We are in control. The fear is not real because nothing can harm our spirit except for our belief in what is not real. If we believe our fear is real then our fear wins. Always push against the self to test your fears because fear is only trying to teach you what is truly real.
— You get to choose.
A letter from my dear Aunt in Spain:
We agree with you that today is experiencing a change in many sectors of life and of real importance in the world; I think that people are really becoming aware of this important change that threatens humanity; starting with climate change, diseases, globalization, the cost of living, and, above all, the threatening danger of the great ideological powers.
The invasion of Ukraine by the Russian army is about a war in Europe. For the first time, is a threat of a nuclear war. War does not come out of amusement parks or carnivals, but from the hearts of evil men, and the day that people love each other weapons will fall from their hands. War is hunger, suffering, murders, and violation of all human rights. It is true, even if we have religious beliefs or not; the human being does not respect the right that you can think differently, having another ideology. In fact, many of the wars are even religious. The Catholic religion still has a lot of power in the world today. Here in Spain, during the military dictatorship, Catholicism played a prominent role in the Franco regime. When the war was won, all of us losers experienced total and patriarchal submission, always in tension with human rights, such as the right to freedom of opinion, expression on the grounds of sex, and sexual orientation. Religion has to be separate from the state, but it has had a deep-rooted influence that goes back many centuries.
Here in Spain, was a conflict, a coup that would last from 1936 to 1939; a civil war that left thousands of chapters and stories to tell, anecdotes and events marked by fire in the memory of all those who were luckily to survive have been able to compile information about a war that should never have occurred. Unforgettable memories that many of those combatants have kept in their retina until they take it to their grave. The war had a multiple of deadly facets, including the struggle of differences in class and religion.
I will tell you, dear niece, part of the history of that coup d’état that would lead us to a war in Spain; how your grandparents Amelia and José María had lived it; they were still very young, about 25 years old, they were in love having thoughts about getting married and starting a family. The war separated them for awhile, Dad was forced to fight on the enemy side unaware of the massacre he was assisting in. Innocent adolescents whose greatest sin was to live in peace and freedom were forced to enlist in this heartfelt yet painful cause. More than half of these young people did not get to see the end of the war. They were all children and young adults on the battlefields. Between the crossfire of neighbors and Spanish brothers, the factions of children inexperienced in warfare gave their lives at random to hundreds of fired bullets and incendiary grenades. It was the bloodiest battle of the civil war. Spanish Papa was very lucky to have come out of that cruel war alive. Misery, plague, hunger and the trauma of it all would remain engraved as an everlasting memory (they sent Dad to Teruel, if you look at the map he is close to Catalonia) as you can see. Mother, who told these stories to us, she always remembered that during his absence they wrote letters confiding all the love they had for each other. It was also in this period of time when Mom suffered the loss of her brother, my uncle José who was also a victim of these outrages caused by human hands who shot him along with other innocent young people having so many truncated illusions for a life of freedom and peace.
When the war ended, Mom and Dad got married forming this family of which you are a part of. We feel very proud. The chapters that followed, I already explained to you those moments. It was very sad not to have met Dad. When he passed away, I was only nine months old. I’m sure my brothers would also miss feeling his support, his confidence… I still have admiration for the love he had for his children and a lot of sadness because he left when he was very young, barely passing for a life. Every day is a new beginning, we have to recover from the wounds, enjoy the good times, and the future of our family.
Niece, this is the summary of part of our story. For a moment I am nostalgic for having brought to mind so many memories that I have captured here. I am pleased to tell them to you, Shannie, because, here, you have part of your family roots.
Our History is Everybody
From the beginning of time until now, we all are affected by each other’s actions good and bad alike. It is great to know that we are sensitive to the things that are happening all around us. We are constantly evolving, with every generation, learning how to be better, to grow out of our bitterness, to not to let our past bring us down, and to rise out of our current dysfunction by choosing not to become a part of it.
We are Fighters
Called to be separate and set apart from these bad things, instead of allowing them to oppress us, and paralyze us by capturing us in a state of fear as it tries to convince us that there is no where to go; know that we do have a place that has been here in front of our faces all along.
Physicality is not the image of truth that lives on. In truth, it is our spirituality that does. So, we must start believing in the other, so then, we will be empowered by the self instead of being oppressed by it.
There are these two worlds — The world of dysfunction, pain, and chaos, and then there is the other.
Choose wisely, friend, and you will live your best life, forever and ever till death has no more of a part.
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Shannie Alvarez — A Gentile with a Jewish Heart
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