lost childhood | Janneke Jobsis Brown

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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(5) August 15, 1945 Liberation Begins as Bersiap time errupts

(5) August 15, 1945 Liberation Begins as Bersiap time errupts
Ausust 15, 1945 Japan formerly surrendered Join in this stark celebration of the beginning of the 66th year to commemorate the liberation of Japanese Concentration Camps in the Dutch East Indies/Indonesia. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ftvl2Utvkxo Don’t let the empty screen bewilder you, by the end of the day wreaths from other  countries (including Japan), organizations, flowers from survivors, from survivors’ families and the power of personal stories will fill the day and the scene. On this day, in1945,  and the days and weeks to follow all Japanese camp inmates, slave laborers,...
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Sweetness after Trauma – To the Wall and Back

Sweetness after Trauma – To the Wall and Back
He must have been through  unspeakable suffering, to be so unspeakably kind when the chips were down To the Wall and Back “When you were a teenager, you went to the wall and back,  and your family doesn’t get that.” This came up in discussion with my Family Therapy instructor s in graduate school for Clinical Social Work Counseling. He’s right. They never got that. Now I know he was wrong. Mammie and Pappie had been to the wall and back. They “got” the wall and back thing…The tragedy we lived at the time? My parents knew how it was to go to “the wall...
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30 D.o.L., The Hand I Would be After World War II

30 D.o.L., The Hand I Would be After World War II
Inside their parents’ eyes and heart, children never grow up. On a TV commercial, a  dad talks to his little girl sitting on the driver’s seat of a car, pretending to drive.  Her little legs stretch straight in front of her, she tries to reach up to the steering wheel. Her Dad talks just like me when my toddler son rolled down our driveway on his Big Wheel tricycle. “Be careful…pay attention…I love you….” Flash on the next scene and we see that Daddy”s little girl,  is actually a mature teenager, trying to take off in her car. I have a little child...
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30 D.o.L. after WWII, Willing to be willing to be willing

30 D.o.L. after WWII, Willing to be willing to be willing
“I don’t want to tiptoe through life just to arrive at death safely.” Cheri Huber Being Willing to be Willing to be Willing to be Willing…. The first time I consciously took a risk for Change,  I sat in my first 12 step group meetings as a teenager. Of all things, part of the purpose was to be straight and sober. Sober? Alcohol was my solution, not the problem. Questions came at me about willingness. Those questions changed my life. A 16 year old girl, with a halo of curly long dark hair kept ducking her head to look me in the eyes. “Are you willing to lead a different...
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