My Grandpa Just Kept it to Himself
- Why Do People Kill So Easily?
We have been roaming on this Planet for a few minutes in galactic time; It’s believed that humans originated about 200,000 years ago in the Middle Paleolithic period in Southern Africa, right where our friend Martie C. lives. Roughly we have 5,000 ge
Christmas eve, 2014
Today is the day, and my grandpa, who is 76, stayed the night at our House In Jersey.
His problem was his lack of willingness to go to see a doctor.
For the last 13 years he hasn't seen a physician, and he was not looking forward to it, even if he didn't feel good at all. The weather wasn't helping that much!
He is sitting in our living room, watching -- let me take a look -- a documentary about Churches in Belgium?
To my surprise he began to speak in this broken down language.
I think it was French, which we don't speak at all!!
And his voice changed to a deep and hard to swallow kind of voice.
"Oui!! Cherchez! Avec! Was the summer of 1942, when Hitler and his Gestapo decimated our society and culture, our assets and precious personal belongings.
'Kristallnacht' was the beginning of our very end. Luckily, I was roaming this street in Belgium, where my friend, who was Catholic, warned me not to go home. They had already taken my parents to a concentration camp!!"
My own father, his son, came over to the living room and wanted to switch the Channel without grandpa's permission!!??
Dad knew the story all along, and as soon as he found out what my grandfather was saying he wanted to walk away from this genealogical trouble.
"stay, please Michael... stay son..." said old timer Francis to my dad while grabbing my dad's shoulder.
"We were lucky to be hidden in this small tiny cute little Church, 'The Saint Elizabeth Church of our Sacred Heart.'
As I told your dad, forty years ago, we were the last orphan survivors that never wanted to loose our parents to this infamous genocide.
THE NIGHT THAT I REALLY BELIEVED.
Grandpa was going into details! Telling us all this... like he had all the time of the world. My dad was getting emotional and I was wiping my own share of compassionate tears as well.
"God strike me to death, but it was on March of 1943. As clear as today. The zz launched a raid into our Convent. Our novice nuns took 200 kids for a 'picnic.' This way these despicable Nazis wouldn't take us away to join our parents.
But I was sick and had bronchitis. I had no choice, I had to stay in order to get better.
Father Bruno or this famous 'Henri Reynders' who was always there for us, did what no one could have done in his right mind..."
My grandfather was holding back tears for two long minutes before continuing and I... I was about to tell him "forget it grandpa. This is too sad!"
"Father! Would you stop this stupid story," said my father to his own. "Michael, I want to tell you all... what is really in my heart.
My days are shorter and I fear that one night I won't be here anymore...remember how I used to get my meal for every Christmas eve and stubbornly used to ask for two meals?" said my 'gramps', inquiring right into my dad's eyes.
"Yes dad, you used to go to your bedroom and wanted to be alone with two meals of everything. Even those chocolate bars, " answered my dad Michael kinda annoyed.
"That Was my symbolic thanks to Father Bruno, who saved my life on that cold night of March of 1943.
These ZZ butchers and snatchers of humanity got hold of my whereabouts and found me in one of the nuns' bed, with this high fever. They didn't care! One of them dragged me down the steps of this Church... and took me outside, and father Bruno, running down the steps shouted, 'If you are going to take him, just take the two of us. I don't care!"
One of the Gestapo young Hitlerian snatchers stopped the one that was dragging me and told him in clear German, 'this is too much, we have kids too! Just let them go Schultz!'"
My Father was speechless, and left to bring napkins for all of us. Grandpa, had a story I never heard of, and was all sadly true!!
"Father Bruno, Lord have merci! Took me inside the church and prayed for 2 hours.
The thing is... it was a Catholic Church, but as you know I was born Jewish. My parents were Jewish and died with their beliefs intact at Auschwitz... and unfortunately they died of famine a year before the French resistance and its allies stormed our town. Anyways, I want to apologize, is this.... On every holiday I get motivated to speak out and let you guys understand my ways, that were already set when I left that Church in 1945 to join other young adults my age, in the reconstruction of our own lives... My own parents were dead and I had my own mission to accomplish."
"That was the School you founded in Brussels dad, back in 61?" asked my Father. "Yep! and every Sunday religiously would go to mass in both Churches, the one I told you about, and our own synagogue."
My mother came from doing her Sunday grocery shopping and brought a present for my grandfather. "I found this little church made of clay, father. I think you would've love this one right?"
My granddad, took a deep breath and held the little church against his heart and... tears rolled down his face, as he was taking that gift to the guest's bedroom and that was so heartfelt. My dad..for the very first time was crying as a kid and we embraced as brothers. My Mother didn't have much to say.
I began to write the story at 5 pm, right before Christmas!
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