the diary of anne frank

November 2, 2015 at 4:15 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

just about every kid in the u.s. has been required to read the diary of anne frank.  i have a few books that i have read multiple times, each time having new thoughts and even discovering a turn of words that i now see in a different way.  before living in germany i dreamed of some day visiting the camps and more importantly the last place this brave young girl lived out the last days of her life.

“where there is life, there is hope.” anne frank.  she was so young and had done nothing to deserve what was going to happen to her and her loved ones.  don’t worry i am not about to compare myself to anne frank.  we all have words that touch us deeply and guide us through life.  these seven words have gotten me through some pretty extreme situations.  after all if this young girl could be so incredibly brave and still believe there is hope how can i not?

these past two weeks have definitely challenged my desire to honor these brave words.  it has been a two full weeks since i went to the dr.  at the time i mentioned having all the symptoms of a sinus infection.  these are routine for me and expected on a regular basis.  later that evening i was coughing uncontrollably and realized that i had been doing so for at least a week maybe two prior to this visit.  as the days went on i had fever and the exhaustion became worse.  the feeling of drowning whenever i tried to lie down convinced me that i most likely had pneumonia.  i have had this before, however, since the symptoms can indicate other illnesses it can be difficult to nail down (without an x-ray that is).  the dr had given me antibiotics so i thought and still do think that it is just a matter of time for it to clear up.

tonight i am not so sure.  maybe i haven’t been sure for two weeks.  where there is life there is hope i tell myself.  our family had been planning for months to all meet in hilton head, south carolina.  there was going to be a car show and everyone had the bug to share this event.  as the time came closer, it was this weekend, it became clear that i would not be able to go.  although angie had been a part of the planning and had some great ideas for family fun time away from the car show.  she immediately stepped up and insisted she stay home with me.  my sweet man was so torn i felt relieved when he finally headed out.  up to the last moment he would say “what if something happens while i’m not here?”

whether it is from the anemia or the heart failure or the possible pneumonia my exhaustion reached a new high.  sleeping was and is difficult.  if i lie down my breathing becomes strained and rattles.  i use my inhalers with little to no effect.  dozing for periods of time only to wake in near panic as my breathing becomes impossible.  the fluid retention is more serious than it has been to date.  if i thought i had difficulty before this raises the bar to an all new high.

let me walk you through this.  if i were to stand behind you with my hands locked around you in the position to perform the traditional motion for someone choking, then suddenly squeeze and push against your solar plexus you would experience what i am on a continuous basis.  this isn’t to elicit sympathy.  i say this in order for my next thought to be easier to understand.  these words that have resonated with me for most of my life have taken on a new vision.

i see this young girl writing in her diary what a young girl believes, where there is life, there is hope.  it was the hope of a young girl who had not yet truly lived her life.  she hoped for an end to this insanity that had her life on hold.  on the other hand i am on the other end of the time line.  i have hope, it just isn’t the hope of a young girl with her whole life ahead of her.  tomorrow i go to get cross typed and matched for the blood transfusion i am to receive on tuesday.  it has to be done through the outpatient dept due to the congestive heart failure.  transfusions are risky for us.  it is clear to all that i need this, my concern is with my obvious increased fluid retention i may not be a candidate.  my hope is that i am able to have the transfusion.  if not then i hope for relief to come after the holidays.  i ask for this not for myself but for my family.  it would forever leave a dark cloud over future holidays for my grandchildren.  for the rest of their life it would be sitting there in their heart.

so here is my where there is life there is  hope, i hope to spare my loved ones the memory of this loss to be forever linked to what should be a joyful time of year.  i hope to see them over the next couple of months.  i hope to leave with dignity.  i hope to leave knowing that those i love feel my love for them.  and dare i hope for you?  i hope that you know the kind of peace of mind and heart that i have been blessed with.  i hope that you are loved the way we are meant to be loved.  i hope that you leave that door open no matter what has happened in your past.


  1. prenin said,

    Love and hugs my friend – hope the illness passes soon! 🙂

    God Bless you all!


  2. jmgoyder said,

    You continue to inspire me, re-inspire me, share your wonderful hope and love. Thank you so much, Sandra, for being exactly who you are!

  3. Syl said,

    I hope you make it through the holidays and as long as you need to be here. I hope for you my friend. Love and hugs, Syl

    • s blake callahan said,

      i can use that positive goddess energy now my friend! i send you big warm hugs, love and hope for you and yours to stay healthy and happy.

  4. Judy said,

    I didn’t think for one minute you were comparing your situation to Anne – but I do see that you write with simple elegance like she did. You’re very modest about your writing, but I think you express yourself in a wondeful way. And of course, I see in you the same courage and optimism.
    Sandra, your description of what you are dealing with sounds tough. I know this is somewhat of a battle. You will leave when you are ready – but because you love life, Chris and Angie – that is such a hard choice. I pray that this current situation will let up and that your transfusion today gives you a bit of relief.
    I am selfish because I want you around a lot longer. You are so special to me. But please don’t hang on to suffer. Just the thought makes me sad.
    So I end my comment with a smile because I know you’ll catch me on that and have a thoughtful statement to redirect me!

    • s blake callahan said,

      oh the pressure is on to be “wise” 🙂 i understand your reaction and love you for caring. please let the sadness pass and think of the joy that comes with each breath i take. each one is a little gift and reminder of how miraculous life is. i just have such gratitude for the life i was given. the people i have been blessed to love and be loved by. you are icing on my cake and yes i dare think i will be here after the holidays and will enjoy our next visit!!

      • Judy said,

        Oh, how I love to be “icing on your cake.” I get to “spread” myself out across the country! Of course, your suffering is “crummy” but I do look forward to visiting you after the holidays. I am sending you my prayers and love for a peaceful and healthier holiday season (if that is possible with what you are going through). Lots of love.

  5. Angie said,

    So glad you were able to get the transfusion and were home last night. Love you.

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