This program was presented with the Virginia War Memorial Foundation on 6 January 2021. You can find it on their website also.
Researching and writing the stories of our military ancestors may provide awareness of family patterns, inherited trauma, our ancestors’ experiences, secrets, and can take us on a journey we never expected. Journey with Jennifer Holik into the past through story. Learn how researching and traveling in her ancestors’ footsteps facilitated her healing and healing for the world.
Be sure to download the handout.
I received a new book this week called A Chorus of Stones. The Private Life of War, written by Susan Griffin.
This book is turning my world upside down - in a good way! There are so many layers, shapes, and colors to her narrative that it is a book to be savored. As much as one can savor a book about war, abuse, trauma, denial, lies, not only from ourselves but our communities, governments, the world.
If you are interested in looking at the even deeper levels of your life, your family's stories, your military stories, I encourage you to pick up a copy of this book.
Warning! It is a bit traumatic and overwhelming so consider at what time of day you read it. This is not a book I can read just before bed to unwind. I only read it first thing in the morning and during the day, leaving several hours before bed for other things. This is a book you will process consciously and unconsciously when you are awake and asleep.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on it if you read it. You can connect...
Johan and I traveled to the Dutch/German border near Aachen and spent a few days exploring WWII history and contemplating family history. I did a lot of writing on this trip. Musings. Questions. Concerns. Joyful things. All of this was captured in my journal.
One thing that keeps showing up the longer I am in Europe on this trip is that history keeps repeating itself. We are not doing enough to stop this.
War is a distraction. Conflict is a distraction. These things keep us from the more important things in this life and reality. Yet, we continue to create them on a daily basis.
Every. Single. One. Of. Us.
I'm guilty of this. Sometimes when things are going really well there is a part of me waiting for the other shoe to drop. I might unconsciously find one thing to nag my husband about and create a conflict - small or large. Over the last year I try to be more aware of this and clear whatever is causing it. Yet there are times when I fail.
What would change in our lives,...
I’ve been having many conversations with people about FAMILY. CHOICE. GRATITUDE. JUDGMENT. NEGATIVITY. CHANGE. WAR. LIFE. DEATH.
Whenever I have posed some questions, usually in a short video, about family choice and what would it take to stop judging it all, the response I get on the posts and through messages is often filled with negativity. As if there is no possibility to see anything positive in the “bad” or “wrong” or “terrible” choices our family members made. Yet, what if there is something in there to be grateful for?
Add to this the tangled web of someone saying, “Well my grandpa did THIS and I know how it traumatized THAT person and THAT person so why should I not judge?”
First, we do not know the 100 choices and experiences that led up to grandpa making a choice that did some damage or whatever it caused. Second, we do not know the 100 choices, experiences, baggage, etc. carried by the people his choice hurt. We were...