Saturday, November 03, 2007

We Are On Our Own

Doogie is spending the weekend at his dad's. Molly is cleaning her room (this is an all day process). Mia is hanging out with Mom and Jeff. Jesse is doing his homework. I am stuck in bed. At least I can get caught up on some reading. Because I'm not on any RA medications, the pain just doesn't let up. It used to be that I would have a flare-up that would go away after a few days giving some relief and the ability to function with some normality. Now there are no flares, just constant pain. I push on and do what I have to do until I collapse. Then I rest as long as I can before starting the cycle again. Sorry Dad, I haven't whined in a while. I can't quite help myself today. I would covet your prayers.

We Are On Our Own by Miriam Katin is the story of a young Hungarian Jewish woman and her small daughter struggling to survive through the Holocaust. Esther Levy is during her best to raise Lisa (really author Katin) while her husband Karoly is off fighting the Nazis during WWII. But one by one their freedoms are taken from them, including their right to own a dog or live in their apartment. Rather than go to a concentration camp, Esther fakes their deaths and flees into the countryside. She is forced to become the mistress of a Nazi commandant, raped by Russian soldiers, fights through a blizzard, and has an abortion. All in the quest to save her daughter's life. The scenes from the war are drawn in black and white with a charcoal feel to them. They are alternated with scenes from Lisa's life as a mother which are brightly colored, almost harshly so. The pictures are haunting and with a few simple strokes, Katin is able to bring remarkable depth and emotion to each frame. Several pages with the reunion of Karoly and Esther brought tears to my eyes and are examples of masterful storytelling. Another review here says that the book is pointless and doesn't have enough interest to merit publishing. I beg to differ. The Holocaust is such a huge tragedy that thinking about the death of 9 million is impossible to comprehend. But seeing the fight and heroics of a simple woman in the midst of the war brings home the destruction and devastation it brought. Not just to the landscape, but to the human spirit as well. It's a powerful story told about love and courage told with the same.

Today's picture is of Mia and her friend Bailey on the field trip to the pumpkin farm.