Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Really Good at Heart...

(Click on her name to read NYT article.)
15 February 1909 - 11 January 2010
For more than 20 consecutive years, I taught English Language Arts in a junior high school. Every year, my students read the play based on Anne Frank's diary. Considering I
may have had as many as five classes during the day, I must have read the the closing lines of the play well over a hundred times along with students. Every time it became more and more real to me, and more difficult to keep my composure. The more I read the play and discussed it with classes, the more I realized how many similar stories we would never know. First I honor and thank the darling, vibrant Anne who wrote so faithfully in her diary and the family and friends who populated the pages of that diary and the famous Annex in Amsterdam. But today, especially, I honor and thank, along with people all over the world, Miep Gies. She not only helped the Frank family and friends survive their ordeal for over two years, but she gathered up the strewn pages of a young girl's dreams, hopes, and wise insights after all were arrested. Later she presented it to Otto Frank as "Anne's legacy." Indeed, it has been a priceless legacy to the free world. Surely, Miep served as an inspiration for Anne's words:
"Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart."


My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

Good to stop by and visit you today..enjoyed reading this very much..what an inspiration....

thanks for sharing it..

i'llbe back to visit very soon..

p.s. i love your header !

Betsy said...

What a beautiful post, Firelight!

And that new header is stunning! :)

FireLight said...

FarmHouse Kitchen, Miep's story is truly inspiring.

Betsy, I am so glad you have been by here. The little red cabin is located in the county just north of me. The photo was taken by a good friend and colleague in February of 2008. He did a series of photos that morning which I plan to feature this winter. We do get snow here...but it is so fleeting!

maggie's garden said...

I loved reading Anne Frank when I was in school as a young lady. The quote is so beautiful and true. I'm glad to hear students are still reading her story.

Rowan said...

I read Anne Frank's diary as a teeneager and found it an inspiring book. I had no idea that Miep Gies was still alive, I'm surprised that there was no mention of her 100th birthday last year in the media. A brave lady, I hope her death was peaceful. Thank you so much for my Get Well card, I'm feeling rather better today thank goodness:)

willow said...

What a lovely, lovely tribute. I didn't realize that Ms. Gies was with us all this time. May she rest in peace. We owe her a debt of gratitude.

Cait O'Connor said...

I heard about her death on the radio this morning, thank you for this tribute.
I love your header pic!

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

is that you on the sidebar with a bernese mountain dog? I LOVE those dogs..I have a friend who has one named Teddy..and he is a DOLL......

more later,
Kary and Buddy

Derrick said...

Hello FireLight,

Sad to see this lady's passing but she and Anne's writing are wonderful reminders of how the human spirit can be everlasting.

Love your new header too!

Electricwitch said...

I was truly moved by this diary when I first rea it many years ago and it still moves me today a really beautiful post. I must tell you I adore that red cabin the pic is stunning. So glad I found your blog.


FireLight said...

Maggie, I too was impressed with Anne's diary and read the play in school as a young teen. Her work is such a classic; I am sure it is here to stay.

Rowan, I did not hear about the 100th birthday either, however I have found some news articles about it. It is good to know you are feeling better. Finding Ms. Lawson's cards was one of my best Christmas activities!

Willow, my sentiments exactly...and she certainly desrved a long life. Even so, she said that a day never went by that she did not grieve for Anne and the family.

FireLight said...

Cait, you know how we bookworms are? Some chacters--real or imagined--become very alive and close to us. I would look around the room and my young teenage students would be totally caught up in Anne's life as we read. Even I would imagine what she might have been like to have in a classroom: a joy, to be sure.

FireLight said...

Uh...er...make that CHARACTERS...arghhh!

Kary, yes...'tis I...more than a few years ago...with my first Berner, Fritz. He weighed 130lbs! He was such a gorgeous, lovable sweetheart and so loyal. I will probably do a post devoted to him this year!

Derrick, you went straight to the heart of the lesson we must take from Miep's bravery and Anne's shining idealism in the face of the horrors of their day: The human spirit can uplift the individual and entire generations to that higher ground which is "everlasting"...
Glad you like my little woodland scene!

Electricwitch, in June 2006 the Colonel and I were in St. Paul's Cathedral which was hosting a photographic exhibit presented as the walls of the Annex in Amsterdam. These walls were decorated to replicate Anne's little room with all her photos. A recording accompanied the display and a young girl (actress) read from the diary. It was very sobering: so innocent and full of hope was she!
There is something rather inviting about the little red cabin...it was abandoned, but still sturdy and pleasant!

Country Girl said...

Nicely done! And your red barn in the snow is incredible. I am in awe.

Nan said...

I just found you from Cait O'Connor's blog list. Beautiful header. And I've just sent this entry to my husband, a junior high teacher who teaches Anne Frank. Beautiful tribute.

The romantic query letter and the happy-ever-after said...

Prayers for the humane amoung us and those who honour them.
Warm regards,

Lyn said...

The NY Times had an extensive tribute to Miep Gies..what a human being ought to be..
I salute her goodness..the personification of lovingkindness.

FireLight said...

Nan, I am so glad you stopped by. I just realized after reading Lyn's comment that I had not mentioned that readers should click on Miep's name under her photo to go to the New York Times article.
Country Girl, I thought you might like this litte red house in the Alabama woods...the photo is a gift taken by a colleague of mine.
Romantic Query Letter....welcome to The Keeping Room and for your lovely comment!
Lyn, just when I thought I knew what I was doing...I never mentioned that if you click on Miep's name it will take you to a NYT article!
Good to see you here!

Jen Chandler said...

Dear Firelight,
It's been too long since my last visit. This was a wonderful post. I'm off to catch up on some more :)


About Me

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Recreational scholar, former high school and junior college English teacher. Animal lover (especially horses, dogs, and people), live in the South, sometimes poet and essayist... "Ireland, Scotland, Britain, and Wales...I can hear those ancient voices calling..." Van Morrison from Celtic Heartbeat