Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Impossible?

Maria Belon is a Spanish woman who was vacationing in Thailand with her husband and three sons when the tsunami hit. Yes, the Tsunami. 
She and her son were separated from the rest of the family, and her story of survival was made into a film, The Impossible

She was being interviewed on The View, and she said something that stuck with me. 

We think we know who we are, she said. We go through life, so sure we know ourselves. But then we go through something horrific, and from deep inside this . . . strength comes to the surface, strength we never knew we had. Then we know, she said, who we are. 

When I was a kid I could never connect the stories of my grandparents' survival with the mild-mannered people that shuffled about their living rooms. How Zeidy was sent to a labor camp in Siberia, how Bábi kept her sister's children alive, how Zeidy wasted away from typhus, how Bábi made it through a death march. 

Them? These ordinary folks? The same Zeidy who could subsist entirely on sugar, the same Bábi who loves to sleep in, the same Zeidy with the corny jokes, the same Bábi who lives to Windex?

From time to time I have paranoid fantasies, like the government is taken over like in V for Vendetta, and a fascist regime comes up again, and I must survive and take care of others by my wits and perseverance. There is the question of what would I do then? 

Now I wonder, Who am I now? What am I capable of, now? What strength is in me, now, that I could tap into, today   


Miri said...

I think especially when it comes to our families we are capable of much, much more than we think. I hope we never have to find out, of course, but I, too, sometimes wonder what we would do.

Mystery Woman said...

I think most of us are stronger than we'd imagine. But, like Miri said, I hope not to find out just how strong.

Princess Lea said...

My end point was that if we are capable of such strength, we could tap into it now. How many of us think we aren't strong enough to break a bad middah? We are!