My visit with Oskar Schindler

So much have already been written… so much have already been said… and yet we still somehow seem to forget. Forget how easy it is for us humans to turn away from righteousness and do really horrible things to each other. On Tuesday the 27th of January its the International Holocaust Remembrance Day and thousands will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. A Nazi German concentration and death camp. Its estimated that 1,1 million people died in Auschwitz, and only a few survived. I have visited the camp and I will never forget the feeling I had when I realized that I could walk in and out, I was a free person visiting a place which for so many people had been, and always will be hell on earth. I have only seen the remains of it, I have never experienced it myself. Soon the people, the survivors of this hell on earth will all have passed on. That will truly be a sad day when the last eyewitness is gone. Hopefully there will be people who continue to share their lives, there stories. I have a very good friend, who has written a book about his mother’s experiences and how she survived the Holocaust. I feel honoured to know him, and also to have met her. She who had been saved, and who managed to build a life after having her whole family gassed to death.

In all the killing of innocent men, women and children, in all this hate and determination to wipe out a whole entire people, there were brave men and women who could not turn their backs to the murdering. They felt they needed to do something. in a time when it seemed like the whole world had lost track of love and humanity. There were some who stood up against the horrific crimes being committed. I want to share my thoughts and feelings to a man, who’s grave I have visited. His name is Oskar Schindler. Oskar Schindler an ethnic German who is credited for saving 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust. I have seen the movie Schindler’s list and I believe that if you have seen it,´too the one scene you will never forget is the little girl in the red coat, one of only four colour images in the three hour black and white film. Later on in the movie you see a wagon with decomposing corps on it and you catch a glimpse of a red-tinted rag of a little girl… This girl and so many other children never got to live the life that they were given. Only a few got to grow old. The Schindlerjuden, or Schindler Jews in English were avoided being sent to death camps because of the bravery of one man. In the end of the Schindler’s list we see the ones still alive after the making of the movie, put small rocks on his grave.

I had a desire to do the same, so at my second visit to Israel I traveled to Jerusalem and visited his grave. It was an experience I will never forget. As I was looking for it, I asked two different people for the directions, and both told me that it was no use to go because the Catholic graveyard was closed already. I felt like I should go there anyways, just to at least get to see the gates to where a great man was buried,

IMG_2468 Oskar Schindler’s Grave

To my surprise the gates were open and I went inside and pretty soon I could see his grave, it’s the only one with small rocks on it. I went and sat by it, noticed I was alone… leaned on his grave and burst out in tears. The quote ” Whoever saves one life saves the world entire”.´came to my mind. It is a quotion from the Talmud, the book of Jewish law. I believe it means that one man can truly make a difference. Oskar Schindler made a difference for a whole nation. Think of the offspring from those 1,2000 men women and children all saved

IMG_2470 The Unforgettable Lifesaver of 1200 Percecuted Jews

Oskar on this day, that I got to visit , and honour you by putting a small rock on your grave I also honoured my faith, my parents and my life by making a promise. That promise is to never forget you. Never forget your bravery, and also never forget the Holocaust and all its victims. I made a promise to do what I can to make this world a little better, a little more human. I promised you, myself and God to always be brave. As I’m writing this I am crying because I know that what happened on that day when I visited your grave was a small little miracle. On my way back I met a rabbi who asked me where I had been, and I told him. “But how can that be, it’s closed by this hour” I looked at him, trying not to let the tears come again… I guess it was meant for me to visit and show my respect. I could feel that we both knew. The rabbi and I both knew  a little miracle had just occured.

On Tuesday January 27th it’s a Day of Remembrance and decide already now that you too will be brave. Together we can make a difference and together we can save lives.

Shalom ❤

Miriam Blanchette

Stronger then you know

As 2014 is coming to an end, yes it’s only November but soon we will all be hugging each other saying Happy New Year! 2015 is coming up and I’m ready. I’ve decided that it’s going to be the year where I not only say ” I want to be strong” or “I want to have faith”. It will be the year where I AM strong and where I HAVE faith. The things that has happened this year, and in the past have proven to me that I am  stronger than I think. I have got to know and see myself in my own state of survival mode and when I came home and could relax, ponder and realize what I had been in the middle of and how scared I had been, but not felt it at that time. It all came to me when I came home. I cried, I trembled and I was angry. Angry and sad that what I thought was going to be a relaxing at the beach vacation became something totally different. Something that was going to make me face and use my inner strength, the superwoman I had only dreamt of. She was for real. Kicking and alive! Ready to fight and not give in to fear and discouragement. The only time I got a little sad I called my father for some encouragement, but he was at a soccer game and the only thing I heard was him yelling in the phone “Bromma boys scored!!!” It made me laugh and the upset feelings regarding the  two red alerts followed by rocket attacks and hiding in a bomb shelter was gone. Gone but not forgotten. We were under attack during a week and coming home and thinking ” What just happened???” was very overwhelming. Something that really helped me find peace and dealing with the upset feeling was to go back.So A few months later I did it! I Went back to Tel Aviv, I Went back to Jerusalem, and I went back to what now and forever will be a part of my heart and home. Israel, the Holy land and I’ll continue to come back as often as I can.

