I have an 87-year old friend who said to me, "I don't mind people offending me. As long as I don't offend them."
I guess her wisdom grew out of her experiences and hardship during the Third Reich under Hitler's rule. Her father was a Russian soldier; the Hitler 'empire' took him away from her, her mother and her sister and was sent back to prison into "oblivion". She was three when that happened. And she remembered it so vividly.
Do you think she ever trusted people, her leaders, the government? She had lost faith in them who were supposed to defend, protect, and provide peace in their country, Germany. She lost her mother and sister in the war. She lost her Jewish friends who did nothing wrong but live their lives.
But she was head strong and survived. In her teens, when she escaped from near death, God had found her in her most frightened time of her life. After that, through the years, after the war in 1945, she met her Polish husband at a refugee camp in London who had loved her, showed kindness to her and sheltered her.
Hardships, great pain and losing loved ones in the war softened her heart towards those around her. She grew more determined to make good of the dismal life and for those around her. Hardships and grief have not snatched her faith in people but made herself a simple beacon of light and love to people whom she always wanted to hear, listen and help.
Alcohol and substance abuse to eliminate our pain and sorrow aren't the answers to our deep problems. I think, we are capable of facing them headlong and think about others more who have greater sufferings than we have ever been.
I learn from her. She is a dear friend to everyone at the nursing home. She is full of hope and faith!
Last edited: Apr 14, 2015