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Family Sacrifices and Transformations, Part 1

Have you ever had the feeling there are intangible barriers that block your happiness, health and success? When doing healing work, I frequently noticed wounds and unresolved issues connected to the person's family members and ancestors. Extensive research on mass trauma survivors matches what I perceive, that their offspring can be physically and emotionally affected, even if their parents never discussed their hardships.

Conflicts and wars produce trauma. Everyone has relatives who lived during the Second World War, during which approximately three percent of the world's population perished and untold numbers were wounded, displaced and traumatized. I am bringing all this up because current global conflicts demand that we heal these blocks for inner and outer peace.

© 2024 All Artwork by Suzanne B. Stryker

To help resolve these inner and outer conflicts, I am offering a free Global Group Healing. Newsletter subscribers will receive details by email.

In the spirit of healing, over the next few blogs, I will be sharing a few of my mother's experiences when she was in the Middle East during World War II. Perhaps sensing the underlying turmoil, I began this project the day before the Middle East exploded once again with warfare. I hope you enjoy this blog and my paintings.


Part 1: Family Sacrifices and the Transformations

Could repentance help get my mother out of this bomb shelter and war zone? She pondered. She certainly regretted the time back home in their garden when she and her brother leapfrogged over Muslims kneeling at prayer. Next, they turned the sprinkler on. They were young children then and did not think that anyone else should be in their garden. It was only after their father gave them a stern lecture that she realized they had been disrespectful and unkind.

And then there was the time an English archaeologist from National Geographic overstayed his welcome in their home. He was snotty to my mother and her siblings, even though they had sacrificed their precious space so that he could have his own private bedroom. The house was already crowded with five kids, parents, grandparents and the abandoned Turkish baby girl they had adopted. Before the archaeologist retired one evening, mother and her oldest brother put a small hedgehog in the archaeologist's bed. When they heard his loud screams, they could not stop giggling.

Mother wondered how to make up for the trouble she had caused. She hoped the sacrifices her family had made and the good works they had done could somehow make up for her shortcomings. Her mother (my grandmother) had spent two years in Japan doing volunteer work with a women's organization that empowered female factory workers and rural women to become self-reliant and free themselves from forced labor under inhumane conditions. After my grandmother returned to the United States, she married a new doctor, my mother's father. The couple devoted the rest of their lives in service to God through those in need.

As Near East Relief/Near East Foundation volunteers, for six years my mother's parents worked in refugee camps and established orphanages in Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, Greece, Syria and the Caucasus.

For the next 30 years, my grandfather served as the director and only physician for the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions' 100-bed hospital in Gaziantep, Turkey. Initially, there was no hot water and only one small microscope for diagnostic equipment. He trained the hospital staff and was on call 24/7. Every day by 7 AM, 30-40 Turks were already lined up to be healed by him at no charge.

My grandmother contributed to the villagers' education and well-being by teaching classes in basic school subjects and English. She was also inspired to teach hygiene after visiting a Turkish family in their home. There she saw a Turkish cook grind nuts in his mouth, spit them into a bowl and then mix them into a dish which she was then served.

Over the years, word of my grandparents' good works spread. The Pope met with the whole family privately in recognition of their contributions to the betterment of humanity, as did the presidents of Turkey and France.

After recalling all this and how her parents always extended a helping hand, my mother thought about what she should do. Certainly, she should treat everyone with respect and kindness, irrespective of how they behave. When assisting her father with his patients, she saw firsthand how people's behavior can get distorted when they are anxious and in pain. She hoped that by going to the US and becoming a nurse, she could follow along in the family tradition of contributing to the well-being of others.


In order to help humanity, it is not necessary to work in refugee camps and underserved hospitals. Just take a moment to reflect on your personal behavior and how you affect others. For example, how do you behave when tired or hungry, rushed or in pain? The answers to those questions may inspire you with greater compassion and understanding. They may serve as an incentive to take good care of yourself and communicate your needs in a gentle but clear manner.

The next time someone snaps at you, before you snap back, see if the person has an underlying need. Perhaps you can help. You might change his frown to a smile. You might transform a foe into a friend.

Good News

While it is true you can inherit bad karma from your relatives, you can also inherit good karma. I am grateful to my family and ancestors for their good deeds; they have contributed immensely to my connection to the source and my abilities as a healer. As a result, I feel honored to assist people in whatever way I can.

It is rewarding to help those in service to others, like Rodica Mardari, a medical doctor. Here is her report:

"With Suzanne, little by little the miracle happened. I had an inner transformation, thanks to her. Now I know what it means to be calm and optimistic. I have the feeling that whatever happens, even if it is bad, I have that inner strength to face it, that I am never alone. During the
sessions with Suzanne, I had profound experiences of emerging into Universal and Infinite love, into Pure Consciousness. And if in some way you have known Suzanne, I can only say one thing. Nature has decided to help you through her."

Dr. Rodica Mardari

If you would like to read more inspiring reports, there are 360 reports from people around the world. You might know many of them.

In my next blog post, I share part two of my mother's experiences in the Middle East during the Second World War.



© 2023 Suzanne B. Stryker, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • I talked to you once about my son…in lots of sadness as I see his loneliness. My heart is breaking. Is it my karma and his karma? What can ever change?

  • I come from a family full of love, loss and trauma. Now close to my 60 birthday I see both my blessings and my curse. I go from love to overwhelming feelings not knowing how to just keep the peace inside.
    My mother and my 2 siblings grew on deep poverty but she taught us generosity from the heart.
    I am a Social Worker.
    I give, I love, I cry.
    With kindness

  • 🌸🌿🙂🙏

  • My mother used to help as many family members as she could with food, gifts, caretaking or babysitting. She was a very giving woman. I am not like her. I used to be but in my old age I have become kind of closed off to others. It’s as if the pain of being hurt by others has shielded me from going outside myself. I live in a cocoon it seems. I do meditate and have for a long while. I like your experiences. Thank you.

  • Thank you so much for your beautiful story – always uplifting

    Will Taylor

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