Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Letter

Dear Dad,
     I have been missing you this week.  I wanted to call for Father's Day, but there isn't a connection.   I miss talking with you.  You listened to me and knew who I was.  You really listened.  You knew me.  You knew what I liked. You knew what I would wear when you were buying presents.  You knew what I was thinking--at least sometimes.  I miss that.  I'm thankful that you loved me.   Since I was small I knew that you loved me.  That is a gift.  I love thinking about you laughing so hard that you almost fell out of the chair.  When I pass an old car I think of you.  We saw a U-haul truck with antique license plates.  That made me want to call you. 
     I'm sorry that life was hard for you, but you made it so that life wasn't so hard for me.  I have thought about you many times and had some new insights recently.  I'm just sorry that it wasn't until after you died.  One day I was having a hard time with my emotions.  I said some things harshly to the boys that I shouldn't have said.  I went to the kitchen and thought, "I hope they know that I don't want to be this way--that I really love them."  Then it hit me.  I bet you thought that too.  I bet there were many times when you wished you were different--when you wished that you could deal with your emotions better and that we would know how you really felt inside.  I get that now.  I haven't ever gotten that before. 
      Peter and I read a book about a man who returned from WWII after being a prisoner of war.  He had such a hard time adjusting to life back home, and many of the descriptions of his demeanor and actions reminded me of you.  I had a hard time even reading some of it.  I bet that some of those words and actions stemmed from you being in a war.  I didn't understand.  I couldn't probably.  I'm sorry that you didn't have time or opportunity to heal from that.  Reading about this helped me to understand you better.  I wish it would have happened years ago. 
     I love you Dad.  I miss you.  I wish you were here.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Field trip

I miss blogging!  I do.  I struggle with perfectionism and what to say, but I miss just doing it.  So I'm going to attempt this again. 

Today we went to the Holocaust Museum in DC.  The electric company said that our power would be out for much of the day, and Peter and I are studying World War II, so it seemed like a good day to go.  I was a little hesitant about going with Peter.  He doesn't like violence of any sort.  He's very sensitive to movies and television.  He will leave if things get too violent (and it's not like we watch those kinds of movies anyway!)  But this is a lesson we need to learn over and over again to prevent this kind of barbarism from repeating itself.   Ben decided to go too and miss a day of school.  Big shock, I know.  But they did just finish reading Night by Elie Wiesel, about his time in a concentration camp.  This relates.  Chris came with us too since he wouldn't be able to work with the power out. 

I have to say they did very well in the museum.  It's not a place that will restore your soul or bring you joy.  The images are surreal.  To watch Hitler's rise to power because of fear and hatred and violence is frightening.  It's hard to even imagine that there are people in the world capable of such evils, but in reality there are.  How does a society let something like this happen?  And how do you move on from that experience?  So many people just ripped from their homes and subjected to the worst horrors that one can imagine.  Babies, children, moms, grandmas--all of them annihilated because someone thought they weren't worthy of life.  I was intrigued by a book called How do you Kill Eleven Million People? by Andy Andrews.  That question is playing in my mind.  What role do I play?  How do I live to make a difference for good in the world?  Could it happen again?  Is it already happening today in the world?  The boys may not remember much about today next year or even next week, but I pray that they will be moved with compassion for those who are oppressed.