in perspective for me today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This was wonderful, it reminded me of a conversation I had with a young women a couple years ago, who told me she was sick of The Jews playing the "Holocaust card."
How do you explain to someone that my father had 1 aunt, no grandparents, no cousins, no one.. because they were all gone?How do you explain to some one that you grew up with a Grandfather who would often lock himself in a room and weep...
for days...
and yet he still had the capacity for love and forgiveness..
Love...it is the difference...