burning the midnight oil

the kids are off to school.
everyone left with a smile on their face.
its another new day!
I wish i could open up a window and let in some fresh air,
like the old windows in the above picture.
Aren't they beautiful?
pieces of the past....windows from the 1930's.
the picture was taken in the hallway outside my brothers apartment door.
they open into a courtyard.
isn't there something so very lovely about an old, cared for historical building
with a courtyard??
yes, indeed i think there is.
maybe I should really consider getting that fresh air.
Last night I finally took the plunge and started to read "Sarah's Key".
I bought it months ago ....having had it recommended to me
PERSONALLY (they know me so well!) by Amazon.ca and goodreads. com.
And by a nice woman who was standing beside me in the New Fiction
section at the Indigo book store.
She and I swapped "good book" suggestions.
We bonded.
We are going on an Alaskan cruise together.

I've had the book at home now, for over a month.
But I haven't been able to read it.
I'd pick it up. move it. put it down. move it again.
There was always something stopping me from digging into the pages.
.......Fear, apprehension.........
I was aware that it was a painful story to read.

And yet, just as A thousand Splendid Sons and The Book of Negros
were opened apprehensively...
I was absolutely captivated after reading the first sentence.
(They are to this day, two of my all-time favourite books.)

Sarah's Key is a story about a Jewish girl living in Paris in 1942.
She and her family are forced out of their home, out of their warm beds one night
and sent to their deaths.
For one single horrible reason.
Because they had been born Jewish.
Because they were different.

I started to read at 10:00p.m.
Kent got home from a full work day at 1:00 a.m.
I was still reading.
(It was his choice to stay out that long by the way.)
but yes, I was still reading.
He headed to bed.
I said goodnight went into the spare bedroom
turned on the light and kept reading.
I had to.
I couldn't stop.
I was transfixed.
A few times I put the book down to cry.
or just to pause and let the words sink in...
horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible
children, babies, separation from mothers, screaming heard for miles, death.
truth. historical. not just a bad dream. not just a scary movie.

at 3:30 a.m. I realized that i would be an immovable fortress
in the morning if I didn't get a few hours of sleep.
That wasn't as easy as I thought.
To close the book and put it down was like betraying Sarah.
to stop before the story was finished, before her story was told
felt disrespectful somehow.

Reality clocked in at 4:00 a.m
My family would not swoon over a sleep deprived drooling mother.
No matter how good of a book it was.
They usually need me to be able to STAND in the morning.

And stand I did.
holding onto the coffee maker.
drinking from the carafe with a straw.
"you look tired mommy".

But now!!
Yes, now the children are fed, dressed, kissed and off to school.
I have the house.
to read.
to read.
and to read!!
that is of course, if I can stay awake.

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