We were all on the big bed – this is how we often watch videos on the computer – and it was a 27-minute feature on Anne Frank, the German-Jewish girl in Holland who wanted more than anything to be a writer and, strangely, became just that after her diary was published sometime after she succumbed to death in a concentration camp.
The story is well-known – Anne was in hiding in an Amsterdam house annex with her family before the Nazis found them and sent most to their eventual deaths – and even Liz and Jon were both already familiar with her story thanks to Heroes Week at their Kampala school earlier this year.
Today we’re on a plane heading to Amsterdam to see that place, the very secret rooms where Anne wrote the things that she did, and to be reminded about not just the horrible things that human beings can do to one another, but be reminded that even in the ashes there are things to find and to remember so that with any amount of hope – but much more than hope – we can use even those charred remains like a compass for the future.
Then, not long after seeing a few other things in Amsterdam, we’ll be on another plane heading back to Canada — where just three days ago our hometown of Hamilton still got snow – a little more seasoned in it all, in life, a little more maturity for these three well-travelled kids.
Even so, kids are still what they are. And this, maybe, is why the terribleness of stories like Anne’s are so valuable even to little people. They remind them that while people, more often than not, adults, are capable of things they can barely imagine, it’s also time to now leave and go out and do what someone like Anne would have done if she had the chance, which is to simply, in one way or another, go outside and play.