2014 I want to thank you for giving me new opportunities to grow and to learn new things about myself and life in general. Thank you for the amazing people you sent in my way, thank you for keeping me safe and thank you  for all the blessings I received.

Greatest lesson learned? I am stronger than I ever could have guessed. That also means that You are stronger than you know and my hope is that life today and during 2015 will prove that to you 🙂

Shalom ❤

I had arrived. I was back to the city where a few months earlier had experienced something that would affect my life in ways I never knew was possible. I had been a part of something new. I had been in a warzone.

I had arrived. I was back to the city where a few months earlier had experienced something that would affect my life in ways I never knew was possible. I had been a part of something new. I had been in a warzone.

Being cute in a tough world

“Miriam you look so cute!”  “Awww you are so sweet!”

I love it. I love it a lot when someone calls me cute, or says that something I do, or even something I wear is cute or sweet.

It happens. It happens because it’s something I’ve chosen. It`s something I want. You see, I’ve chosen the path of cuteness and sweetness. Let me share some thoughts and feelings about it with you. Sharing is caring ❤

Sweet, cute, kind, darling, beautiful, warm, adorable… and the list goes on. These words and their meaning are sweet sparkles on my cupcake. These personal traits and attributes both physical and psychological are the ones I want to rock my boat. I believe there is enough toughness, coldness, heartless and unkindness in this world, also here the list can go on. This planet, our Mother Earth has a heart and a soul too. I’ve spent a lot of time in the nature, I’ve felt her heart, I’ve felt her soul and she has shown me a path. The path of cuteness and sweetness. Trust me on this on will ya, ever since I started walking on this path I’ve noticed a delightful change in my life. Being sweet and kind is miles better than being the opposite. Now what would the opposite be to cute and sweet? Being tough? NO! Tough is good! Sometimes it’s even necessary for us to be tough in order to pull through a tough situation. You know when life  throws you rotten apples and you were expecting to get a freshly made apple pie. Then we need to be as tough as old boots! Very strong and able to deal with tough situations or pain without giving up. You can be tough and sweet at the same time 

 The opposite is callous. Callous as in hard hearted and unsympathetic. It exists… pretty much everywhere. It’s a part of the world we live in today and it probably always has been a part, but for some reason it’s becoming more and more.. cold. The world is becoming a tougher place to live in, and also colder…As the same time it’s so very beautiful. I’ve been to Ecuador, Canada, Italy, Spain, Polen, Norway and many other countries and I’ve met a lot of good, amazing, loving and kind people. I’ve also been hit by the opposite, and had to deal with it. It’s sad. It’s hard. But I’ve always been surrounded by cuteness and sweetness as in the love shown by friends and even people I hardly know.

It’s a beautiful and tough world we all are a part of and I for myself do not feel like adding to the callousness of it. Let’s replace it with cuteness, sweetness and kindness. Be kind to people! Smile to people! Say hi! Give complements it might make someone’s day. Be involved with charity work. Ok, about charity work, we often think it needs to be a huge project of some sort, or for people in poor countries. But look around you?! Charity can be done everywhere even in your own neighbourhood. Charity can be done at work, for a friend or for the man on the street begging for money. Buy him a meal 🙂 

Take care of yourself in order to be kind and sweet. Get enough sleep and eat enough food. Sleep is necessary  to function, sleep is a very good medicine for a lot of remedies. My mum was right! It’s hard to be kind when you are tired. When you are hungry it’s easy to slip in to the grumpy mood. 

Have an attitude of gratitude! I’ve written it before and I will write it again. Being thankful for what you ahve meakes life easier and always striving to be grateful automatically makes you a happier person. It can make you cute too! ❤ Yes when you are happy you are cuter, kinder and sweeter.

