Monday, February 19, 2018

#DWHabit - Word of the Day: Time

Tired. I am so tired. I have spent three days working on lesson plans for one of my teachers out on leave.  I have graded her essays and left mine for later. Three days.
My husband was my salvation. He took me out on two dates this week. He said I needed a brain break. Lunch and a gourmet popsicle twice this week. Who could ask for more.  When my head began to pound and my eyes cross he told me to lay down. He held me tight. He said it was to relax me, which it did. I believe it was to force me to take some time.

I have trouble relaxing. I always have had an issue with taking time for me.  I always put others first. It is late at night as I write this because I am just now taking time for me and my writing. For the first time this week I feel like I am in my element.  I have missed so many days of writing. Every day last week a writer student of mine would bring up her writing and ask if I wanted to read it. Of course I did. The last two days of the week I told her I wanted to but was unable to at the time. I asked her to bring it to me before school on Tuesday so that I can catch up with her second novel writing.  I found myself feeling jealous because of a school situation I was unable to fit it in.  In addition to working with students on their own writing we had multiple discussions about the recent school shooting. It didn't help that we had threats in our own district after the shooting.

I was so proud of the students of the teacher on leave. I gave her students an assignment to write a personal narrative. They had to write as if they were a child of the Holocaust who had witnessed their friends disappearing.  They were so good. There were some I read where I held my breath in fear the character would be found in their hiding place.  I felt their hunger and the pain of hard, torturous work.

I have not TAKEN the time I so needed for me. However, for a few hours while I graded those personal narratives I thought about how I would write it.  Here is an excerpt from MY thoughts.

I heard my parents enter my room silently.  Something was wrong. 
"Eva," my parents shook me gently. "Quiet my sweet. I need you to get up quietly, put on your warmest clothes and my coat without any questions."  I nodded and did as I was told.  I left my room and saw my parents with two bags. My mama wrapped a warm blanket around my shoulder and took my hand. 
As we walked toward the door my mama reminded me not to speak.  I nodded.  We slipped out the door, walking silently next to the house. My papa cocked his head listening. I wondered what he was listening for.  In the distance I saw another family slip from their home.  We followed them through back streets toward a large church.  I wanted to ask my mama why we would go to a Christian church, because we were Jews. I held my tongue.  
The door to the church opened and we slipped into the darkness. We followed the man leading us to the back of the church and down a set of stairs. In the basement were several families. My mama led us to a corner in the back of the room. I sat on the floor next to my parents. I kind lady, a little on the plump side brought us a cup, steam rising from it. It smelled delicious.  Hot chocolate. I could tastes the sweet chocolate before my first sip. I looked around me as I drank down its deliciousness. The parents wore looks of fear and despair. My own parents looked tired. The children were confused. Why had no one told us what was going on?
"Mama?" I looked at her tired face. "Why are we here?" I saw the look exchanged between my parents. It said so much. Should they tell me? How much should they tell me?  
"Mama?" I asked again.  She cupped my chin in her hand and replied softly. 
"My sweet child, we must leave and hide. The Germans want us dead." she said.
"But mama, aren't we Germans?"  
"Yes my little one we are. But, we are Jews and the Nazis want us gone. Now finish your chocolate and then you need to get some sleep. We will spend many days being moved at night."
I sipped from my cup again and wondered why the Nazis hated us so much. Maybe with time they would learn to like us.

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