Yesterday, my sister, mom and I decided to stay clear of the District and just get out and enjoy a beautiful day. So, wine tasting it was! This photo of the first vineyard we visited isn’t great, but the house (built in the late 1700s) was a joy to see. We had a really lovely day in beautiful weather, as the blue sky shows. Turns out a lot of grapes/juices are being brought in from Washington state to the Virginia area winemakers, due to a lack of grapes in this area right now.
Today, we went to the Bureau of Printing and Engraving where paper money is printed. Definitely zero photos allowed there! 😉
The thing that struck me the most from today’s adventures was our trip to the U.S. Holocaust Museum. We all know the history, the atrocities, the stories of those who hid and rescued the Jews in so many European countries. But when I saw the videos, read the stories, heard them in the survivors’ own voices, I was shattered. I became aware of just how lacking my understanding of this horror truly is.
Many years ago, I had the joy of meeting and caring for a gentleman who was a resident in a care facility where I worked. His name was Richard and he was a Holocaust survivor. He showed me the tattoo of his number on the inside of his forearm and, through his daughters who translated for me, he was able to share just a bit of what it was like at the Austrian concentration camp where he was sent. He wasn’t always present enough to talk about things, but what amazed me was that he was never sad. Even if he had tears in his eyes as he spoke of that time, he did so with joy for having come through, for surviving, for being able to find his love, have his family, live to be an old man who’s life was rich with children, grandchildren and the best of memories, even with having the memories from that experience. Today I was reminded of Richard and I was humbled by how happy he was every single day. He could find joy in the smallest of things.
In the Museum there is a Memorial room. The room is round and lining the walls there are nooks in which votive candles are placed. Above the rows of candles, the names of the various concentration camps are displayed. If one wishes, one can light a candle for those who were lost. I lit two today. The first was for the grandparents and father of a former co-worker, also from many years ago. Her family members were lost at Auschwitz. The second was for Richard.