Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Night

I can not make any sense of cruelty in the world.

I am a person that delights in the wonder and magic of most days.

Today, my heart is heavy.

Last night I wasn’t feeling well, I have a terrible cold.

I got in bed at 8:30, right after we put the children to sleep, filled with sorrow for the families and friends of the students and faculty at Virginia Tech.

I picked up a book I borrowed from my Mother in law while we were in New York thinking I would read myself to sleep.

The book was Night by Elie Wiesel.

I have read many books about The Holocaust, but nothing like this.

It completely traumatized me.

When I finished the book I held it gently in both of my hands as if it was the hand of the author and I wept into my pillow. I could not stop.

The experience Wiesel relays is so brutal, so intense. He does not hold back the truth.

I can hardly contain the story he shared. I want some of his images to leave my head, but I know they will not go. I am horrified.

K had gone out to mail our tax returns and when he returned, he found me crying in our bed.

He asked me about the book.

I tried not to speak of the brutal things I had read, but I couldn’t hold them in.

My voice cracked and broke.

I became increasingly hysterical as I told him about some of the things I had read.

I told him how I couldn’t help imagining the same things happening to The Mayor and Rooster.

I imagined being separated from K and The Mayor, then holding The Rooster’s hand, knowing something terrible was happening and trying, in my last moments, to keep her from being afraid.

I told him things I can not type here now.

I wailed and I keened. I sobbed.

K said nothing, but he held me, rocked me and stroked my hair.

We were still and quiet for a long while.

Finally, we went to see our sleeping children to give them a final tucking in.

I put my finger in The Rooster’s tiny hand and let her fingers curl around mine. I watched her tiny chest rise and fall with her slumbering breaths.

I kissed The Mayor and his eyes fluttered open for a moment. He looked at me sleepily and closed them again.

In bed, I asked K if he would talk to me.

“What do you want to talk about?” he asked.

“I don’t care,” I told him.

He started talking about hope. He wished there were more great stories of hope and redemption that could counter such tragedy.

He wondered what we should tell our children, what we could possibly tell our children, when they discover the history of human cruelty and its ongoing possibility.

“What will we tell them? How will we explain?”

There are no words that make it right.

Still, they will have to learn of it.

Wiesel’s acceptance speech for the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize is published at the end of the book.

In it he says,

"And that is why I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever man and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must - at that moment - become the center of the universe."

His words made me feel like I am not doing enough. I know I can do more.

This morning I made a call I have been meaning to make for some time.

I called the local branch of CASA and asked them to send me the paperwork so I could start the process and training to become a volunteer.

I will have no words for my children when they learn of human cruelty.

My wish is that my actions give them hope.

I’m looking for hope this morning.

109 comments:

Kristin said...

Oh, honey... I read, Night, and like you, my reaction to it was physical... the thought of being unable to protect my children from evil and cruelty is my greatest fear.

CASA is a wonderful organization... all children need to know that someone is in their corner.

((hugs))

Kendra said...

Good for you for making that call. The harsh reality is all too scary! It is encouraging to know there are people like you who care enough to donate their time. I applaud you.

NotSoSage said...

I think it's amazing that this was your reaction. So many people will feel anger and hatred, and you've used the experience you've had to put your thoughts into action. I'm sure that's what Wiesel was hoping for when he put all those horrible things down on paper.

Mimi said...

Well, I'm crying again now and I've spent the morning crying, having dashed home from work early yesterday just to hug my family. My beautiful precious family, my baby daughter whose middle name is 'Hope'. Hope is in short supply.

Bravo for trying to bring hope into your life through your actions. I will try to follow your example.

PunditMom said...

What a powerful post. I've done work for CASA and it's a great feeling, tho' I hope you won'e be too overwhelmed by the frustration I found in the system.

venessa said...

That is a difficult read.

The bad things can be overwhelming.

As a Quaker, I just remember the quote, "Walk cheerfully through the world searching for the Light in every person." That's all I can really do.

Rhea said...

Working for a better world, as you are choosing to do, is one of the ways out of all of this.

tulipmom said...

Wow, that's some pick for a bedtime story. I remember reading Night for a class in college and having a very hard time thinking about anything else for days afterward. You've inspired me to read it again.

I think it's wonderful that you called CASA. My husband is an attorney and does pro bono work for them .... very frustrating but also very rewarding.

