If you’re anything like me, you are both riveted and repulsed by the images coming from war-torn Ukraine. At your family tables over the spring holidays, conversations about who saw what and who heard this or that may cause a stillness to the festivities.
Isn’t this as it should be?
We’re human after all. It takes a certain amount of fortitude, willfulness to look away, to turn the radio from the news to music. And yet, music soothes the sadness we feel for our fellows. We need it. And they need it.
Davide Martello, an Italian living in Germany, loaded his baby grand piano onto a trailer and drove fifteen hours to the Medyka, Poland border crossing. Everyday he plays tunes like “Let It Be” by the Beatles and “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen for people who cross over from Ukraine to the massive Polish aid station. Most of us cannot mount such dramatic kindness, but we can contribute in other ways. (See below).
Janice, a Michigan resident and Polish American, writes again about the Warsaw children’s hospital:
Warsaw is now over 25% Ukrainian. Around 25,000 Ukrainians are still coming into Poland every day. The children’s hospital where I am very involved is overwhelmed by Ukrainian refugee children—almost 1/3 of the hospital patients are now Ukrainian.
This is clearly disruptive to us here in Warsaw. The atmosphere is intense, heavy, fearful. Yet also compassionate. Our house is full, and not our own, as you can imagine. But after 5 weeks of several Ukrainian families, we hope we have found some other temporary housing for our latest family, so we can feel relaxed in our home. Though we still have Ukrainian friends visiting us with needs.
My friend has remained in her hometown near Doline, Ukraine, helping the orphanage/emergency housing center. This western part of the country has received 6 million displaced Ukrainians from the East. The East is poorer and many have died, thus these refugees are really desperate. Plus, and I must add the most heart-wrenching, is that there are thousands of orphaned children. God help us.
There are many kinds of evils and wars in this world. We can only try to gather and spread love.
When will this war end?
Please consider making a contribution to the Warsaw Children’s Hospital. It will go directly to help the refugee children of Ukraine.
NPR: Davide Martello plays the piano at the Poland-Ukraine border: