Currently Browsing: Homesick-Heimwee

Whose sacrifice mirrors God for you?

Whose sacrifice mirrors God for you?
Remembering Henry Leitner and Otis Morgan Who mirrored God for you? WWII veteran, Colonel Ben Skardon wants us to remember two names: Henry Leitner and Otis Morgan. They mirrored God for him by saving his life, over and over again. Before I tell you more, Ben’s honoring of his two friends who died in WWII (as fellow POW’s of the Japanese) reminds me of a lesson which brought me faith.  In the exercise we were asked to list the one to two nicest things any other person ever did for us. Once you write this down,  you cross out the names of those you are honoring, and replace each name with the word...
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Dumb Gratitude to True Gratitude

Dumb Gratitude to True Gratitude
Yesterday I shared how as a child-immigrant I felt and thought, a mixture of sorrow, anger and nobody understands me. I was also an invisible immigrant. Until I opened my mouth, and spoke American with a Dutch accident, I seemed just like other children. I was also an immigrant seeking gratitude for reasons much different than refugee-immigrants. My father, mother, younger sister and I,  had left a country, The Netherlands (Nederland, Holland), which actually had a tradition of offering liberty and freedom to others. For instance the Dutch gave the Pilgrims religious freedom and shelter while awaiting...
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Dumb Gratitude

Dumb Gratitude
Do you struggle with gratitude? I sure do. I have haaated the topic. I have NOT wanted to have an attitude of gratitude. Even in elementary school I was a seven year old gratitude curmudgeon. You know the drill in elementary school. The teacher has you make a list. Every child is grateful for their mom, dad, the rest of the family, being born in a free country like America. And that’s where my seven year old self cynically coughed up toad-thoughts.  I thought I couldn’t’ tell my teacher and class mates. : I wasn’t born in America.  I was born in The Netherlands. Holland was...
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Luther Prunty’s Red Blanket, Symbol of Gratitude after World War II

Luther Prunty’s Red Blanket, Symbol of Gratitude after World War II
A Blanket of Gratitude A red blanket of comfort followed Luther Prunty through the hell of WWII Japanese concentration camp survival. As he nears the century mark of life, home in Jacksboro, Texas, he still treasures the same blanket. At one time the Chinese  red blanket offered him the simple protection of not being considered AWOL, when over-extending his leave in Singapore.  The blanket which hid him from American MP’s as he returned to base, became a symbol of the extreme of protection and courage necessary for survival of all that came after, at the hands of the Japanese: Defeat in the...
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(3) Indonesia, “Indie” August 13, 1945, My “Friends” Waited

(3) Indonesia, “Indie” August 13, 1945, My “Friends” Waited
Sixty-six years ago, a tense world waited. Civilians and POW’s held in Japanese slave labor operations and concentration camps continued in a daze of starvation and deprivation. Deaths accelerated by the day. Children, women and men held in the camps did not know that on: August 6, the Atom bomb had  been dropped on Hiroshima August 7, 1945 Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo of Japan sent a coded telegram to his ambassador in Moscow. Japan had proposed a peace agreement to the Soviet Union, and wanted an answer (Haseqawa, 2006). August 9, 1945 The Atom bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Due to the Nagasaki...
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Cynicism & Hope: No Help Generations after WWII

Cynicism & Hope: No Help Generations after WWII
Papa never talked about his survival of Jappen kampen  Japanese Concentration Camps (during WWII in Indonesia). What a legacy, and an understandable legacy of keeping secrets. And if needs are kept secret, then help is not expected either. Here are the roots of secrets and not expecting help for young survivors of Jappen kampen. returning to the “home country” Holland in late 1945, the message was, “We suffered too, do not tell us.” the experiences of starvation and brutality challenged description why focus on the past when the present gave freedom, food and...
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Homecoming – Heimwee, Comfort Food, Comfort People

Homecoming – Heimwee, Comfort Food, Comfort People
  The Taste of War: World War Two and the Battle for Food by Lizzie Collingham “How can one imagine not being hungry?”  Primo Levi asks in his account of his experiences at Auschwitz. The camp “is hunger: we ourselves are hunger, living hunger”. According to Lizzie Collingham’s ambitious new book, the whole second world war was hunger.   “Is there more?” Papa at each and every meal for a long, long time   My favorite definition of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is: PTSD is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation.* This is a gentle, yet...
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Heroism, Heimwee- homecoming hero, what feeds you?

Heroism, Heimwee- homecoming hero, what feeds you?
Heimwee- homecoming hero, what feeds you? “Just appreciate us. And consider us survivors, not heroes. I am not a hero; I’m strictly a survivor.“ from Veteran Wilbur Sharpe, this Memorial Day about being a POW in Germany from June 1943 to Jan. 21, 1945 (Ashburn Patch Newspaper, Ashburn, VA). He suffered acute hardshiop. Months after liberation to the Russian allies and enroute back to American allies, he still weighted only 94 pounds.  In the POW camp, Red Cross packages save their lives. Red Cross packages were turned over to the prisoners every 10 days, after the German captors,...
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End of the World Tomorrow

End of the World Tomorrow
“Don’t you know it’s the end of the world Saturday?” Everyone at Peet’s coffee in Morgan Hill is saying this. I’m an early a.m.  regular because being here helps me to keep writing…no laundry, no family wandering in and out to get me away from the keyboard. But this is a huge distraction, the end of the world. They’re all saying it. They don’t mean it. Peet’s coffee folks are adding, “Haven’t you seen the posters at the side of the road?” Actually, I have. They say the world is ending. “Then we’ll have a party Saturday.” “Yeah, it’s going to...
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Knowing, Carl Jung, Jung’s Red Book

Knowing, Carl Jung, Jung’s Red Book
  Carl Jung heard a question and watched the interviewer with a twinkle in his eye. I watch the documentary and wait for Jung’s answer. The question was — “Do you believe in God?” I am waiting for the “Yes.” Instead, Jung –a pastor’s son, shifted in his seat and said, “No, I know God.” “I know God.” That is what I strive to say daily. Knowing takes me beyond believing, beyond wondering what condition my faith is in today. “I know God.” That is what I would remember to say, so you and I don’t argue about the existence of our Creator, and instead can just tell...
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