Your post reminded me of two quotes I've always remembered from The Diary of Anne Frank:

1. How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.

2. Despite everything I believe people are really good at heart.

Thank goodness there are people like you in this crazy sick world.

jen said...

oh, you.

we give each other hope. we show up and do our best. we create peace and it multiplies.

it's what we can do.

i know the terror you speak of. i've been wandering around dazed and lost. i think maybe for years. my heart is too full of this world now, i fear it's changed forever. and that said, i wonder what i can do with that.

because we still have work to do.

i love you, friend.

Tabba said...

I wish I had something to say.
All I can say is that I feel you.
I cried with you reading this.
I almost felt like I was in the room with you & K (in the least creepiest way possible - you know what I mean :) ).
And therein lies the hope...you doing your part, modeling for Mayor & Rooster, and the seeds, the plants, the roots of hope you are depositing there....

nutmeg said...

Girl, what a day to choose for reading that book. I read the first translation many years ago and I honestly think it marked the end of my innocence. I've been thinking about reading the new translation, but everything hurts so much more now that I'm a mother. You've inspired me today with your post and not just to reread that book.

Janet a.k.a. "Wonder Mom" said...

Goodness Woman.
I read that too, but I couldn't bring myself to continue and finish it...I couldn't stop crying.

I send you my hand to hold today in your search for hope.

Michelle said...

Wow. I remember exactly how I felt after reading Night, and it was very similar to your reaction...

Natalie said...

Wow, after a day like yesterday Night would have been the last thing I would have picked up to read. It is an incredibly intense experience. I was obsessed with reading Holocaust stories in Jr. High and this was one of the hardest to get through. It hasn’t gotten easier over the years. I suggest Dawn, the follow-up. It is still very intense but I remember it having a glimmer of hope.

K&M said...

Night is one of the most powerful books I've ever picked up. I think, that as parents, it truly shakes us to the core. i think you are doing something great with CASA.

BamaGirl said...

As a child of about 9, I read the book, The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom. She was a Christian who was sent to the concentration camps for hiding Jews in her home. Her sister died there. She described what it was like too. I think I read that book 60 times in Elementary school. I would finish it and pick it back up and read it again. In 6th grade, I became obsessed with the Holocaust. It was a tough subject for a kid. I wonder if that is part of the reason I've been so guarded my whole life. The saving grace about the story is, good did finally triumph over evil. That's what I have to keep believing. Good will triumph. Evil is strong, but Good is stronger!

mommiebear2 said...

Awww, ((HUGS)) - Good for you for volunteering!! I will have to read this book.

Mel said...

Night is definitely a book that will tear you up inside. I remember reading it for the first time as a young teenager, and how it felt to actually visualize what had happened in that vaguely-pictured Holocaust that happened years before I was born. It brought it right into my world, put it into the framework of reality for me - this person actually lived it - and it was devastating. I read it again a few years back, and it was no less heartbreaking for me then.
You know, I've heard of CASA, but never really knew what CASA did or what they stand for. Thanks for the nudge - I'll start looking into this.

Adoringly M~ said...

My grandmother spent two years in two different concentration camps. Although I have never read the book, I know of the horrors. My grandmother who left this world almost 3 years was my biggest fan. I think because I found humor in everything and whenever something on TV or in the paper would take her mind back to those horrid days I'd say something comical or sarcastic. Did it make things better? No, not in general; but at that moment I brought her back to me where she was safe, loved and adored. And we would get up and swing dance shouting "Fuck the Nazis"!

Mel said...

Oh, and - if you want hope, J, just look at your kids.
There is no mistake made by our generation, or even the generations before ours, that can't be undone by either us or by the generations to come.
Hope is a lot less frail than people think. It's hardy, and it's hardwired into us.
You are going to raise intelligent, ethical, socially conscious people like yourself, and that means that you are doing something to combat the darkness in the world.

Augs Casa said...

very heartfelt post. I;m not a big reader, only for psychic things and hauntings. I do not think I could read "night". I hope you slept well after your talk with K.

WILLIAM said...

This line struck me..."He wished there were more great stories of hope and redemption that could counter such tragedy."

There ARE stories out there like this, but the problem is no one seeks them out. Not the news media, not the talk shows and not the book publishers. And sadly not people.

