The title for this week’s post is a direct quote from Anne Frank (1929-1945).
So I am having a bit of a blah day, tempted not to do this, but I know I can come up with ten things and so I’m giving it a try.
TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL
Sunday: A History For Today opening Reception and Speaker Series.
For these insightful events happening all summer long at a museum nearby. I felt a bit strange sipping champaign during the reception, but I was there to learn about a very important topic, from someone who knows what she’s talking about. I am writing a series of articles about it for my website.
Julie Couture is French-Canadian, but moved to Europe and has worked at The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, for the last five or more years.
She designed the website and is in charge of the Canadian portion of a traveling exhibit on Anne Frank, her diary, and WW II in schools and museums like the one I was at.
Her talk was very informative and I am looking forward to the other speakers in the series, with five more spread throughout the rest of the summer. This exhibit is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I thought I’d better make the most of it, just in case I never make it to The Netherlands.
For where and when I was born.
Listening to Julie speak I realized how it’s simply the luck of the draw when a person is born. Or not luck at all, as the case was and is for so many.
It’s beyond our control.
Monday: Dr. Ruth.
This might sound like a strange one, but I heard an interview with her. She’s an amazing lady. She’s tiny but strong.
You’ve likely heard the name, but just in case you know very little to nothing about her…
She was born in Germany,
(a common theme runs throughout more than one of the ten this week, as you can probably tell)
into a Jewish family, and lived a normal life, until she was sent away on a Kindertransport to Switzerland, never to see her parents alive again.
After World War II she went to Palestine, then moved to France, and finally to the Us and settled in New York City.
She has studied psychology, sociology and human sexuality. In the 80s she was given her own radio show, answering people’s questions on sex and relationships, something nearly unheard-of at the time.
She has been married three times, speaks four languages (German, French, English, and Hebrew) and has written many books.
It’s strange to hear someone that sounds like my grandmother, yet definitely is not. She has always spoken her mind, not letting the fact that she was Jewish or a woman stop her. She is the sort of tough girl that Hitler and the Nazis did not get a chance to silence. That’s pretty amazing to me and I am thankful she survived, when Anne Frank and so many others did not.
Tuesday: for hot musicians.
(Okay, so changing subjects here for a bit, trying to lighten the mood a little.)
This is a band out of the UK and is made up of just two guys, bass guitar and drums. No other guitar at all.
I like the drummer best. Unfortunately, he’s the married one.
For the road trip my brother and a friend are planning for later this summer.
He has been sick or stuck on dialysis and tied to machines for the last several years, unable to travel very far. Before that he was young and didn’t realize how valuable or exhilarating travel could be.
Now he’s free to do what he wants, to really enjoy a summer off, and he is going to get to see a different part of Canada. I’m definitely envious, but mostly I’m thrilled for him.
Wednesday: for my first introduction to a sweet little doll of a baby girl.
I went on a lovely walk with her and her mother. I had to wait until after to meet her, until she woke up, but I will never forget the first time we met.
For the strong mother she is lucky to have. Life is often sad and unfair, but I know they are lucky to have each other.
Thursday: for the stories of Robert Munsch.
My childhood was made a lot more enjoyable with this man’s stories. He celebrated his 70th Birthday and I enjoyed reading a list of 70 things I did not know about him. (Well, I did not know mostly all of them.)
My favourite on that list was number forty-seven. Apparently his first date with his wife was a walk around Walden Pond in Boston. The literary geek in me enjoyed knowing that one.
Friday: for Sir Christopher Lee and the role I will always be glad he played.
I was sad to hear of the passing of Lee this week, but it wasn’t all that unexpected. He was ninety-three and had a good, long life.
I wrote a tribute to Lee here.
I will always think of him as Sauroman the Wizard, from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, but check out this recitation of the Edgar Allan Poe poem, The Raven, that he did.
Eerie stuff, but he gives the perfect delivery.
And finally – last but certainly not least…
For the existence of Anne’s diary.
On June 12th, 1942 Anne Frank turned thirteen-years-old and received a diary for her birthday.
“I hope I will be able to confide everything in you, as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support.”
Anne was only five months older than my own grandmother when she wrote these words.
“Writing in a diary is a really strange experience for someone like me. Not only because I have never written anything before, but also because it seems to me that later on neither I nor anyone else will be interested in the musings of a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl.”
How wrong she was when she said this.
I’m glad she did write it, but Julie did point out that it’s just as important to remember the 1.5 million children also murdered by the Nazis had stories of their own that deserved to be told
Anne’s diary must represent not only her own unique voice, but that of all the others’.
If you have never read it before, I highly suggest you do. Have a great week all.