Heavy footsteps told us they were coming. The Nazi soldiers, who just two weeks prior, had taken everything we owned. They broke down the door just as Mother opened it, pushing Mother away.
I stayed calm, and Naomi too, though on the inside I was shaking, afraid they would take our father again.
I was not about to let these terrifying looking men see me scared, though. I will not give them joy by letting me see my pain. Instead, I try to stay as calm as possible, praying to G-d they do not hear the beating of my heart.
After they left, I could see Mother and Father were brave, too. Their voices were shaking with fear. That scared me, because Mother and Father are brave, but it’s been hard when their friends kept disappearing into the ghettos and camps. They even killed some on the streets. It didn’t matter who to some of the Nazis.
I hide my fear from Naomi too, because she will become afraid too, and I don’t want that. Naomi needs to stay as strong as possible, but she can see something is wrong. She hears the whispers, just as I do.
Monday, September,18, 2018:
“Nadia’s awake!” Mom said. “She’s not up to visitors just yet, but she’s awake.”
“I want to see her.” I said, my eyes pleading.
“You will, sweetheart, but Nadia needs more time.”
“It’s bad, isn’t it?” I asked.
Mother’s silence gave me the answer I did not want to hear.
I pushed the button on the side of my bed, wanting to sit up. I had sat in a wheelchair for a half an hour, with the help of Heather, my Physical Therapist, and even that had been challenging.
The reality had hit me as I sat in that chair; I am paralyzed. I can’t walk, nothing below mid chest works like it should.
“You’re going to get stronger.” Mother whispered. “You’re already stronger than you were when you first got here.”
I wanted to believe her, and I couldn’t argue with the fact that I was stronger than I was when I first came to the hospital.