Hope is just that, Hope. It is an emotion, a feeling an abstract thought, and it will always be that unless someone takes action.

You took action. That is Hope.

Sayre said...

I never knew REAL fear until I had my son. Suddenly, the world was full of threats - some real, some imagined, some remembered. Having children makes it all more real.

But on the flip side, REAL love has come into my life as well - in the form of my husband and my son.

I guess the bottom line is that life is full of both. Do what you can about the first, and nurture the second as if your life depended on it... because it does.

mothergoosemouse said...

Thanks for the link to CASA. I clicked and found a need for volunteers here too.

Marymurtz said...

I read Night many years ago, before I was a parent. I think if I read it now, I would have to be institutionalized. There is so much evil in the world, I don't know how people function, and yet we do.

That you read the book and had this completely visceral reaction is not surprising. What is inspiring, though, is your response: to call CASA, to do your part to work toward leveling the field and doing good in the world.

My daughter started out as a child of the foster care system. I wished many times that we'd had a CASA representative. God bless you for what you are doing.

This is how, one person at a time, one light at a time, we can work to keep the darkness at bay. Sometimes that is all we can hope to do.

Rachel said...

I love the quote from Night. I am an optimist, but some days it is hard to keep believing in the good. Like you, I feel like I'm not doing enough. I'm glad you're volunteering for CASA. It's a great organization.

Blog Antagonist said...

I think many parents had similar moments last night. It's a profound reminder of how tenuous and precious our lives and those of our children are.

I think becoming a CASA volunteer is a marvelous thing.

Patience said...

There is, was, and always will be evil in this world. But evil will never overcome the good in the world as long as there is hope. As long as there is faith. As long as there is love.

Abbynormal said...

That book means a lot to me. Thanks for making this post. Read Sala's Gift it will do the same thing.

I have such a deep respect for the Holocaust and its victims.

You are wonderful. Your children will be wonderful people as they are already.

polliwog said...

You did a lot just by writing this beautiful post. I'm going to link to it in my blog. Everyone should read what you have written.

I did Holocaust studies with my kids last year and I read "Night". I had the same reaction as you.

Annie said...

A very inspirational post.

thordora said...

I couldn't read that book. I can't. With the hyperempathy....during my last pregnancy I've cry like that every day thinking about the scene in Schlinder's List where the little boy is in the latrine. Even now I start to cry thinking of it. I just...I can't. I know the history too well, and I can't.

I picked up a brochure for adult literacy not 5 minutes ago. A previous volunteer thing never went through due to schedualing-maybe this one will

ali said...

my grandparents were holocaust survivors and lost all of their family members. they lost parents, siblings, my grandmother even lost her first husband. i cannot even imagine.

Night was a very difficult read for me as well.

Random Thinker said...

More power to you, J. You are one of the few people who could turn idealism into action.

Missy said...

I so understand what you're saying. Thank you so much for writing this and being the kind of person who takes action.

You're an inspiration to so many other people.

Woman with kids said...

Well said. There are times when things are just so... bad. Wrong. Unfair and unjust and just not possible. Good for you, taking a step to counter that.

QT said...

I read Night in high school and like you I was permanently altered by it. I have not been able to watch a movie or read another book about the Holocaust because of my extreme reaction to it.

It is hard to believe sometimes we can turn anything around, but we at least have to be able to say we tried, right?

The Expatriate Chef said...

I marveled last night at the quiet miracle of a perfectly normal day. A day where nothing bad happens, a day where we end up home and safe. What a gift it is. I feel so for the families who lost their children. Kudos to you for taking action, and for caring.

Kevin Charnas said...

And there is no influence like an example. And thankfully for the Mayor and the Rooster, you and K are exceptional ones. Thankfully for all of us.

Mrs. Chicky said...

I think you'll find that hope you're looking for. Anyone who gives their precious time to help others deserves a little hope.

bubandpie said...

I read Night before I became a parent, and some of those images will never go away. Like what happened to the babies when they first arrived at Auschwitz - the was just a time bomb ticking in my head until one day when Bub was about three months old I looked at him sleeping all chubby in his carseat and suddenly those images came back and I just lost it.

Damselfly said...

I am looking for hope too. Best wishes for your work with CASA.

aimee / greeblemonkey said...

Hugs to you, dearheart.

Jennifer said...

I first tried to read Night shortly after I had my first child and after the part where the mothers and babies were separated from the older boy children and fathers, I began sobbing -- and didn't stop for quite some time. I put the book down. I had two children by the time I picked it up again and read it straight through. It is one of the most powerful testaments to both human cruelty and human courage I've ever encountered. Some months later, I visited the Holocaust Museum in D.C., where I found quotes from Night etched in the walls and found myself sobbing again.

Your reaction to the book, to a search for hope, is so inspirational. Thank you.

FishyGirl said...

I cannot read that book - I had to stop reading Patricia Cornwell novels after I had children because they were too graphic. I have also had to declare a news moratorium for the time being, because I can't handle it. I think volunteering with CASA is a fantastic response to dealing with those feelings.

The Davis' said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes. I don't have children yet, but I do think a lot about how I'll protect them (when the time comes).

Thank you for making the call to CASA. We need more people taking action like you did.

tkkerouac said...

Passionate post, you have a great husband!

Shauna said...

Powerful post. Nothing more needs to be said.

Queen of the Mayhem said...

Sounds like a book I need to read.

I have been in and out of tears thinking about the tragedy in VA
(which pales in comparison)

The depths of human cruelty as so cavernous that it is easy to lose sight of the millions of good people!

CASA is an amazing organization. You will have a chance to really make a difference there.

I respect what you are doing. Your kids are LUCKY to have you as a mom!

slouching mom said...

One of my very favorite books, although 'favorite' is really inappropriate for the book.

One of the most wonderful, touching, frightening, awful, terrible, awe-inspiring books.

(Hugs)

Miscellaneous-Mum said...

I'm teary myself now reading that.

I've been meaning to read that book for a while now - but now I'm not so sure I will, because I will be traumatised, and I'm bad enough as it is.

Volunteering is good. I'm going to start soon locally. Take the kids and show them there's good in the world

Karen Forest said...

Although I have never read the book, I did watch Oprah when Elie Wiesel was on.

He revisited Auschwitz and recounted many of his memories, referring many times to this book. He said that he would never go back. This was his final visit.

I, too, was crying with a terror that humans were capable of such.......horrors. I, too, can not, or will not, put into words the terrible things that happened. Many already know, and those who don't.....well, those are fortunate in their ignorance.

notfearingchange said...

Big hugs sweetheart Big hugs...and congrats on volunteering...

Now you and i definitely need to sit for a coffee!

Jenifer said...

Hope. Yes we need more. I doubt that is a book I would ever be able to read as like you images stay with me forever...

My heart aches, really aches for the families of VT. There just are no words for it, no understanding, nothing that makes sense of this.

I am so glad you posted this today.

BOSSY said...

Well gee, this makes Bossy and her Gauchos seem pretty darn insignificant. While not always stylish, you win for best person, hands down. And Bossy feels you about Virginia Tech (and Elie Wiesel) - oy. It's all we can do to put one Earthshoe in front of the other.

Lawyer Mama said...

Oh god, I know how you feel. Yes, being a parent makes us all incapable of processing any horror without imagining it happening to our children. But good for you for making that call and doing something to make the world better for kids. I've been trained to be a guardian ad litem but it doesn't have the same sort of personal contact that you would as an advocate. I'm sure you'll find the hope you're looking for.

Chrissy said...

Yesterday was a rough day, and what's coming out today is hard too. It takes courage to pick up the book you did and to read last night of all nights.
Volunteering will be a wonderful thing.

Kyla said...

You made me cry...I can't imagine the actual reading of the book, even hearing your reaction to it moved me to tears. I think you are doing something beautiful with those feelings.

Nancy said...

Thank you for posting this. I watched the movie Children of Men Sunday night and was similarly left with feelings of complete despair... even before yesterday's shootings and their aftermath today (so prevalent here in Northern Virginia). But now I shall follow your lead and try to do something hopeful and productive to counteract the evil, and potential for such evil, in the world.

Love and hugs.

Girl con Queso said...

"He started talking about hope."

I love that.

Aliki2006 said...

I have been so depressed for some time, too, about the state of the world (as you know from my post about Shame) and yesterday's events brought it all crashing down even more. Last night I actually scooped my daughter out of her bed while she was sleeping and bruoght her into our bed--I just wanted her little body near us.

