Broken Beginnings Chapter Twenty Eight and Chapter Twenty Nine (Final Revisions)
Chapter Twenty Eight:
I’m grateful that Ima and Bobe have taught me the importance of leaning on G-d. They also reminded me that we would face hard times in our lives, and that it was in those hard time that G-d was carrying you, and I knew he was carrying me through this. I could not get through this, I could not make it without G-d, and I was thankful for that.
My Faith had saw me through the hardest of times, times that I knew that I would not be able to make it through alone. I knew too that life without G-d was a lonely one, so I was thankful for my faith.
Bobe had always taught me the importance of leaning on the Lord, and growing closer to G-d. I knew that my faith would carry me through the most difficult of times, that even when I felt as if I could not go on, G-d would carry me.
I found comfort in the word of God, as I so often did, a rough physical therapy session earlier in the day had me once again turning to G-D’S word.
1 John 5
5 Everyone who believes that Yeshua is the Messiah has God as his father, and everyone who loves a father loves his offspring too. 2 Here is how we know that we love God’s children: when we love God, we also do what he commands. 3 For loving God means obeying his commands. Moreover, his commands are not burdensome, 4 because everything which has God as its Father overcomes the world. And this is what victoriously overcomes the world: our trust. 5 Who does overcome the world if not the person who believes that Yeshua is the Son of God?
6 He is the one who came by means of water and blood, Yeshua the Messiah — not with water only, but with the water and the blood. And the Spirit bears witness, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 There are three witnesses — 8 the Spirit, the water and the blood — and these three are in agreement. 9 If we accept human witness, God’s witness is stronger, because it is the witness which God has given about his Son. 10 Those who keep trusting in the Son of God have this witness in them. Those who do not keep trusting God have made him out to be a liar, because they have not trusted in the witness which God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the witness: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Those who have the Son have the life; those who do not have the Son of God do not have the life. 13 I have written you these things so that you may know that you have eternal life — you who keep trusting in the person and power of the Son of God.
I found comfort in knowing that believing in Yeshua was so life changing, but not only life changing but world changing. As I began reading I felt even a greater comfort and my day did not seem so bad. I felt better in the ways that matter!
14 This is the confidence we have in his presence: if we ask anything that accords with his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us — whatever we ask — then we know that we have what we have asked from him.
16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin that does not lead to death, he will ask; and God will give him life for those whose sinning does not lead to death. There is sin that does lead to death; I am not saying he should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death.
18 We know that everyone who has God as his Father does not go on sinning; on the contrary, the Son born of God protects him, and the Evil One does not touch him.
19 We know that we are from God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the Evil One.
20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us discernment, so that we may know who is genuine; moreover, we are united with the One who is genuine, united with his Son Yeshua the Messiah. He is the genuine God and eternal life.
21 Children, guard yourselves against false gods!
I closed my Bible and took a moment to think about what I had just read, I wanted the words to sink in, and I was reminded too how easy this day and age it was to fall into a trap of worshiping things other than G-d.
I was grateful that I had found the strength I needed to get through the difficult times. My Faith was strong, and that allowed me the strength to get through this. Bobe too, and Mother made sure I had everything I needed to, to get through the most difficult of times. I had made it through what had happened, despite being told I shouldn’t have made it out of the car, that neither one of us should have, we had both survived. We had found the strength we needed to survive in G-d, and in our family. I was thankful for that, and thankful for all I had been given.
“I hope you know Bobe and I are both proud of you.” Mom said. “You have shown a great deal strength.”
“It is only because you and Bobe always reminded me the importance of looking to G-d for the strength needed to get through the tough times, then you reminded me of the importance of looking within too.”
Thank you G-d for the strength I need to get through this. I am grateful for the way you are always here when I need you G-d. I know that I could not get through this on my own. I love you G-d,and I praise you.
I found comfort in knowing that I was not alone, and that G-d was always there, just as I had found comfort in Bobe’s strength and courage too, the last couple of months had given me a deeper understanding of who Bobe had been, and what she had stood for, the strong woman who had survived the Holocaust, as well as the murder of her husband, a woman who remained a strong role model in my life, nearly a half a decade after she had passed away.
