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Family Sacrifices and Transformations, Part 3

This blog reveals my mother's secret for coping with displacement and war, along with several pictures of my artwork for you to enjoy. In case you missed the background stories, here are the links for parts 1 and 2 of "Family Sacrifices and Transformations." In future blogs, I hope to find the time and the words to describe various unusual experiences I have been having over the past few years.

To begin, I would like to share a recent report from Judith Hans-Price. This fits in beautifully with the theme of this blog:

"After this week of three Distance Healings, something woke up in me. My skin feels new, and I experience a clarity of mind I haven't had since I was in my teens. I see, as if stretched out in full view, an overview of my being and my place on earth. With this widened point of view, I can see and feel the clear path I have always been on. I feel my whole self, undistracted by decades of only partial views, which hid me from myself. My eyes were dimmed, distracted by daily life. Now, it is like the windows of perception have been scrubbed clean. I feel refreshed, new and ready for what the day will bring. Thank you, dear Suzanne."

Here are 361 more inspiring reports from people you may know.

© 2024 All Artwork by Suzanne B. Stryker

Part 3: Family Sacrifices and Transformations
Cairo, 1941

 Air raid sirens blasted, and distant bombs exploded. A man behind my mother panicked and pushed her. She stumbled, but was able to grab the handrail to steady herself. Everyone in the hotel was rushing down the stairs to get to the closest bomb shelter down the street. If anyone fell, it could cause an avalanche of bodies tumbling down the stairs.

Once people were mostly settled in the small bomb shelter, mother surveyed its occupants for injuries. Some people shivered and softly cried, while others silently turned into zombies. A few women wailed loudly. She felt sorry for those who had lost loved ones and had to flee their homes because they were Jewish or simply because they found themselves in a war zone. At least she did not need to bandage anyone today. 

Mother heard bits of conversations:

"I thought being down here in Cairo was going to be safer than France."

"Everybody wants control of the Suez Canal."

"You can't win a war without supplies, equipment and men."

"Whoever has control of the Suez Canal, has the quickest access to the oil fields of the Middle East."

"And the raw materials of Asia."

Mother wondered, "Is this bomb shelter going to be my new home?" Spending hour after hour after hour there tried her patience. Too many people in a confined space with no windows and broken rocks for a floor. No food, no water, nothing to do. The air was dusty and smelled like an outhouse. People coughed everywhere around her. Her legs felt cramped. She longed to get out of this dungeon, stretch her legs and breathe fresh air.

An old woman with a cane hobbled into the packed bomb shelter. There was no place for her to sit, so mother gave the woman her space. Mother left the shelter and took a walk as the sun rose. She savored the warm sunshine and untainted air. Even though she could still hear distant bombs, she did not feel afraid. She walked back to her hotel and up a flight of stairs, and then another, and another and another.

When she arrived at the top floor of the hotel, she opened a door and walked out onto the flat rooftop. She looked down at the dusty, semi-deserted streets of Cairo and wished the bombing would end.

After a while, she lay down on her back, looked up at the sky and pretended that she was at the beach. She always loved watching the clouds. The sky wore an infinite wardrobe of ever-changing clouds. Up here, life was simple, just her alone with the peaceful blue expanse. She studied a cinnamon-brown bird with black-and-white barred wings as it flew freely through pure azure.

After the screaming air raid sirens stopped, she heard a rumbling sound. She saw a gray plane speeding towards her. She rushed towards the stairs, but then realized there was not enough time to get to the bomb shelter. Nor did she trust that rickety structure anyway. Besides, at least up on the roof she had a nice view. She loved to watch the planes soar through the sky and often imagined that she was in one. She wished she could fly a plane and be above it all. Or at least she could fly out of Cairo and to the United States.

When the plane was almost overhead, she stood up, all 4 feet 11 inches of her. She took off her pink second-hand sweater and waved it at the plane. She wanted the pilot to see who he may be about to kill, an innocent 15-year-old girl who wanted to help people, not harm them. She was just trying to get to America so she could become a nurse.

Mother had wanted to become a nurse for as long as she could remember. Starting from when she was four years old, her father liked her to come with him on house calls. He was an American volunteer physician in charge of the American Hospital in Turkey. They could not afford a car, so they traveled to the Turks' homes by camel or donkey. When the doctor and his little daughter entered their homes, her sweet presence seemed to put their worried minds at ease. She also was good at cleaning and bandaging wounds.

As the plane flew over the hotel, mother waved her pink sweater at it again. Then the plane dipped its right wing, as if to wave back to her and say hello. Just for a moment, she felt as if she had been uplifted into the plane and could see the beautiful view from there. She waved her pink sweater again and the plane dipped its right wing again and flew on. She smiled and watched it get smaller and smaller until a big cloud swallowed it up. She heard an explosion in the distance. 

Paducah, Kentucky, 1960

I lay on my back in the grass at the local airport, watching the sky, waiting for my mother's plane to appear. I saw a large cloud that looked like a whale. A plane emerged from its mouth and flew straight towards me. I leapt up and ran around in a circle, as I waved my arms and hollered, “Hey mom! Hey mom! Hey mom!” In response, she dipped the plane's right wing and then flew in a circle above me.

Mom had done well with her flying lessons.

Mother's Secret

In my last blog, I talked about how my mother was going through extremely difficult times. She managed to come out of that darkness by making the best of whatever situation she found herself in. Instead of feeling anxious during the bombings, she confessed to me that she got into the habit of going to rooftops where she could watch the planes soar through the sky. She said that at night, the sights and sounds of the bombings were more spectacular than any fireworks display.

Here is another example of how she adapted: To get from Egypt to the US, mother and her two brothers boarded a cargo ship. Since it was not meant for passengers, about 200 people were packed together on the deck and about as many in two large storage rooms below deck. Shortly after they departed, German submarines began to follow their ship. Since everyone had heard that German subs had recently sunk other vessels, many people became hysterical and cried. My mother decided that scene was not for her. She quickly concluded there was nothing they could do, so she went to the other side of the ship and enjoyed watching the dolphins. Even in the face of danger, she found something to appreciate in the moment. On her own, she realized that the present was all that she had, and she enjoyed it to the fullest.

An extreme example of appreciating the moment is when Sydney Carlton sacrificed himself for another in Charles Dickens' novel, A Tale of Two Cities. Just before he was executed at the guillotine, he said: "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known."


Integration Exercise

If you would like to experience more joy in your life, get into the habit of finding something to appreciate in the moment. For example, when eating, notice the nuances of the different tastes, textures and aromas. Feel gratitude for the food that was made for you to enjoy and the miracle of your digestion. Appreciating the smaller miracles of life invites larger ones to come.

Bonus Group Healing Gifts

The next bonus Group Healing will be on February 25. Anyone who has a Distance Healing anytime between January 1 and February 17 will automatically receive the Group Healing invitation. In addition, invitations will be gifted to five of my newsletter subscribers by random pick.



© 2024 Suzanne B. Stryker, Inc. All rights reserved.




  • This story fills me with so much hope. And that blue art piece is mesmerizing. Thank you for sharing <3

  • What a wonderful example of how to live your mother has shown to you. What a worthy woman to follow.

  • Thank you!

  • Thank you, Suzanne, for sharing youbeautiful stories and your distance healings.
    Lots of love,
    Jai Guru Dev
    Charlotte Judge has

    Charlotte Judge

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