Never Again?

My Husband loves to play Call of Duty on Xbox Live. When he is on there and he doesn’t have his headphones on, you can hear the trash talk from the players. Last night, I was amazed and appalled more than usual. These were kids, probably tweens or younger spouting anti-semitic jokes and comments rather than the usual sexual and racial ridiculousness. Then, as I was listening, a younger boy that had lead the Holocaust jokes, asked a timid question: “Do you really think the Holocaust happened?” One of the younger players answered him. “I don’t know. I guess.” 907014-holocaust-survivor

That really floored me. Growing up, we learned about the Holocaust and I never once questioned whether or not it really happened. What was the difference between my understanding of history and his? I’ve pondered this in the back of my head all night and this morning. Here is what I have come up with so far. Let me know what you think.

I was born in 1963. A lot of our teachers, parents, and grandparents either participated in the war or were old enough to have heard stories first hand. Some grew up watching the footage in the movie houses and heard reports on the radio. I personally know at least one man that was in France during WWII. I have heard horror stories from not only that war, but the “conflicts” since. We watched actual footage from the events and the movies we saw were stylized and did not show the gruesome realities of war. We knew the difference between the reality of war and movies.holoccaust

What about today’s children? They are inundated with graphic images on a daily basis. From TV, movies, and video games. I looked up some pictures of the Holocaust and it struck me that in black and white, they could resemble actors from the Walking Dead. How confusing it must be for children to try to discern the horrific images and details of the Holocaust from the images they see on a daily basis. The numbers of the victims are difficult for adults to wrap their minds around, let alone children.holocaust-men

Survivors of the Holocaust are almost all gone now. Our WWII Veteran numbers are diminishing. The stories at the feet of people that lived these horrors are no more. Stories at the feet of our elders are pretty much gone altogether. Technology has replaced the quality time spent with our older relatives. We have lost so much with the technological advancements that were pushed for during the time period following WWII.

I don’t know how to make someone understand what is real and what isn’t in the world. This is how horrors of the Holocaust will be repeated in the future. Not that it will be forgotten, but it will be enveloped in the psyche of horror fantasy that are everyday images and just seen, not felt.World-War-2-Holocaust-Memorial-Day-_60

God forgive us all when that happens.

Learning to live….

I’ve been afraid of changing, ’cause I built my world around you. Time makes you bolder, children get older, and I’m getting older too.” ~ Stevie Nicks, Landslide

I am an Aunt. I was blessed not to have children. By that I mean I was not ready to have children until the last decade. I went through the no self-esteem method of choosing men until about 36 or so, then when I met a man I would have wanted to have children with, my body had betrayed me and it was not possible. I think it was destined for me, because my Husband is more than happy not to have children and it just be us. But we are damned good at being Aunt Bleu (my favorite color and nickname) and Uncle Will.

We have one nephew and three nieces. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be a parent, if the emotions I have as an Aunt are just a touch of those of a parent. Every time I see them, my heart skips a beat. Their ages are; 5, 9, 15, and 20. It’s such a joy and at the same time so painful watching them grow up. Hearing their early words, those small feet running to give you a big hug, and watching them develop into beautiful men and young women pulls at my heart and fills it with joy. But watching them go through the pains and suffering of not only youth, but additional sufferings that I will not speak of here tears at my very soul.

I can only empathize with parents as their children grow up that I would take an eternity of eye rolls and hand-hipped foot stomps than watch the pains that we humans put ourselves and others through, touch the forever little ones that are our hearts. The famous quote about what does not kill me makes me stronger (paraphrased) doesn’t seem to apply to being an Aunt. What does not kill my nieces or nephew may make them stronger, but it sure kills a little part of me. Maybe that’s why we do survive as children and young adults. As we go through life, those who have gone before us suffer to give of themselves so that we may live. I guess that may be what Christ-like behavior really is after all.

TTYL