“Bobe do you ever get angry at G-d, over what happened?” I had asked, a few days before my twelfth birthday.
“Of course I do Babula, and that is okay, G-d understands our anger and pain.”
The words still played in my ears, Bobe’s strong words. I found strength in the memory, in the words, and I was thankful for that. I knew that without G-d, I would not make it through any of this, without G-d, I doubted I would have survived. G-d, Bobe, my Mother had showed me what I needed to get through this.
“Babula it’s okay to get angry, to ask questions, as long as you remember that G-d loves you.”
“I know Bobe.” I had said softly, as I listened to more of her story. The story of how she had survived the Holocaust. I was thankful that she had survived, thankful she had been able to tell me the story of how she had endured and overcame.
Bobe had taught me of the Holocaust from the time I was old enough to understand. She wanted me to understand what it was, and what hatred could do, but she also wanted to show me what love and determination could do. I had learned of all she had overcome, all she had lost, and all that she had gained.
It was only by the Grace of G-d that Bobe had survived the Holocaust, when six million Jews died, one and a half million of them kids, but she told me it was not only Jews that died, it was anyone who fit a twisted man’s ideology. He was a monster more than a man really, and we all knew that, most everyone saw through his lies, though there were some that called the Holocaust a fraud, which was absolutely sickening because Bobe had the scars, inside and out that spoke of the terror she had endured, and the unimaginable loss, her eyes still misted when she spoke of Naomi, her twin that never had a chance to grow up.
I felt a grief for the family Bobe had lost as well, but not only our family, but far to many families, some families who were completely destroyed, and in many ways that grief was something I felt too, because I had seen the pain it cost in Bobe’s eyes, in her mannerisms, but I had seen too the strength she had. She was strong and determined to make sure that something like the Holocaust never happened.
Babula we need to teach others about the Holocaust, because if you teach them about hate, and the pain it causes them something like the Holocaust is less likely to happen again.
It was something Bobe had said to me time and time again, making sure that I understood just how important it was to be educated on the Holocaust, and to make sure others were educated as well. She wanted to make sure I understood the importance of sharing my knowledge.
Babula, my family was Jewish, but it sad not only Jews who were hurt, anyone who was different could be taken to the camps, or killed in the streets, for any reason or no reason at all. We were killed by the millions, but others were as well, all because of a madman with a warped idea of perfection. A man who didn’t deserve to be called a man.
Bobe was right, I knew that. And I knew too that it was important to educate others or you had people running people off the road trying to kill them, simply because of who they were, because they were different in someway, or in my case because of a bumper sticker, showing pride in all Bobe had endured and overcome.
I could never understand how anyone could deny that the Holocaust was real, there was proof everywhere and the pain you often saw in the eyes of those who had survived. And the hatred some still felt towards anyone who was different was heartbreaking. I didn’t like to see the anger or the pain.
I hoped that others would educate themselves, that they would make an effort to learn against love instead of hate. I wanted more people to see the power of love over hate. Hatred had the power we gave it, and I wanted us to give it less power.
G-d help others to see the importance of showing love, over hate. I want others to love G-d, to share a strong faith, and determination. I love you G-d, and I praise you for all you have done.
I was grateful that I had G-d by my side, my family, and my friends. I was not alone, and I was thankful for that. I was grateful that G-d had given me the strength I needed. I could not have gotten through all of this without G-d. I found comfort in knowing that I could lean on G-d. I could find the strength I needed when I leaned heavily on him. He had been there for me in the car, in the hospital when I was told I would never walk again, and through the difficult times during physical therapy, but he was there for me too during the good times, cheering me on through the good times, he was there when I overcame, he was there to help me celebrate all the victories.
Chapter Twenty Nine:
Today is Thanksgiving and today we have a reason to celebrate just as we do every year, but the fact that I almost did not make it to this Thanksgiving, I had nearly died, but I had made it , I had survived what should have killed me. But G-d had other plans and today was certainly a day to be thankful.