Well dear friends, I’ve just told you a little about my way, and for me it’s either this or the highway. So why do I love when people tell me I’m cute? Well some say that cute people are genuine and warm and they know how to share that warmth with the world.  

I can’t say I’m always warm and genuine and sharing warmth with my world, but what a nice complement it is, and that’s why I love it. It makes me want to become better at being C U T E. 

 

 

More peace, pretty please.

I don’t own a TV, and it’s been 6 years now since we parted, my TV and I. I don’t suscribe to a morning newspaper. I do have a computer, and I do have Internet. I also read the free newspaper Metro. So I still have a clue, a hint of what’s going on in the world. I do care, I want to know. I know that the Congress might give it’s approval for the US to launch strikes against Syria. I know that on Wednesday and Thursday President Barack Obama will visit Sweden at the invitation of Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt. I know about the smoke that covers Yosemite valley as fire becomes 4th-largest wildfire in California history. I also know there’s much more things going on in the world then we watch or read about. A lot of good, a lot of bad, and only the people being apart of it really know how it is and what’s really happening. I’m thankful, and for me a great big sweet sparkle is that I’m spared from the suffering of war, starvation and crime. For many it’s a part of their everyday life. War and everything that comes with it is horrible. It brings the devil out of people. When you ask a child what they would do if they ruled the world, many will say: I would stop all the wars, and I would create peace of earth. Or you tell them to: Make a wish!

” I wish I could eat ice cream everyday…. I wish everything in my room was pink, and I also wish for peace on Earth!”

When I was a child I also wished for peace on Earth. I wish I had the power to make it happen. As a grown up I have forgotten about that One specific wish… No more wars, and Peace on Earth. I wonder why? Why did I forgot… and when did it happen. Perhaps when I started watching the news on TV, reading the news in the papers and going to school and being taught about the greedy people who earn money on others people suffering, and who misuse the power they have. Or perhaps I forgot about this wish of mine, since no one asks me, or is it because Yes I remember now it’s because it’s not possible. Peace on Earth is not happening… pretty sad eh?

I really wouldn’t want to be a world ruler of any sort, but I would want to make all the war and and the suffering that comes because of, to just disapear to go away. Where and when do I start with this? I just tell you what I would like to do… Can I start now? Can we start now? Others have already started, let’s join them! It’s not hopeless. I have already started, true story. Join me will ya? Be more loving, caring, giving, be more THANKFUL. Take care of those around you, let them know what they mean to you. Take care of yourself. Eat healthier, eat more ecological, or localy produced stuff. Be kinder towards Mother Earth. Be a little better, stand a little taller. Spend more time with best friends, spend more time with nature. Enjoying the peace that’s found in the beaty of the nature is hard to find anywhere else. Look and focus on what you have been blessed with, perhaps the things you feel you miss are not supposed to be in your life. Get enough sleep, and drink tea. Tea is the medecine for pretty much everyhing in England. Do things you like and invite others to join. Be like a gardner and plant something.

And for me and my life… I’m going to start planting peace.

Image

So just join me already, pretty please ❤

Brighter days

After Midsummer, one of our most important holidays we celebrate in Sweden the saying goes: “Well now we are going towards darker days”. Technically speaking its true… Midsummer is the longest day of the year, the kick off to summer, but also when the days start getting shorter and darker again.  It’s now been a while since I had my flower leaf on my head and I danced around the Midsummer pole like there was no tomorrow. Time has gone by and the days have become shorter and shorter and now the sun says goodbye at 21:00 instead of way past midnight….

The sun in my heart though compared to the sun outside that’s already disappearing for today, shines brighter than it has for a long time. It has been pretty obvious to the world around me, that I’ve been in a pretty dark corner. I’m not afraid of the dark, and I really never have been. At summer camp in grade one, I was the only girl who dared walk the “ghost path walk” that the camp leaders had organised for us. I went with 3 boys, and they were so scared so who had to lead the way? Yep the girl, and that was me. I was only 8 years old and the boys were at least 10! It was a fun ghost walk in the dark, but of course I was happy when it was over. I like bright, light and I like colours. The dark corner I spent some time in was pretty NOT  bright or light… So just like the ghost walk I’m happy this walk in the dark is over. I’m happy brighter days are here now. Perhaps it was never dark, even though it sure FELT like it. I was surrounded by friends, by love, by angels. I know I was never alone. I may have felt alone… and to be honest I wanted to be alone. I wanted to be left alone, but still the feeling of loneliness were sometimes overwhelming…. I was in a place I did not want to be in. A dark corner with not colours.So I had to do something…. I had reach out to hope, to faith, to love. I needed to reach out to my friends, and let them help me.

