Is there more?

Always afraid, always needed to talk, but didn’t.

Photo courtesy of Anna Cervova. Public Domain.

The recoil from pain is instinctual. For a long, long time survivors do not wish to talk about the past.

All. It.  Does. Is dredge up pain. Pain, like a murky muddy bottom, over which survivors wash the clear water of a new life, after war. The clear water of afterWards works for a long time, but this fresh water has a way of settling and  mucking up again. The clearest water I know, is the loving eyes and ears of a friend or confessor who hears it all. That gentle flow of loving waters, still occurs. Cynics abound after the trauma of war, yet taking the risk of feeling God’s love, is also clear, living water (see quote at the end).

The need to be heard, is why I can still find so many stories of World War II survivors who share, who still need to share. Sharing is therapy. Sharing is walking through times of deep loneliness, and knowing that talking creates an as-if. It is an as-if your friend’s love was there all along. And if a friend can love so much, the possibility that maybe God was there after all too.

So did all survivors wash over their hurt lives the clear water I have described? Well to quite an extent, except for nightmare interrupted sleep, yes.

In my family my mother recalls my father’s nightmares early in their marriage.In the terror of nightmares, again he would be starving, trapped, imprisoned, performing slave labor over useless rows of growing food that never went to the civilian prisoners.

In my family my mother remembers my father happy in the early ears of their marriage. Yet every supper for a long time he had to ask, “Is there more?”

“Yes,” was her answer — for a long, long time.

Eventually he didn’t need to ask as much. Yet my sister and I remember the question, so it never totally left.

Is there more? Istheremore lingered.

Now POW’s and civilian survivors of the Japanese concentration camps of World War II, still provide for each others’ istheremore. This istheremore is the one of words.  Is there more to say? Yes.

I think my father perhaps gave himself only one opportunity to say, “Thereismore,” and that is when he was hospitalized for PTSD, during my teen years. It turned out he was in hospital with Vietnam vets, and they wanted to say their own istheremores. As far as I know from the little Papa said though, that he spoke only to his wish to fight, to not be held as a victim-captive. Perhaps he did not share the quelling blows of daily defeat that imprisoned civilians in the Dutch East Indies.

Tomorrow I will post a link to one boyhood survivor of World War II Japaneses concentration camps who did go on to talk, after a long delay.

When were you always afraid? How is it when you talk of the fear. Does it slow leave?  Is there more? Tell me.

 Jesus answered,“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life….(then Jesus goes on to listen to the woman a the well before she speaks. He already knows her story. He is the great listener).” John 4:13-14, NIV


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