Mother and I were preparing a meal for the four of us, we were going to the hospital so we could share it with Naomi and Katarina. There would be plenty of food that Nadia could eat, so she was going to be okay there.
I missed the celebrations we had when Bobe was light, the big dinner. The way we would read from the Bible, and the stories Bobe would tell. We still had a wonderful meal, and read from the Bible, but I certainly missed the stories Bobe told, the way she had talked about how grateful she was, that she and a cousin had survived.
Mother and I had gone shopping for the groceries we would need for shopping. The trip to the store has been a challenging one, ones that would remind me of my limitations. Shelfs to high, things just out of reach, and on occasion looks of pity, but I knew that was from lack of education, lack of understanding. The problem was there’s not mine, and I could not let the actions of a few stop me from living my life.
Early in the morning Mother and I began to prepare the meal so we could take it to the hospital. We had already been given the permission needed to bring Thanksgiving Meal to Nadia and Katarina. We needed to be able to celebrate with him, just as we had every year since Nadia and I were three.
“I am so glad you are here Naomi, I could not imagine celebrating Thanksgiving or any Holiday without you.” Mom said, I could hear the pain in her voice, a pain that told me of how close she had come to loosing me and how scared she had been. The truth was the thought of how close I had been to dying scared me as well, but it also spoke of G-d’s Grace. I knew that G-d was with me even in the darkest of times, especially in the darkest of times.
Mother and I were truly enjoying the chances of being able to spend time together, it was good to be able to prepare another Thanksgiving meal together. It was an opportunity I would not take for granted again, after I was nearly killed by a maniac who didn’t like my bumper sticker. I wondered what could have made someone so angry they stopped so low. The kind of anger that led to his actions, the actions that had nearly killed me.
The house started to smell delicious making my mouth water in anticipation. We were blessed with another good meal, and a family that though not blood mattered as if they were.
It wasn’t long before Mother and I were loading up the car in order to take the food to the hospital so we could celebrate with Nadia and Katarina. We all had a lot to be thankful for despite the fact that we both still had a lot to overcome, but God had let us survive, so that we could overcome.
“Happy Thanksgiving.” Mom said, greeting Katarina, and Nadia with a smile. They both looked happy to see us.
“I wish we didn’t have to spend it in the hospital, but if we do I’m glad we can spend it together.” Katarina said, gently squeezing Nadia’s hand.
“We are both blessed to have our girls still with us.” Mom said. “It could have been different.”
Katarina nodded, and said softly, “This is hard, but the alternative would have been impossible.”
Mom started to set up the meal, but before we ate, we would read from the well worn Bible that had belonged to Bobe. Mother opened the Bible to Philippians and opened to the 4th chapter. If I closed my eyes, it was as if Bobe was there smiling at us, and maybe she was.
4 So, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and my crown, my dear friends, keep standing firm in union with the Lord.
2 I beg Evodia and I beg Syntyche to agree with each other in union with the Lord. 3 I also request you, loyal Syzygus, to help these women; for they have worked hard proclaiming the Good News with me, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow-workers whose names are in the Book of Life.
4 Rejoice in union with the Lord always! I will say it again: rejoice! 5 Let everyone see how reasonable and gentle you are. The Lord is near! 6 Don’t worry about anything; on the contrary, make your requests known to God by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving. 7 Then God’s shalom, passing all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with the Messiah Yeshua. 8 In conclusion, brothers, focus your thoughts on what is true, noble, righteous, pure, lovable or admirable, on some virtue or on something praiseworthy. 9 Keep doing what you have learned and received from me, what you have heard and seen me doing; then the God who gives shalom will be with you.
Mother stopped for a moment, long enough to clear her throat, as well as to make sure everything was okay, before she turned her attention back to Philippians. I couldn’t help but think how much like Bobe, Mother was, they had, had their differences of course, but there was no denying they were Mother and daughter.
10 In union with the Lord I greatly rejoice that now, after this long time, you have let your concern for me express itself again. Of course, you were concerned for me all along, but you had no opportunity to express it. 11 Not that I am saying this to call attention to any need of mine; since, as far as I am concerned, I have learned to be content regardless of circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in want, and I know what it is to have more than enough — in everything and in every way I have learned the secret of being full and being hungry, of having abundance and being in need. 13 I can do all things through him who gives me power.