The Tallest Man On Earth sings: “Love is all, from what I’ve heard” but my heart’s learned to kill….” The song is called “Love is All, and it’s beautiful. The text is sad, but the melody is a happy one. I’ve  now after my experience made my own version of “Love Is All”. It comes from the love that my friends and family have shown me… But also from people who hardly know me, but still care about me. It comes from all the love, prayers and thoughts that have been for and to me. It’s love from here and above, that has healed me that has made it possible for me  to say: Bright days are now and bright days are ahead! I’m so thankful I’m so blessed.

Thank you for your LOVE, it truly has been and Is ALL ❤

Live what I learn

My blog is called sweet sparkles and is about the small things in life that happen to us, and the things that we have around us that gives life it’s sparkles.Because I like cuteness I also added the word “sweet” to sparkles. However things occur in life…our sweet sparkles seem to disappear.

Sometimes we are so busy that we don’t notice them. Sometimes we are so happy we don’t notice them, but other times we are so sad that we don’t notice. I’m there myself right now. Where it’s hard for me to see my sweet sparkles. Where I feel blinded and overwhelmed with feelings that makes it hard for me to focus on them. I’m trying to make my life more simple, more minimalistic, because I don’t want to be blind. I’m trying to live a more down to earth kind of a life, were I can find happiness and joy in the smallest of things. I want to be a better person and I want to be more thankful. I want to live what I learn. You who know me, you also know what I believe in, and you know what I believe to be true. The truth I have in my heart comes from what my parents and other great people have taught me. I have again taken a decision that it’s true and that I need to stick to it. No matter what happens to me in my life, no matter what the world tries to tell me I want to stand strong. I want to hold on to what I know is true, and what by the end of the day will help me to again to open up my heart and eyes to feel and see the sweet sparkles in my life.

Thank you for reading, and please continue, there is more to come ❤

Always thankful

There is always something to be thankful for!

I know of all my heart that it’s true, it’s a fact. We just need to see it, to feel it, or perhaps to look for it.

Is thankfulness something that comes natural to us? I’m not sure… I depends on who you are, and how you live your life. If you decide to focus on it, then yes I believe that it can come easy! Easy as in you learn to feel it and you start to recognize it even in the smallest of things. I’m working on making “being thankful” a natural part of my every day life. Cause for me, it sometimes comes pretty easy, but other times it’s very hard… and that’s not ok if you ask me. I don’t want to be an ungrateful person. It doesn’t contribute to the woman I would like to be. So I wanted to become more happy for the things I’ve got, and my experiences. So I got a “Gratitude book”. Or if you ask me… the book got me!

Let me share the story behind this light green little book of mine:

It’s the day Sunday before Valentine’s Day, and I’m feeling bad about the fact that my plans for Valentine’s went down the drain… the day I had been looking forward to, had now become a day I just wanted to sleep through… All the sudden in my moment of negativity I heard a little voice inside of me saying I should start writing in my diary again, and writing about all the positive and fun things that happen in my life. “But, I don’t have time to write in my diary, I know how it goes, I start writing, and then after a few weeks I stop cause I’m just not motivated enough” Then I heard the voice again, kind of answering my thought: “What about a gratitude book? You don’t need to write a novel about your day, just a few things you are thankful for”. Yes! I thought back, now we’re talking, I’m totally getting one! Just an ordinary book, that I can write in. I’ll write “Gratitude Book” on it or something. Sweet!

I now had a plan, and I was going to start as soon as possible 🙂

The next day, when I came home from work I had a package in my mailbox. It was from my friend Misty, who lives in the States. I knew she had sent me a gift,  It was meant for my B-day, but it had got delayed. It the day before Valentine’s, and I thought it was the perfect day to receive a surprise all the way from America. I came home, did some cleaning and put my house in order, the package was there and patiently waiting for me to open it. I was in no hurry. Then after a while, when I was finished with everything and almost had forgotten about the package…I opened it, and was thrilled to see that amongst the nice gifts was… a Gratitude Book!

I use it everyday, and it’s becoming a blessing for me to at the end of my day, think what I want to thank for. On my book there is a quote from Joseph B. Wirthlin saying:

“GRATITUDE is a mark of a NOBLE SOUL and a refined CHARACTER”

I belive this to be true and I’m so thankful to my friend Misty who sent me this book!

Friendship from Miriam