Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Reading Anne Frank from Our Little Apartment

What a week we have had! Even though we are sending out-of-sync emails and only sometimes hitting the right times with each other to skype, my heart has been out there on the limb with mom and dad all week, and it seems like their hearts are strung out to the breaking point. It can’t be easy feeling like the middle-man between granddad and his caregivers and Medicaid, and between my sister and her now-rather-frustrated doctors and the ambiguities of chronic care for a young person. I’m sure sometimes it feels like your hearts can’t take more insult and frustration.
The boys and I are reading the Diary of Anne Frank, and she has just been relocated with her family and the Van Daans into the hiding spot in the attic. Ernest and Yoshi were fascinated by the spy-novel quality of her escape, the secret stairwell, and the cunning letter left behind to suggest to the police that they have fled to Maastricht. What is sinking in now with them is the reality that this thirteen-year-old girl and two families will spend years in the same small rooms, whispering, wondering, worrying about creaking the floor boards. Ernie wonders how a human being can be out of sunlight for so long. I wonder how parents can tolerate confinement of the families in such a small space without everyone going at each others’ throats. Maybe the diary was the key to survival.
Anyway, I left off talking to mom and dad last night thinking that if Anne Frank can turn confinement and fear into an everyday reality, then maybe the human spirit can live up to surprisingly stressful conditions and turn them into normal.
By the way, reader, you might have seen that Sarabi Frank's not my real name. I chose Frank after Anne Frank, because her journal is so inspiring. I hope that I can be half as candid as she is in those pages, and that something in the process of being honest with you and my thoughts will reach out to another heart the way Anne has to me.