Wednesday, February 24, 2010
I met a man a few years ago that was speaking about his achievement of making it to the top of Mount Everest. He detailed the risk and dangers that his group went through, failing the first two attempts and finally reaching the pinnacle. The pain and remorse that was felt by coming so close, only to be forced to turn back. The time it took to plan another expedition and the cost involved to reach a goal only a few had achieved before. A goal that had cost many people their health and some the ultimate sacrifice, their lives. I went down to the front of the auditorium once he had finished his talk and got the opportunity to ask him a few questions. The first thing I wanted to know was would he plan another climb, and he said "no", which surprised me a bit. When I asked him why not, here's what he said.
" I have had one main goal in life since I was a kid, and that was to climb Mount Everest. I am only in my mid thirties and now that I have accomplished this feat, I struggle each morning with the idea of what will I set as a goal next" It's kind of hard to top climbing that monster. I am reaching deep inside to find another way to find satisfaction in my life, but I struggle with this"
I just had to let what he said sink in and I thought about it for a few weeks. I never have looked at success and failure the same way again. When you have a goal and you fall short, you still can try again and again, learning from mistakes and finding a way to victory. Once you have made it to the top, what comes next?
The answer is that you must have new goals and aspirations to reach out for. You must open your mind up to new things or you will just be going through the motions. That, my friend, is no way to find happiness.
My mother's goal after Germany fell, was to make it to America, which she did. The hard part for her was to keep on dreaming and setting new pinnacle's to reach for, otherwise, it would have been hard for her to find happiness. Happiness is a state of mind that each person must choose themselves. A great way to start this process is to have definite goals that you want to strive towards, and failure along the way is to be expected, as long as you pick yourself up and keep moving on.
Are you cheating yourself out of the chance to fall because you are afraid to reach for your pinnacle? Failure makes the taste of victory very sweet, but you have to have aspirations in order to know when you have reached the top.
I hope that you reach that pinnacle and enjoy the ride!!
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
I sat down with my dad, Henry, this morning and asked him to share his thoughts on Nonna's book and what has been a very personal experience for him. Here's a few words from Henry:
When I first learned the scope of Nonna's past and all that she had been through, I felt it was important that she write it all down, so that her children first and then the rest of the world, would know her story. After her death in 2004, I set out to find a way for her story to be told, and with God's guidance and me moving to Jackson, Tn. I was able to meet Carolyn Tomlin, a writer and neighbor, who started the wheels in motion to have Nonna's story told.
I thank God everyday that a quality publisher such as Tyndale House would see the value and worth of what Nonna had written, and make my wish come true by publishing her work. It has been almost one year since her book was released and soon we will have a paperback edition as well as foreign editions. I am humbled and amazed, although not surprised, that things are moving so quickly.
I feel honored that her book is beginning to attract worldwide attention and that it is being nominated for awards less than one year after being released. It makes the more than fifty-three years I was married to Nonna come full circle. Her Legacy will live on, hopefully for many generations to come. I guess you could call me a Happy Old Man, because even at 82 years old, dreams do come true.
May God Bless you as he has blessed me,
Friday, February 19, 2010
This spring holds many exciting things for my mother's book. A German Edition was just released, which will make her life story available to the very people that Hitler took advantage of. This will no doubt allow them to see just how forgiveness can lead to healing.
A soft cover Edition is to be released in March by Tyndale House Publishers, which will place Nonna's work in many different outlets, allowing thousands more people to find out about her life. This Edition will also open a lot of doors in educational circles, allowing more students to study her book and the Holocaust from a different perspective. A Norwegian Edition is in the works and will be out later in the year.
The most exciting news comes from The Audio Publishers Association. APA has announced nominations for its 2010 Audies competition, the only Awards program in the United States devoted entirely to honoring spoken word entertainment. Winners will be announced at The Audies Gala on May 25th 2010 at The Museum of The City of New York in New York City. There were 1056 entries submitted for the awards and a panel of judges selected the finalists. The Secret Holocaust Diaries was selected in the two categories listed below.
*Anne Frank Remembered
*The Secret Holocaust Diaries by Nonna Bannister
*The Golden Willow by Harry Bernstein
*True Compass by Ted Kennedy
*Valkyrie/ The plot to kill Hitler
Inspirational/ Faith-Based Non Fiction
*The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
*Lord of the Ringless by Dee Aspin
*The Secret Holocaust Diaries by Nonna Bannister
*What Southern Women Know About Faith by Rhona Rich
*The Word Of Promise Audio Bible by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
What a wonderful achievement for Nonna and all that she lived to tell about and I know she would have been humbled that she was noticed in this manner. Nonna was such a sweet person who never had unkind things to say about anyone and whose heart was sincere. Good luck mama, we are so proud of you and we love and miss you more every day!!
Monday, February 1, 2010
When I remember my mother, it is the small things that she did that come to my mind first. The way she could make you laugh with such ease or the special words she could say that gave something a different twist. The kind things that she would go a little bit out of her way to do for others or just enjoying watching a TV show with her. Nonna had a way about her that put you at ease, always making sure you were comfortable and felt at home in her presence. This was who she was, after all that she had experienced in her life, she knew what was important to convey to others and that was to take care of the little things and the good Lord will take care of the rest.
Nonna was very wise to understand that people would remember the little things she did for them years after they would forget about any success or possession that she called her own. She walked this path her entire life and most who knew her will tell you the small stories of their time with Nonna and what an impression she left in their lives. People will forget how fancy your clothes were, how nice your car was and most of what you accomplish for personal gain. They will remember the talks you had with them and the time that you made them feel special and cared for.
As you work towards having a good life, never forget that the people who care about you the most, don't care what kind of car you drive or what job title that you hold. These things are best left to the "Jones's" around your life and you should never focus on that. Do you think for one second that after you have gone on, that your friends will remember what possessions you had? If this is what drives your search for happiness, just lose your status and watch how fast these so called friends will avoid you.
It's the little things that you do that will draw on the warmest of memories, and that my friend, is the cold hard truth!! You are more important for what you give to others rather than what you gather along the way, so, go do a little "nice" for someone who means something to you and do it soon and do it often.