Broken Beginnings Chapter Fourteen and Fifteen (Final Rewrites)
Everything is so quiet, Mother and Naomi do not speak. Mother goes about the morning routine, fixing us breakfast, but she does not speak. There is nothing that really can be said, Father is gone, and we do not know when and if we are going to see him again. We can only pray that we will be able to see Father again, but Mother cannot even utter our names let alone his. She looks like she has aged a hundred years in less than twenty four hours.
I do my best to assure Naomi that everything is going to be okay, despite the fact that I do not know. I must do my best to calm both Naomi and Mother down, it feels very much like I have taken the role of Mother now, because our Mother is unable to take on that role.
Late at night when it’s just Naomi and I lying in bed, I tell stories like I did before. My sister needs to hear the stories, the happy stories, because they are the only thing that will bring a smile to her face, unfortunately nothing has brought words to her lips since the Nazi officers, took our Father away, Mother has not spoken since then either, and I cannot know what tomorrow will bring. Mother does what she has always done, she simply does it without words.
More Fathers have disappeared over the weekend, not only ours, but others as well. They are taking all the men away from their families, trying to leave us helpless. But these men, these monsters, do not know the strength I have. They do not know that we are stronger than we think.
I refuse to let hatred kill me, I am not going to give that kind of satisfaction. I am going to fight to survive this, and if I don’t, I am going to die fighting. I am not going to easily give up.
Sone may think I am too young to think about death, I am only a girl of ten, but things are different when yon live through a time like this, a time when others are trying to destroy you simply for who you are. I am a Jew, according to these monsters that means I deserve to die, but they feel that way about anyone who is different, they have a messed up idea about perfection. Do they not realize that no one is perfect, certainly not them!
I am going to fight for myself and for Naomi, I am going to do my best to make sure we have everything we need, my sister cannot fight for herself so I must fight for her. I need to fight through this. I am grateful for Naomi though, she does not know judgement only love, the world needs more people like Naomi, and less Nazi’s, or better yet, no Nazi’s. If the world had more people who loved unconditionally the way Naomi did, the world would be a lot happier place.
I hear Mother crying, so I try to drown out the sound with music singing or storytelling so Naomi does not get anymore frightened than she already is. She does not need to know anymore fear than she already does. She knows fear in a way I wish she never did, in a way I wish we never did.
I sing favorite songs to Naomi, lullabies, like Mother sang to us when we were little, I strangely find singing the songs comforting as well, but I pray that I am going to give Naomi at least a level of comfort. She deserves to be happy, not to always be afraid. I do not want Naomi to have to be afraid to close her eyes at night, but it’s hard when I too am afraid to close my eyes at night. I do not want have to fear what monsters lurk on the other side, but these aren’t dream monsters they are living monsters, monsters of flesh and blood, this is the evil that wants to destroy us.
But why, we are children? We do not need to be destroyed, we need to be allowed to live. Our families deserve to live, we are not bad people, we are simply Jews, and somehow that has been turned into a bad thing, but why?
Why is one men so determined to destroy us, he is willing to brainwash others into doing his dirty work?
I have no idea why people want to destroy us, why they are so quick to believe the lies of a madman? I wonder when they are going to come face to face with just how wrong they were.
I am going to fight for my freedom, for Naomi’s, and I am going to pray we are able to see Father again soon. I want to know that Father is okay, but I do not have those answers right now.
Today marks a month since Naomi and I were ran off the road, since we were brought to the hospital both unconscious, at first the doctors had feared neither one of us would make it, but we both had. We didn’t make it unscathed though, we had both been hurt, in both physical and ways that had been soul deep.
I had believed the kind of hatred that Bobe had experienced had died out in the years following the Holocaust. But I had learned when I was ran off the road, when I had found out about the hate spray painted on the wreckage that had once been my car, as I realized the damage to the car, the fact that we had both survived what had happened had been a miracle.
It had been a month to the day, and the reality of what had happened was still a hard pill to swallow. We had both made it yes, but Nadia was still unable to speak, she tried, but it was still hard and she grew easily frustrated, and I could not walk, I had no voluntary function from mid chest down, it was not easy, but we were both alive, and I was sure that it was because of G-d of course and Bobe that we were alive.
“Sweetie, you have made it this far, and you will continue to grow stronger Naomi, and before long you will be strong enough to go home.” Mom said.
I nodded, the idea of going home was both exciting and terrifying. I wanted to get back to living my life, but I had no idea what that would look like when I got home. I could not deny the fact that things would be different. I was going to face new challenges, but being a live was a gift, and I would face those challenges. I was going to learn to live with the hand I had been dealt hell, the issue I had was, how I had been dealt that hand.
Babula hatred only has the power that we give it, when no one gives it power, hatred dies, and love blooms in its place.
A month, a month since our life changed, a month since someone tried to destroyed us, but failed. A month sense we learned Anti-Semitism was sadly still alive, even in the twenty first century.
“I want to go home, when the doctor okays it, but I’m nervous about it too Mom.” I admitted. “And I’m worried about Nadia.”
“Sweetie, it’s going to be okay, you aren’t going to be alone and neither is Nadia, you have each other, and you have us.”
I nodded, I found comfort in knowing that, but nothing about this was easy. I was still struggling with what had happened, and was carrying blame that was not mine to carry.
