Monday, January 08, 2007

If Mom Had A Blog In 1942

These are the first stories my mom can remember as we try to put the pieces of her life all in order. Information of dates, times and places are still sketchy but I can feel it come together. She does want to make it clear that she harbors no anger against the Japanese or the Indonesian people. I might still place these bits of information on her own blog. Here's her earliest memories . . .

War Hits Home:

Japanese soldiers came today. They took my father and grandfather away. Mom won’t tell us where they’ve been taken, only that we will see them again. She’s a good Christian woman but today she told a lie—maybe even two. I don’t think we’ll see Pappa and Grandpa again, for one, and she also said that my older brother was only ten years old. He’s really twelve. Though I do think that God will forgive her because that lie allowed us to keep our brother home, it was still a lie. I don’t like what this war has done to all of us.

The Japanese soldier in charged said that we were not to leave our house. If we did they had the right to shoot us. I’m not quite sure who gave them that right but I believe they will shoot us and without one feeling of guilt. So we are under house arrest, I think that’s what adults call it.

Most of the Dutch soldiers left before the Japanese soldiers came to Soerabaja. We could have used their help. Some of them stayed. Unfortunately most of them were captured and killed. I don’t understand all this killing. What is it we have done to make them so mad?

I learned in Sunday school that we are to love our enemies. This is hard to do for me, but I know I must try. Furthermore, it seems that if we are to get back to Sunday school we will have to break the new law—all Indonesian people must stay inside their homes. Like most kids, I thought it would be exciting to be known as a criminal, but it really isn’t fun at all. Let me explain.

A few days locked up in our house was enough to drive a normal person a little crazy, especially when you have to share everything with your sister and brothers. Mom announced that this was the night we were going to leave the house for a few hours. “We’re going to church,” she said.

We were very happy, indeed, but we were ill prepared for what was coming.


Latte-n-Libre said...

What an incredible story to be telling. Your parents and you are incredibly brave for reliving this past and sharing it. It seems this will be an incredible story of faith and courage and I can't wait to read more.

The GateKeeper said...

Thanks "Latte." I hope I can tell it correctly. You're right it is an incredible story of faith, courage and forgiveness. I'm honored to have you stop by.

swibirun said...

Here via blogexplosion:

That is a very neat idea. I have posted bits from my written journals of when I was in my twenties.

My Blog

Dirty Butter said...

Fascinating story from a viewpoint seldom heard! But I have to ask for clarification, knowing you write fiction. Is this a true story, or is it a blend of truth and fiction?? Either way, it's a good read, and I'm looking forward to more. Just wanted to know.

The GateKeeper said...

Hi DB, this will be truth. I am sitting down with my mom and really digging into her memories. She's starting to use military language even--like Dock 51, Central and GI's. Creepy sometimes. But we're greatful how the Lord has healed her.

Dirty Butter said...

Fantastic! I figured it was from real memories, but I wanted to be sure. I'm going to make a short post on Yesterday's Memories and link to your post, if you don't mind.

The GateKeeper said...

Wow! DB, I'm honored for the linkage. Thanks so much.