Orphan Survival Stories Index |
OVER THE SEA
I was amazed at the various expressions I could see on the children's faces as I enter their classroom. I stood before them reading one of my stories, and then talked to them about child abuse and what life was like living in an orphanage.
As I talk with them, I noticed hanging on the wall, pictures of young men and women, most dressed in military uniforms. For some reason, I felt a little out of place. Before the war, I could read several of my stories to the children. They would sit motionless in their seats and were totally engulfed. Each and every set of eyes was as big as saucers and each little mouth dropped open to the floor, but not this time.
When I completed my talk, the children raised their hands to ask me questions. I pointed at a young man in the front row.
"Have you ever been in the war?" asked a 7-year-old boy.
I stood motionless not having the slightest idea what to say to him.
"I was a medic in the army, but I was never in the war," I replied.
Question after question was asked of me about the war in Iraq. I was unsure what I should say or what I was allowed to say. All I knew for sure was that the feelings these children were having were not far from the abuse I felt as a little child. I could see the same expressions on their little faces that I had seen while living in the orphanage - the sadness that I had seen in hundreds of wide, open young eyes when new children would be dropped off at the orphanage.
At last it was over and it was time for me to go. I gathered my papers and my briefcase, and I headed for the door.
"Can I tell you a secret," said a little girl.
"Sure," I said not knowing what to expect.
She grabbed hold of my shirt and pulled me down so she could whisper in my ear.
"Today after school, my daddy is going to take me to the edge of the ocean so I can see if I can see my mommy," she whispered.
That just about tore my heart out.
I guess war, no matter how right or wrong, somehow always abuses the children.