2010-08-22

Dear Anne Frank...

Dear Anne,

It's a pity that I did not discover you when I was much younger. You see, I have been so keen on reading about fantasy and magic and super powers that I barely give much thought to stories of real people. I thought, how could someone's life be more fascinating that pyromancers or wizards or superheroes, which goes to show I really don't know much.

You could say it was your affiliation with the Netherlands that made me read your diary. Ever since I lived there for fifteen months, falling in love with its people and the country, I can't help but want to associate myself with things related to Holland. You were one of them.

L, who loved your book, asked me if I wanted to come with her to your house in Amsterdam. I went with her for lack of anything better to do. I also figured I could brush up a bit of my history.

We arrived at your house. It was quite ordinary... a home I would not have expected to have anything happen much. But like I said, I really don't know any thing. As we walked past the photos of you and your family, I felt goose bumps. The same kind of goosebumps I felt when I went to the Jewish Cemetery in Prague. The same kind of goosebumps I felt when I saw pictures of people who suffered in the hands of the Nazis. The same kind of goosebumps I felt when I saw drawings of young children who spent time in camp before being gassed. Those are the moments I was like your mother, "Thank you, Lord, that I did not experience that kind of misery."




After a visit of your home, I vowed to read your book. It was actually tempting to get a copy from the museum store that was packaged like your red and white diary. But I did not have the 30 euros to spare...

Yesterday, I was finally able to read your story....

Anne, you are an amazing young woman. So full of life and intelligence. So full of wisdom. I am amazed at how you were able to survive those 24 months without going outside. Moreso, without hitting any one of your miserable companions. But you were always self-conscious, aware that you are writing out of anger or spite. Something people could hardly be aware of in the best of circumstances.

Despite being locked up, you experienced life to the fullest. I find myself kilig with the developments between you and Peter. And I find myself proud that you are not easily swayed by your feelings. You know your limits. Something that young girls nowadays can learn from you as well.

Despite being young, you have been given wisdom that people my age need to pick up. You see your faults... you accept who you are, yet at the same time strive to be better. You are young, full of dreams, self-aware.

You truly have the gift of writing. And I am glad you got your wish to be immortalized.

Your story is definitely something that people should know about. Yes, people should know about the difficulties of the war. It is something that should not happen again. But there are countless of other more violent, more disturbing films and books about that. No, your story is not just about the war itself. Your story is about every girl or even boy out there struggling to discover who they are as they slowly make their way out of childhood and into adulthood. Your story is about every person who struggles to deal with people every day. Your story is about every individual who finds themselves trapped one way or the other.

I despair that you were so close to freedom and yet you were not able to get it. It was unfortunate that someone felt the need for money more than the need to protect. And yet, as I read the epilogue... your little story (which is not so little) have influenced more people that you will ever know. You have given catharsis to some, inspiration to many. Despite having lost you, people found themselves through you.

Indeed, Anne, you are a wonderful girl. You are a gift to the world. When I have a child of my own, I will encourage them to read what you have to say. I hope they will learn to have their own voice from you.

Thank you, dear Anne Frank, for being so honest to Kitty. Because of your honesty, the world may just be a little better.

Yours, Anj

6 comments:

rowie said...

Moving post, Anj.

anj said...

thanks row. i could not help but be moved by anne's story as well.

BabyPink said...

Did my comment get through? I'm not sure, eh. The laptop I'm using pala is automatically logged in sa account ng kapatid ko. I only realized when I posted a comment on your other post. Just in case it got through, ako pa irn 'yun. :)

anj said...

yep, it did. i find it funny nga na i haven't read those classics. i just finished with anne of green gables and i enjoyed every minute of it. looking forward to reading anne of avonlea, especially since she is going to be a teacher already. at excited ako sa developments nila ni gilbert. hehe!

it was little women and little men that made me want to be a teacher. those two years that i taught were the best. am still hoping darating ang time na yun na lang ang gagawin ko sa buhay.

will see if i can grab helen keller soon. di pa ako ganun ka-go na go, pero i intend to. :)

BabyPink said...

Ai, it didn't. You're talking about my comment doon sa kabilang entry. I was talking about an earlier (and longer) comment I posted dito sa entry na ito kasi ito ang una kong nabasa. Hehe:)

Anyway, I just said na I read Anne Frank's Diary for the first time back when I was in High School tapos ilang beses ko nang inulit-ulit. And, every single time I'd read it, I'd feel the same, 'yung panghihinayang sa kanya at 'yung pagpapasalamat sa Diyos na hindi ako nabuhay sa ganu'ng sitwasyon. Nakakabaliw 'yun. And, every time, I'd cry like it's the first time I'm reading it.

When I was in Manila, I bought a CD of Anne Frank The Movie, na sobrang nakakaiyak din. Napanood mo na? And, I got to buy din 'yung Tales From the Secret Annex, 'yung collection ng mga panulat (fiction and non-fiction) ni Anne. Mayroon ka na din siguro nu'n. Nakakabilib si Anne. She would've been such a great and prolific writer had she lived longer, 'no? Hay.

Sobrang ang s'werte mo talaga na na-visit mo ang Anne Frank House. Isa 'yan sa items sa Bucket List ko. Siguro kapag naka-apak ako doon, iiyak din ako ng iiyak. Hay.

Oh, and she was also the reason why I started naming my journals and diaries. Hehe:)

---

I loved Little Women and Little Men, too, as well as Good Wives
.

anj said...

i haven't seen the movie. i should see it then! and tales from the secret annex, i just found out from you. i should hunt for it!

it's a bit of a pity that i did not appreciate the secret annex as much as i should have, but i do feel the honor of doing so. i feel glad that i did. trying to recreate the memory of my visit. :)

if i read the book when i was much younger, i may have had more discipline with my journal writing kasi when i bought a notebook and wrote jan my kuwentos there, mas marami akong nasusulat. it helps to kuwento to someone, i realized. hehe!

i love the little women series!!! jo march is one of my favorite and influential heroines. :)