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Thursday, April 07, 2016

Redoubling My Efforts Re: Asha's Book

Warning: though this post will not be graphic, I am discussing today my reaction to receiving, after some setbacks, Asha Veil's autopsy. I felt I needed to absolutely look upon what happened to her that night, hard and hearbreaking as it is. I am not allowed to reveal elements of it publicly, and won't, and wouldn't anyways, for the sake of decency and to protect her loved ones and friends who come here to read my words. But suffice to say that Asha displayed enormous courage to the very end. How she found that courage is a testimony to all she was, and all people remember her for.

And the man who denied her the very right to live her life, to bear her child, to go on whatever path intended for her in this world: all I can say is that I once saw a photo of Josef Mengele and other SS agents and camp guards at Auschwitz, on holiday, smiling and laughing: I easily imagined the face of Asha's killer among them.

I think back on the times I interacted with Asha--so funny, kind, and considerate--and I think of the things people have told me about her. I ask, over and over, "Why?"

I have never told this story about her, but there was a time when I was on food stamps, which are issued on a sort of debit card called an EBT card.  There was a VERY sour-faced cashier at the Ben Lomond Super who never failed to make snide remarks about food stamps and often claimed she could not get the purchase through, never failing to announce to anyone within earshot that I was paying with food stamps.

 I used to avoid the sour-faced cashier's line, but one day couldn't avoid it, as she took over checking in the line.  As usual, she claimed she couldn't get the EBT card to work. Somehow Asha showed up at the register, took my card, and expertly put the purchase through in less than a minute. I thanked her and she said it was not a problem at all, that she was happy to help.

All this redoubles my efforts to finish this book, to hold Asha and Anina, and all who loved her, in my heart until the very last word (and beyond that, of course). This I promise through my heartache today and my falling tears.