KC said...

How haunting and inspirational at the same time. Thanks for spreading hope to us.

Tracysan said...

The fact that there are people like you who take action to find hope...that gives ME hope! Thanks!

Bon said...

i haven't read Night for years, not since a very already dark point in my life when like you, i just happened to pick it up one night. like you, i cried and cried, moved beyond my safe space and the capacity of my imagination to even absorb such sadness.

i didn't know what CASA was. thanks for the link. maybe it's time for us to get moving in that direction too.

Mamma said...

As I wipe the tears from my eyes, I reach out my arms to hug you. I know that place you visited last night. It is dark. It is scary. And you feel so helpless.

Our children are the essence of the hope we have in a better world.

Taking the step to volunteer is incredible, but know that sharing your ability to see the beauty and joy in life is multiplied in your children. You are already spreading your light.

flutter said...

Even reading this made me sob. What positive action you've taken

Momish said...

It is so hard at times like these to cling to hope, but it sounds like you are mighty enough to do just that. And your kids will find the same strength because they will learn how to find it from you. (and that wonderful hubby)

Flawed & Disorderly said...

I taught in a middle school Montessori program for three years. The 8th grade Honors class was required to read "Night." I believe Wiesel even came to the school, but I was the teacher who had to keep the kids who weren't attending the assembly. If it wasn't Wiesel, it was another Holocaust survivor because he showed the kids the numbers tattooed on his arm.

Anyway, the kids would tell me horrible things about babies being used for target practice. I couldn't take just hearing bits and pieces of it, so I've never read the book.

I had a similar reaction of the long crying episode one day when I first saw that famous picture of the back of a slave who had been whipped over and over again.

I think it's great that you're acting on what you've been called to do. I know you'll be a blessing and will be blessed as well.

carmachu said...

You shouldnt have words about telling them about man's inhumanity to their fellow man. Its something they should know so not to forget, ever.

When the last suvivor dies...then begins the forgetting begins.

deb said...

It's shocking how cruel humans can be to each other. The same generation that produced Adolf Hitler, also produced Mahatma Gandhi. It doesn't seem to make any sense to me.

Good for you for volunteering. I believe doing something for others is a wonderful gift to those you help and to yourself.

Vampdaddy said...

I found your blog as I wandered around cyberland looking for wisdom. It's great to have found it. I look forward to reading more!

Grim Reality Girl said...

Okay -- this is what I love about you. Not only can you entertain me with stories of "Mighty Wind" but now you highlight a GREAT organization. I'm not at a point where I can do this now, but CASA is book marked. To make a difference in one child's life is to change the world. Thank you for a post that helps me remember I can make a difference. CASA is now on my radar. Thank you.

Elizabeth said...

I've never read "Night", and now I can't decide if I want to or not. I don't even watch the news or read the newspaper any more, and I read the paper every single day from the age of nine. But when I had my first baby, I simply could not bear any story that told of any child being hurt in any way. I'm feeling a little panic just typing that right now.

That was wonderful, what your husband did for you. And that you are volunteering with CASA.

wordgirl said...

OTJ- I read "Night" with a heavy heart and knowing two things. My grandfather came here from Germany as a boy of 17 who fought in WWII against his homeland. And...against family who remained behind and fought on the other side. Whether it was by choice or against their will? I have no idea. Everything I read about the Holocaust informs me of this awful thing and I just have no words.

Lotta said...

You are amazing. You embrace and reach out. I'm tuning out. I can't even watch the news anymore because every night there is some horrible show about children being hurt. If I watch it I end up waking the kids to bring them into our bed.

Di said...

Oprah...love her or hate her...when she went to the concentration camp with Elie Weisel as part of her Book Club selection of Night, it was incredibly compelling. I think I first read the book in high school and reread it when Oprah selected it...everyone should read it...so we never forget!

Miga said...

That book touched me deeply too. So simple, yet so powerful. I admire you for volunteering for CASA. It's a great organization, I just couldn't handle the heartache - I'd want to bring all the kids back home with me.

Mandy said...

My dad is a CASA mentor. It is a wonderful program. He's been a teenage boy's mentor for about 2 years, and it really seems to make a difference for both of them. Good for you, you will be rewarded in ways you probably can't imagine.

Yemi said...

I am glad you took action and called the CASA folks.

Stepping Over the Junk said...

I had the same reaction, I read it last year and it stuck with me for months (sorry). I still think about it. In Boston down near Fanueil Hall is a beautiful Holocaust memorial you should see sometime if you are visit. It is outdoors and you walk through these towers/structures and read and feel it.

acumamakiki said...

I read Night on the eve of my conversion to Judaism and my heart shattered. Like you, I've read and researched many facts about the Holocaust but this book.....this book, there is nothing like it and I am forever changed.
In the aftermath of what happened at Virginia Tech and the fact that I send my daughter 3x a week to a synagogue for kinder-enrichment my heart feels like a stone with worry over what hate can do to people. And this morning I'm talking to the director of the school to remind them, that the front doors are locked for a reason and the bitchy receptionist who can barely look up when she buzzes the door can do a better job. Must do a better job.

Twisted Cinderella said...

I have never read that book but there have been times that I will read something or see something that makes me go upstairs and watch my little girl sleeping in her bed and wish I could just hold her, love her, and protect her from the world.

The Sour Kraut said...

I believe there is much more good in the world than bad. And people like you who take action to make it better are the hope you're looking for. I commend you.

pgoodness said...

I can't see straight for the tears, but perhaps I can type anyway. Amazing post, amazing man you have there, talking about hope.
I believe there is an abundance of good in the world, that is what we need to teach our children. The media thrives on negative stories and by watching and listening, we surround ourselves with it. The reasons we should turn off our televisions aren't because of cartoons or commercialization, they are because of the media. Hope comes from within and spreads because of us believing in it, and by people like you giving back to the greater cause.

Rach said...

I must find this book, for loads of reasons. Thanks

Mrs. Schmitty said...

When you get a chance, stop by my blog, I've got something for you!

Cooks on the Coast said...

I definitely felt the world was off-kilter that night. I wanted so badly to have my husband home to just hold me after the kids were in bed. Just another joy of deployment.

Robin said...

You might want to try reading The Sunflower by Simon Wiesenthal next. It helps carry you on through the experience to the response in the aftermath. Maybe it will chase some of the images from your mind.

Super B's Mom said...

Again, I understand those feelings so well. The thought of harm coming to B brings such fear from deep within me.

So many times I feel like pulling B into a "bubble" - shielding him from anything - EVERYTHING. But I am reminded that aside from being his advocate, the next best thing I can do is to help others. And to teach B the value of giving of himself to help others.

I am so proud of you for signing up to be a volunteer. No matter what we do - or how little - we can help. Which will in turn, change the future for our children.

carrie said...

And you give me hope. For when people begin to act instead of merely think about the things that matter -- that is when change takes place. I only wish more people would DO something.

You are an angel.

"Our lives begin to end the day we bacome silent about things that matter." ~MLK Jr.

Carrie

urban-urchin said...

I am proud of you. You've felt the despair and have been motivated to change something rather than sit there shaking your head at the horrific acts man commits against man.

I love your heart.

Sunshine said...

I have Night also. If you haven't yet, "The Seamstress" by Sarah Tuvel Bernstein is another Holocaust story, she tells it in such a straightforward way and without need of pity, it's amazing.

Therese said...

Hi girlfriend. I love you. I know how things can touch you so deeply. Thank you for your message out here on the internet.

Chaos Control said...

It's all so complicated and senseless. And so very, very scarey, this world we live in. Sometimes I feel hopeless. Where does the hate come from? And why is it so deep? Why can't we just love away the hate?

My little man is only three - and is so full of life, of hope, of wonder. I find myself thinking daily of what I can do to keep him the way he is right now. But realistically I know that he will experience hatred in some form. I just pray for the strength and knowledge to guide him through it.

I wish I had the courage to read the book, Night. Maybe someday, but I'm not emotionally available for something like that right now. Sigh ...

mamatulip said...

The Holocaust is something that upsets me terribly. It's something that, if I let it, will absolutely ruin me.

I want to read this book, and I will, someday. Someday when I'm a bit stronger than I am now. I think it's an important book to read. I know my reaction to it will be very similar to yours.

Yet you took what he has said and are turning it into something productive, something positive. That's something that the author would be proud of.