14 Nevertheless, it was good of you to share in my trouble. 15 And you Philippians yourselves know that in the early days of my work spreading the Good News, when I left Macedonia, not a single congregation shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving — only you. 16 Indeed, in Thessalonica when I needed it, you sent me aid twice. 17 I am not seeking the gift; rather, I am looking for what will increase the credit balance of your account. 18 I have been more than paid in full: I have been filled, since I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent — they are a fragrant aroma,[a] an acceptable sacrifice, one that pleases God well. 19 Moreover, my God will fill every need of yours according to his glorious wealth, in union with the Messiah Yeshua. 20 And to God our Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Mother took another moment to take a breath, before finishing the last few verses in Philippians 4.
21 Greet each of God’s people in the Messiah Yeshua. The brothers with me send their greetings to you. 22 All God’s people send greetings, but especially those in the Emperor’s household.
23 The grace of the Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with your spirit.
“We have a lot to be thankful for every year, but we have something extra to be thankful for, a miracle really. We still have our daughters, when they could have been killed, a madman wanted them dead, because of a hate so powerful it took all logic away, but G-d had other plans. He wanted our girls to make it.”
Katarina nodded, tears in her eyes. “I know and I’m grateful, I just don’t like seeing Nadia struggling the way she does, or Naomi going through what she’s going through.”
“I’m okay Katarina.” I assured her. “I’m grateful to be alive.”
Nadia did not say anything, but her nodding told me she understood what I was saying, and that she felt the same way. I knew she was starting to understand more even if she could not fully communicate.
“And I’m grateful you and Nadia are alive too, but I hate that this happened.”
“I do too.” I admitted. “But if I let it make me continuously depressed then then I let the hate win. I don’t want to give them that kind of power.”
Mom smiled and then reminded us that we needed to pray over our meal so we could eat before everything that was supposed to be warm ended up cold.
Mother asked me to pray over the meal which I was happy to do. Bobe had asked me to pray over our Holiday meals as soon as she felt I was old enough too, and I counted it as a blessing, and as an honor.
G-d we really do have a lot to be thankful for this year, we have plenty of food to eat, and a warm place to rest our heads. You have made sure our nerds have been met large and small, but we have even more to be grateful for this year, the very fact that we are enjoying this meal together, even if it is in a hospital room. It could have been so much different but G-d you have shown me that you loved me, that you have something greater planned for both Nadia and I. We are blessed G-d, and thankful for those blessings.
“Amen.” Everyone said in unison, including Nadia. I couldn’t help but smile at the simple act of faith. Amen, a simple end to a prayer, without a simple meaning and in a way a small victory for Nadia. Even the small gains mattered they added up to something bigger. I knew that to be true, from my own experience.
Mother busily started serving the food, and soon the only noise was the clanging of silverware. I watched as Katarina helped her daughter feed herself, though Nadia was getting better at the everyday tasks there were times she still needed help even with the tasks that seemed simple to us. I had learned in the past few months how quickly life can change, and not to take the gifts for granted.
“Thank you for letting us enjoy this meal with you.” Katarina said.
“Thank you for agreeing to this.” Mother said. “It means a lot to all of us.”
I nodded in agreement, grateful that Nadia and I could have a small act of normalcy. The act of celebrating thanksgiving together was a blessing, and we all knew that, because we had all faced something we would have never imagined we would have to, even Bobe’s gentle warnings had not prepared me for what would happen almost a half a decade after she had died.
Babula even in this day and age, especially in this day and age you are going to experience hate, people will hate us for what we believe. But it’s up to us what we do with that hate, it is up to you whether or not you turn something terrible into a tool that can help others.
I remembered the conversation as if it had happened yesterday, and it felt like she was speaking to me today. And in a way I was sure she was. Bobe wanted me to remember the power of love over hate, and I was going to do my best to take that wisdom to heart, and to make sure that I did something, anything to help educate others against hate. I could do that by showing them G-d’s love.