Last night I had the privilege of listening to a woman share the tragedy and triumph of her life as a holocaust survivor. One couldn’t help but be moved to tears as she showed family pictures from the early 1940’s while discussing the murder of her family. She shared the bravery of her Polish parents who placed her in an orphanage in order to save her life. But that bravery could only be understood as she matured. She wrestled through her childhood with emotions of anger and unhappiness. She moved from one orphanage to another until finally being able to come to the United States at the age of 10 to eventually be adopted by a great-aunt and great-uncle. As a French native, she did not speak any English and having been moved from one home to another she was behind academically. Yet, despite all of this, she stood before me with joy and gratitude. She found her way to overcome such horrific tragedy and loss.
I was moved by her candor in the retelling her story and was inspired by her emotional honesty about her personal struggles. It was yet another reminder to me that when we compare our life to the life of the person on our right and think, “My life sucks!” there is always the person on our left whose life reminds us, “I have a blessed life!”
Everyone faces hardships, difficult decisions, pain and loss. Not everyone enjoys love, laughter and friendship. I have a very, very blessed life.