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A Remarkable Evening

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.

1 Comment so far

  1. Liberty

    It’s wonderful when people share their stories of struggle and have been able to obtain that twinkle in their eye after so much. Not only do we have to remember that we have a blessed life and that there are others who have a hard life, we have to remember to not point the finger at others and put blame where it does not belong. Things happen for a reason. We don’t always know why but we have to put our faith and trust in God that it will turn out the way He planned. We need to step back and recognize that trying to force our own wants, judgments and selfish behavior on others is only going to make things worse for ourselves and for the ones who we are suppose to love and respect.

    That’s why I am so glad that I have you Shayna for my friend. You are someone who loves with all her heart and soul. Willing to help and be a strong when someone needs to lean on you. I am thankful for all the time we had here and the time we spend on the phone when our crazy lives allow. I look forward to the time we will have in the future. I am also thankful that you see that there is good in people even when they have only shown you the bad. I am glad that you and I have made this journey in life that we have in order to meet and be in each other’s lives.

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