G-d, I’m going to get through this. I am not alone, I have my faith and my family, and I’m grateful for that, and I have the strength Mother and Bobe instilled in me from the time I was a little girl, a faith and strength I found in leaning on you G-d.
I knew that as scared as I was, Nadia was even more frightened. She had so much she wanted to say, it showed in her eyes, the things she wanted to say but could not. I missed hearing Nadia’s strong voice, just as I knew she missed being able to have herself heard. Nadia didn’t deserve this, neither one of us did, we did not deserve to be ran off the road, simply for a bumper sticker, a bumper sticker I had always been proud of. Bobe had survived the hell of the Holocaust, that was a reason to celebrate, not to have someone attack us.
There were times when Mother and Katarina would leave Nadia and I alone to talk, they would go get us snacks from the Cafeteria, Nadia could swallow milkshakes or smoothies without a problem, though she had problem chewing and swallowing certain foods. She struggled with certain things, and I hated to see that. I wanted my best friend back, I wanted her to find her voice again, and perhaps Mother and Katarina figured out I could reach her in a way that they could not.
Nadia understood what I was saying, her eyes alone told me that, but she had not found a way to express herself in a way we could understand and I knew that hurt her. I wanted to take some of this pain away from Nadia, I wanted her to be able to speak for herself.
“I’m sorry Nadia.” I would apologize over and over again, unable to let go of the guilt I felt for what happened that day. Nadia would vehemently shake her head, her way of telling me it was not my fault, but I still could not shake the guilt for what had happened.
I did not want Nadia to have to go through any of this, and I knew she did not want me hurting, but we both were, because someone carried a hate that as so powerful, they let it destroy lives. There was nothing fair about it, but there was nothing fair about being run off the road over a bumper sticker either. The man who hurt Nadia and I, who had tried to kill up, had a twisted mind, there was no denying that.
Bobe had always told me that there were some who were ruled by hate. There were some that could not move past hate, there were some that had a hatred so deep, they did not care who they destroyed in the process, including a couple of young College Girls, who were just starting to live their lives, it wasn’t fair, far from it, but this was the price Nadia and I had to pay, simply for being who we were.
I looked at Nadia, and saw the pain in her eyes, but it wasn’t only a pain she felt for herself, it was a pain she felt for both us. We had both been hurt, by a man who was hell bent on destroying us for who we are, and we both grieved for the pain the other was feeling.
It was hard knowing that hatred like Bobe had experienced still existed on a level, and that was a hard reality to face, people like Bobe had stopped to educate others against that kind of hate, but some people refused to be educated, it was a hard reality.
G-d why do some people cling to hate, don’t they realize the only thing it served to do is destroy you. Hatred eats at you, why can’t people see that G-d? Why can’t they see the pain they are causing?
I did not want to see Nadia hurting the way she was. I longed to be able to take the burden of some of that pain from her, but I could not to take the pain from her, I could not ease the burden. I did not wish to see Nadia hurting, struggling the way she was and I knew she did not want me to see me hurting as well.
“You are going to be okay Naomi, you will get through this. I know you are struggling and scared, not only for yourself but for Nadia as well, and I know you both experienced life changing injuries at the hands of someone who had no business walking free let alone driving on our roads, but you are not going to go through this alone.”
“I know.” I said softly. “But I’m scared, scared that I might be targeted again, what if he comes after us?”
“Sweetheart, I don’t think that is going to happen, you can’t live in that kind of fear sweetheart.”
“I know and I’m trying not to live in that kind of fear, I do not know if I can ever be as brave as Bobe.”
“You are stronger than you realize Naomi, you made it through this. You could have died sweetie, but you didn’t, that shows how strong you are.”
“I found strength in G-d and in Bobe.” I said softly. And I had found the strength I needed in leaning on them, as well as the strength I needed in order to help Nadia fight. Neither one of us could have gotten through this alone, I knew that. We needed to lean on others for the strength you are fine.
“Sometimes admitting you can’t do it alone takes strength Naomi, it was Bobe who had taught you that as well.”
I nodded, knowing that Mother was right. Bobe had often told us that it often took strength to admit we could not do things on our own, a different kind of strength.
“I know.” I said. “But I’m scared Mom, things are different, I’m going to face new challenges when I’m home. I have new limitations.”
Mother squeezed my hand gently as if in doing so she would be able to loan me some of her strength, and in a way that was exactly what she was doing.
“You’re not going to face it alone sweetheart, I can’t take on the pain for you, and I can’t take your place but if I could, I would in a moment, but I can be here for you, and for Nadia.”
“Mom, I wouldn’t want you to go through what I’m going through.” I said gently. “No one should have to because others hold a hate that is so powerful that it tries to destroy everyone in its past, the kind of hate, Bobe fought so hard against.”
“And you are following in her footsteps Naomi, you must know that, and how proud of you she always was, and is.” Mom said, she still gently squeezed my hand, letting me know she was there for me.
“I couldn’t do this without the things you and Bobe taught me. I know that I could not have made it through any of this without that.”
“G-d knows the families we need, he knows the strength we are going to need to get through the rough times.”
I nodded, Babula had told me something very similar when she was alive, and I found strength in remembering that.
You are going to face hard times in life Babula, no one goes through life without knowing hurt or pain, but you will get through those hard times of you lean on G-d and your family. If we have those two things Babula, we have the strength we need.
“I know Mom, and I will get past this, but I can’t help but feel afraid.” I said.