Melina said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. I cannot imagine what makes people turn so ugly inside that they have to hurt others, whether, it be because of race, religion or just plain old hatred of mankind.

K sounds like such a special person, and your kids are very lucky to have they two of you as parents. The best way to teach them about cruelty is to teach them about compassion and love and how being compassionate and loving can help stop the cruelty of the world.

Way to go on the volunteering, I've been wanting to do the same thing with children/teens who have cancer. I think I will make the call as well. I also think I'm going to read this book, sounds like it might be an important book. Thank you for sharing your feelings with us. ((big long distance hug))

Amity said...

I saw on The Today Show this morning that one of the teachers that was killed in the Engineering school was a Holocaust survivor. He put himself in front of the door to help his students escape. It's unimaginable what people have been through and that they can still be so good to one another when needed.

sparklykatt said...

Oh, good for you re. CASA!!

I read Night several years ago while I was taking conversion classes to Judaisim, prior to marrying my (Jewish) husband. My feelings were very similar to yours I am sure. Although I couldn't get out of my head the thought that I was marrying in to a religion that the world treated so cruly. I kept thinking what am i doing? I'm promising to raise my children Jewish knowing that there is this type of hatred for them in the world?

I never did convert, but we are raising our children Jewish (technically).

Mary-LUE said...

CASA is a wonderful organization. Oops! I see I've inadvertently quoted at least one other commenter! ;) We just had someone who works with our local CASA speak at church and tell us about the organization. Having spent a portion of last year involved with two kids who were in the foster system (I was a respite care provider for them.), I cannot say enough good things about what you intend to do.

The thing I like best about CASA is that you have a voice in the court system. What a plus. I hope we get a chance to hear about your journey.

Domestic Chicky said...

I can't even think of "night" without crying. I can't think of the events in Va without crying for the parents who lost children, and the brave holocaust survivor who saved someone's children from this horror...

Monica said...

Brava to you for taking action - any kind of action - for the sake of humanity and more importantly, your children.

Meegan said...

This was a really beautiful, tragic, inspiring and honest post. Thank for sharing it with us. And thank you for finding at least a small amount of meaning in the tragedy that surrounds us. That being the inspiration to help those less fortunate.

Heather said...

Beautiful. I taught Night to 10th graders and was always inspired by their visceral reaction to it...the realization that one must FIGHT against the darkness.

Yay, you for putting up a fight. I'll be making a call soon, as well. It won't be to the same organization, but I'm lighting a candle.

Terri said...

I am with you..
I will NEVER EVER understand human cruelty ... or animal cruelty...

believe it or not...
I pray every day that God will DO SOMEHTING about these kind of awful people... I hate the thought of any kind of suffering...

and what is going on over in IRAQ freaks me all out ... or even in Mexico, now...
I'm sooo afraid it's going to start happening here...

I just pray pray pray...
and pray.

Tessa said...

Joy-- Will you adopt me? You are just awesome! You take a heart full of sorrow and turn it into something hopeful. You go girl!

Deb said:

The same generation that produced Adolf Hitler, also produced Mahatma Gandhi. It doesn't seem to make any sense to me.

All I can say its... Balance. The world must maintain balance. Hitler.... Gandhi... Balance.

Jenny said...

Oh. Oh. Oh.

No words. Just hugs.

Little Nut Tree said...

If you have read my blog - you'll know that this is one of my greatest fears. Something will happen to my children and I won't be there to protect them.
I have an urge to protect the whole world and get extremely affected by stories I read of cruelty and harm, neglect and abuse of children are the most upsetting things.
Good for you .. sorry you had to take this so hard though
x.

Monica said...

Hugs to you and yours.

Keep safe and keep loving your children and those around you.

I think, it's the best we can do.

It's great you made the call.

Adventures in Baby Fat said...

I had the same reaction when I read that book. It stays with you.

I remember the first book about it. It was Primo Levi's Survival in Auschwitz. I was 16 and the world changed for me after reading that.

And just the other night when I listened to the story of how Holocaust survivor Liviu Librescu, the science professor that attempted to barricade the door at Virginia Tech to ward off the gunman, died there on Holocaust Remembrance Day no less, I broke down.

It's good to feel it thought. It's good as a mom and a woman and a citizen. It's powerful knowledge to be armed with while raising socially conscious kind children.

Thank you for posting this.