Thursday, March 17, 2016

Two Pieces Of Chocolate

In my writing, I spend quite a bit of time on the need for giving back, on the need for making a positive difference in the lives of others thereby making our own lives better and more meaningful. Constant themes in my writing are lending a helping hand because we’re all in this together . . . you and I . . . all of us. I speak of hope and instilling that hope in the lives of those around us, especially kids because that generation needs to feel and experience hope in order to bring about change and help make this world better.

In my fiction writing, The Lives Trilogy, a constant theme is survival, of hope, of love and of support, of belonging and rising above those roadblocks that are found in the way. I think that’s why the readers have singled out George and Brett as favorites because time and again, despite what life gave them, they rose above, they survived, and they found hope and love and helped others along the way.

That leads me to Two Pieces Of Chocolate.

Francine Christophe was eight years old when she and her mother were forced to go to Bergen-Belsen with many other Jews. As she explained, children were allowed to take something with them to camp. Not much, mind you, but something. Some chose a bit of rice or flour. Francine’s mother chose Two Pieces Of Chocolate and as her mother explained to her, they would be eaten only when Francine wasn’t feeling well or when she had a tough day.

Now I’m thinking, ‘Was there any good day at a Nazi death camp?’ Evidently, there was.

You see, there was a woman at the camp who was pregnant. She was so malnourished that she didn’t look pregnant. To look at her, one couldn’t tell. But the day came and this woman, with the help of Francine’s mother, gave birth to a baby girl. Perhaps a little joy in an otherwise ugly and dark place.

Francine’s mother came to her and asked Francine how she was doing. Francine answered fine, okay. Francine’s mother asked her if she could give the Two Pieces Of Chocolate to the new mother explaining, “She might die otherwise.” Eight year old Francine gave her mother permission to do so. At eight years old!

Flash forward many, many years . . .

Francine is now an elderly woman. She is one of the speakers at a symposium on surviving the death camp and what it took to do so. And how doctors, lawyers, therapists might help those who survive these god-awful events come to peace and survive emotionally.

A young woman, a doctor, gets up and goes to the podium. She begins by saying that she has something for Francine, and holds out a Piece Of Chocolate. You see, she was the baby born at Bergen-Belsen.

The entire story is inspiring and captivating and worth the couple of minutes it takes to view it. It can be found at:

This is yet another example of giving and not expecting any reward or return. This is yet another example of making a positive difference in the life of another.

I’ve written many times about growing up next to a river. As kids, we’d through rocks or stones into it to see who could toss it the furthest. We’d watch the ripples as they spread out and touch the shore. One after another, almost continuous.

You see, I am convinced that like the stone tossed in the river, the positive things we say or do cause ripples in the universe and they touch lives. These ripples can make a difference in the lives of others . . . positively. The kind word we speak. The smile we give. The hand we extend. Our presence and support in another’s life in a moment of doubt or despair.

Sometimes we might never know how that ripple affected the life of another. But sometimes, perhaps, maybe, we might get a return on that investment in time, just as Francine did so many years later. Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:
Catch up with the lives of Brett and George in the Lives Trilogy and Prequel found at:

Lives Trilogy Prequel, Taking Lives

Stolen Lives, Book One of the Lives Trilogy

Shattered Lives, Book Two of the Lives Trilogy

Splintered Lives, Book Three of the Lives Trilogy


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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe