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May 23, 2009 / chelledonohue

Read this if you can (Note: Not for the sensitive.)

Children of Gaza, Run to the Angels

By Suzanne Baroud, Palestine Chronicle

Me: I just read this, and it moved me to a point that I haven’t yet been as a mother. I hate war and have been against it all my life, yet this past year the terror deepened unimaginably. Yet, what a stunning  picture of what your very real faith can bring you through, what it means to you when faced with such sorrow. No words.

Ironically, it was in Palestine, 20 years ago, that I concluded that there is no God. For how could a God, who claims to love all and treat all with impartiality, allow such horrors like those in Palestine to happen?

This unbelief grew stronger with each curfew, with each strike that mourned the death of yet one more martyr, with a decapitation induced by gunfire in the main square on a sunny Ramallah afternoon so many years ago. But it was cemented the day I had to tell one of my fifth grade students that his brother had just been taken away by the Israeli army. His expression, his body going limp, the shuddering of his shoulders as he wept with his classmates … that’s what finally did it.

Nearly 20 years have passed since that day, and I have now married into a Gazan family. I am a wife and mother, the sister and aunt of so many kids living the horror of what Gaza has become. As we watch the footage of Israel’s onslaught [in January 2009], I hear myself, whispering as I see one more martyred child, “Run to the angels … run.” After so many years, this living nightmare is fostering a burning desire to believe once again in the afterlife.

Caged, starved, sniped, suffocated. They are slaughtered like sheep, but the leaders of the free world just cannot seem to find a moment to comment. Golfing, vacationing, Obama, Bush, even the EU, they just aren’t important enough. My mutterings have become like a canter. I call out to these stricken and shattered little bodies, who frankly never experienced life to lose it. The only consolation to offer is the respite found in death.

A crowd gathers, shrouded in gas, smoke and dust. In the front stand eight young fathers, each holding a white swaddled bundle of what used to be a son, a daughter. For a few moments there is no screaming, no chanting or crying, but a moment of quiet and stillness that presses one to wonder just whom has been granted the greater mercy, the toddler who caught the sniper’s bullet, or the young father, who will have to find some way to live beyond this moment?

A young boy sits on the sidewalk beside his mother. She is propped up against the wall of a collapsed building and her life is bleeding out all over the sidewalk. It is spattered on his face and smeared on his shirt. She uses the last of her strength to lift her arm and clutch his cheek in her palm and then she is gone. He rests his head in his hands and cries. He is all alone.

The camera zooms in on the scene of a freshly detonated building, a civilian home. A little girl’s brown curly hair covered in dust and eyes wide open is all that can be found of her. Her mother wails and pulls her hair while her father frantically searches among the rubble for the rest of his daughter. Where could she be? I whisper again, “You will be made whole again in Paradise. Run to the angels.”

What amazing faith. What strong devotion that a father loses his mother, father, wife and eight children, that this man before anything can assert, “God is Great, Thank God for Everything.” He holds his child, now still and ashen, he smothers him with kisses and then gently pulls back the sheet to expose two bullet holes in his chest. He then tenderly places the child beside his brother and again, pulls the sheet back of his youngest son to reveal a single sniper’s bullet to the chest. He can barely compose himself and he moans to the sympathizing camera man, “God is Great, Thank God for Everything.”

An old and wrinkled Imam so lovingly cradles a little girl’s lifeless body, as if mishandling her now could inflict more pain. He mumbles a benediction and gently lies her beside her sisters and her brothers in the mass grave. I try to comfort her, saying, “Finally, a place of safety. Rest beside your sister. Your brother. Put your fears to rest and meet your beloved Prophet and the many of your little friends who have fallen before you.”

Hospitals, schools, mosques, civilian homes, UN shelters, all worthy targets. Doctors, medicines, food and water, truckloads of relief from all corners of the world line up for miles at the Egyptian border but they are refused entry. Security is high, food is scarce, water is completely gone.

Faith seems to spring forth in the strangest of moments. For me, it seems to be coming full circle out of desperation and in agony, for the sake of the snow-white souls of the many bloodied innocents of Gaza.

UN workers coordinate with Israelis to get civilians to safety inside a UN school. Hundreds are tucked inside the mutually agreed safe haven. Soon after, the school comes under Israeli fire. Bruised and battered refugees stare Satan in the face, clad in his fatigues. Hundreds wounded, scores dead, many lost and unaccounted for.

Governments negotiate a cease-fire. Rumors buzz of conspiracies. The US President-elect is forever silent. Parents search beneath the collapsed walls for what remains of their children. Shattered concrete, random arms and legs, broken glass, tossed together in a bloody hodge-podge. But, in my mind, I see them whole, their little bodies swiftly being swept up into Paradise, and I call out to them, “Run!”

Suzanne Baroud is the Managing Editor of PalestineChronicle.com.

(check Mama’s site for her comments.)

May 10, 2009 / chelledonohue

Happy Mothers Day!

This is a little something from Steph and I, to our mum’s, the three best ladies the world over. We have known and loved you all our lives, and hope and pray to one day make you proud. We love you!

You Were There…
You were there when we took our first steps,
And went unsteadily across the floor.
You pushed and prodded: encouraged and guided,
Until our steps took us out the door…
You worry now “Are they ok?”
Is there more you could have done?
As we walk the paths of our unknown
You wonder”Where have my children gone?”
Where we are is where you have led us,
With your special love you showed us a way,
To believe in ourselves and the decisions we make.
Taking on the challenge of life day-to-day.
And where we go you can be sure,
In spirit you shall never be alone.
For where you are is what matters most to us,
Because to us that will always be home…

(Author Unknown)

mothers_day_03

May 7, 2009 / chelledonohue

Letters to Leika

Dear Leika,

Here it is – as promised! This is my current form of anger management – looking at the gorgeous view that we have practically to ourselves. I  just sit in the sun on the terrace and drink it in! All else fades away, all the annoyances, all the unsolicited advice, all the opinions –  just gone. I’m reminded of how large life can be, and how powerful He is.

May 5, 2009 / chelledonohue

For Beth

Beth Jordan - she's all that!

Beth Jordan - she's all that!

My too-kool-for-skool sister IL had her birthday today! Beth is one of those special souls, people who are as near perfect as you can get. I have always thought of her as one of those heroines in the story books, simply because everyone loves her. She’s not just a charming lady, she actually cares about people and lives that way. See what I mean? Special.

Here’s what I know about Beth: She takes you as she finds you – not listening to gossip or other peoples opinions; she makes her decision about you based on your heart. She loves life in a quiet, strong way, helping people live their dreams. She is beautiful without shouting about it from the rooftops, which helps you feel comfortable in her long-legged, blue-eyed, gorgeous presence. She is a lady. She fights for you just because she loves you, and not because of your sinlessness. She is loyal. She is talented – a born star, someone who doesn’t need to fight for the spotlight, she brings her brains and skill to the table minus a desire to garner fame.

See what I mean? Special. Oh and she also has the cutest kids – totally adorable.

She won’t agree with me about this, but she is strong. This is a woman who actually smiled and laughed in order to comfort me in my heartbreak, when she had just endured one of the most heart-wrenching things any mother could ever go through. She praised through what I am sure was enough tears to last a dozen lifetimes. Amazon.

Send her some love and prayers today, for this wonderful, wonderful woman, who made my little brother one of the happiest guys on earth. We love you Beth!

May 3, 2009 / chelledonohue

Happy Birthday Premo!!

Premo! It’s your birthday bro-and a fitting day it was. We had blue skies and glorious spring in the air, and I thought a lot about you. This last half a year was truly special getting to live near you and see a whole lot of you. I think it was very sweet of the Lord to do that, seeing as I left home when you were pretty young, and always missed being able to live with you.

The Prem

The Prem

I was happy to find out for myself what a fine young man you are. You are sweet, and warmhearted and always up for a good laugh. You’re a charmer – that’s for sure, but you don’t take yourself too seriously, which is a mercy! You have a way about you of taking a situation as it comes, and making something great out of it – and in the bargain, you always make people feel comfortable and better for knowing you. You are true about your love for the Lord and others, and you always see the good in people. You are gold!

Premo with the boys

Premo with the boys

I know you have tons of friends and people who admire you, because they tell me so, but somehow I like to think that as your sis I get a unique glimpse into your heart. You are a champion, a warrior. I know Mum would be very proud of you, and all that you have been through and bested. I know I am. Dad and Mum are too, so don’t forget it.

Rager

Rager

Don’t forget how much we love you and admire you! You make us kool by association. Ha ha. Love you bro, and hey, I look forward to what the new year will bring you. I know He has the best waiting. XXX

May 2, 2009 / chelledonohue

A little about me

Have you ever….

Sung someone to sleep? Dream On My Child, for Alex
Been to a psychiatrist? Yes, hated it, but passed with admirable results. LOL.
Baked a cake without a recipe? God no.
Recorded your voice? In Japan, with Mike Fogarty and Vin -best times.
Written a novel? Tried hard to write something truly sappy as a teen, now I struggle to update my little blog.
Had a paying job? Vince reckons I was the golden goose. Double LOL.
Lost a loved-one? My Mum.
Been in a band? Front man?
Danced in front of people? Part of the musical career.
Wanted children? I didn’t think about having kids much, but I love the little rascal of mine.
Been to a concert? Favorite was Enrique Iglesias, One Night Stand

Cried yourself to sleep? I’m stellar at it.

Met someone famous? Too many, but Ricky Ponting is my favorite.
Wanted to be famous? No. Wanted to be worthy.
Used a rhyming dictionary? Might have in school?
Drew/painted a piece of art to completion? Love it!
Streaked? God no.
Gone somewhere deliberately in the hopes of running into someone? Weak, yes.
Felt so incapable of expressing love that you cried? Was incapable.
Written a song? Yes.
Climbed a mountain? Not on purpose.
Wished you were the opposite gender? Never
Stayed up all night? Used to be my favorite past time. I considered sleep a waste of time, until a small baby took away my right to uninterrupted sleep.
Been heartbroken? Carry the scars.
Been in love with someone who had no idea? Yes.

Do you…
Stop reading books halfway through? Can’t put a book down once I start it, and I often read the end first to make sure its worth it. Crazy.
Sleep during movies? Not really.
Cry during movies? Uh huh. Most recently when watching The Duchess, and she has to give her baby girl away. I can’t imagine the pain or the cruel, raw heartlessness of a society that feeds on it.
Talk a lot? When I am happy.
Sleep better alone? Don’t know, I’m not awake to check on myself.
Own a pair of glasses? No
Pinch pennies? Don’t usually deal in coins.
Quickly lose interest in projects? Not often.
Misplace things? Not usually. Unless I hide something in one of my safe places.
Love math? Hopeless at it.
Know a lot of random facts? Some people say I do, and I pick up a range of facts, but only on certain topics.
Do romantic, thoughtful things for the people you love? I hope so. Without romance, I would die.
Have difficulty getting rid of things you don’t use? Not usually, just difficulty finding the time to.
Notice and remember little things about people? I wish I was better at this.
Prefer wine to beer? Yes
Do an accent? Yaar boss
Enjoy the spotlight? Used to it.
Love board games? Truly do. Sooo much fun with Steph.
Buy your own shampoo or toothpaste? Uh huh
Wish people would stop talking about you? they’ll run out soon enough.
Keep a journal? No
Enjoy exotic foods? Love spicy food.
Cook elaborately for yourself? Ha ha
Have expensive taste? So I am told.
Write on yourself? Used to.
Stay up late? Always
Absolutely love your perfume/cologne or use it because you have it? LOVE  Deep Red. Hoping for Chance.
Wish you could be someplace else? I’ll never tell.
Miss people? All the time. You know who you are.
Organize to a fault? (Weeping with laughter)
Take a long time to be satisfied with your work? Never satisfied.
Wear clothes that are too big for you? Try not to.
Own more than 10 pens? Ahh yes, and lovin’ it!
Wear make-up every day? Not every day.
Get angry often? Recently, a lot. Usually, hardly.

May 1, 2009 / chelledonohue

Neglected

I’m sorry for neglecting you for the past few days. I promised to update daily – and I will continue to try.

These pics are for Mum, Dad and Sara:

We have gorgeous weather today, and are having a Home Day!! Whoo hoo. I love me some Home. Here’s a few highlights of my full and blessed life recently: (In no particular order.)

– Charity added me on Skype and we talked for the first time in ages. I love that lady.

-Got to have a looong catch up with Lynn, and saw Ginny and Young Jack. What a killer name! And I love talking with you Lynn – its nice to have a touch of family.

-Lynn put us on speaker phone with my bestest Sara. I miss you sooooo much Sara and am dying to get my hands on that Jared!

– Jamin moved in for awhile. I know for a FACT that SOME people are pretty stoked. I don’t mind either – heh!

– Played Quizorama with Ia, Mike, Jeff, Steph and Pri. A mixed bag of goodies, but I sat in awe of Ia’s hair most of the night. Girl has some curl power!

– Steph has been spoiling me as usual – long hot baths, cold grapefruit lu cha, crispy cashews, midnight crossword games, back rubs, foot rubs, hot Dilmah, spending money, romantic movies, night drives in the mountains, and the sweetest kisses ever. I heart my man!

– Spending an inordinate time with Alex everyday. Such a luxury, and I am memorizing his every little move. He is making me into a mother.

“You should envy me such love.” (Lygia – Quo Vadis)