Weekend Special: Life is Beautiful, Holocaust Memorial in SL, & Our Twins in Heaven

Hello friends, today I’m doing a weekend special…a combo of Virtual Friday, Media Saturday, and My Family Rocks! Sunday. I’ll be discussing the Holocaust and also the loss of our twins we were going to adopt.

#1 “Life is Beautiful” review

Let’s start with a media review of the Italian film “Life is Beautiful” or “La Vita E Bella”. Here is a brief synopsis from Wikipedia.

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Synopsis on Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_Is_Beautiful

“Life Is Beautiful (Italian: La vita è bella) is a 1997 Italian film which tells the story of a Jewish Italian, Guido Orefice (played by Roberto Benigni, who also directed and co-wrote the film), who must employ his fertile imagination to help his family during their internment in a Nazi concentration camp. Part of the film came from Benigni’s own family history; before his birth Roberto’s father had survived three years of internment at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

  1. At the 71st Academy Awards in 1999, Benigni won the Academy Award for Best Actor and the film won both the Academy Award for Best Original Dramatic Score and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.”

My review:
“Life is Beautiful” or “La Vita e Bella” in Italian is one of my favorite movies. It’s rated PG-13 simply because it deals with the Holocaust. This movie covers so many things…love, pain, fear, laughter…..hope. I have seen the movie with subtitles and also the English dub. I prefer watching it with subtitles and listening to the Italian. There are certain sayings that don’t make sense unless you hear them say it in Italian. Now if you don’t like foreign films please give this movie a chance. I had a friend in Highschool who didn’t think she would like it but at the end of the film she was crying.

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The first half of the movie is a love story. Guido and his buddy move in with his uncle. Guido becomes a waiter at his Uncle’s hotel. Guido saves a school teacher, Dora from falling out of a barn window. Throughout the film Guido finds hilarious ways to surprise Dora…for instance pretending to be a school official just so he can ask her on a date. It gets  funny when the REAL official shows up. The problem is that Dora is engaged and she comes from a wealthy family. Dora’s mom expects her to marry into wealth as well. We also find that Guido is Jewish and there are many racists people…including Dora’s mom. Guido is super funny but he’s also very romantic. Girls get ready to swoon. The guy may be partially bald and goofy looking but his poetry rocks :).

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The second half of the movie we see Dora and Guido are married. Their union has caused a rift in Dora’s relationship with her mom. Guido and Dora have an adorable little boy named Giosuè (sounds like Joshway). Giosuè is just as witty and goofy as his father. He’s also charming and too cute for words. Giosuè helps Guido in their bookstore. We see racist graffiti on the door and you know we’re about to see Nazis. The whimsical fairytale beginning takes a turn for the worse. Guido, Giosuè, and Guido’s uncle are taken to a concentration camp. Dora isn’t Jewish but she begs to take the train too.

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There are some disturbing scenes so be warned. This is about the Holocaust. Guido never loses his sense of humor though. Guido tells Giosuè that they are in a strange survival game. The winner gets a big tank. Guido does all he can to protect his son from the horrors of war. The child even escapes the gas chambers by refusing to take a shower. He has to hide the rest of the movie. Guido finds ways to get messages to Dora despite their separation. Overall, the end is good…..bittersweet. The film makes it’s point: Life is beautiful and worth fighting for.

Life is Beautiful trailer

#2 Virtual Israel in SL~Holocaust Memorial Visit Israel (30, 135, 25)


There is a nifty spot in the virtual world called Israel. Don’t think you’ll ever get to visit the real life Israel? Take a trip in SecondLife to this tourist sim and see the sights! 🙂 The Israel sim has tons of info on the Israeli culture. I had hoped to show you pictures from the Yad Vashem Children’s Memorial, a SL Holocaust memorial based on the real life memorial. But it was under construction :(. This sim has been around for awhile so I’m sure the memorial will be back up soon. I’ve got other pictures to share with you though and here’s a little info on the RL memorial.

Yad Vashem Children’s Memorial in Real Life. Excerpt from: http://www1.yadvashem.org/yv/en/remembrance/childrens_memorial.asp

“This unique memorial, hollowed out from an underground cavern, is a tribute to the approximately 1.5 million Jewish children who were murdered during the Holocaust. Memorial candles, a customary Jewish tradition to remember the dead, are reflected infinitely in a dark and somber space, creating the impression of millions of stars shining in the firmament. The names of murdered children, their ages and countries of origin can be heard in the background.
The children’s names are taken from Pages of Testimony in the Hall of Names, Yad Vashem.

The Children’s Memorial was designed by architect Moshe Safdie and built with the generous donation of Abe and Edita Spiegel, whose son Uziel was murdered in Auschwitz at the age of two and a half.”

Western Wall

The Western Wall in Sl is awesome. You can click the picture and write your own note for the wall. Then the people will put your note in the real life Western Wall :). Another good reason to visit the virtual world.

Dead Sea

The Dead Sea was fun. Enjoy the pics 🙂 It really looks like I’m floating and then sinking in the mud lol.

Tel Aviv

Amphitheater

Dome of the Rock

Church of the Holy Sepulcher (click on the pic to see it larger)

Anywho, speaking of the virtual world….I haven’t been on in awhile. I visited the Christian orphanage where my avatar lives to find it has vanished :(. That’s a common occurrence in Second Life. Unfortunately, people can’t afford the tiers and many wonderful sims disappear off the grid. The RL economy affects the virtual world as well. So I went to a free hotel to change.

There’s a good reason for renting in SecondLife. The hotel was free but some strange person stood outside the door telling me to open the door. I told them the room was private and to go away and they refused…until I threatened to report them. So after I visited Israel I found a new rental. There’s this great kid village with the cutest pastel cottages. There was only one rental left and I got it 🙂

ok moving on to a heavier situation…..

#3 Honoring our Twins in Heaven

I’m pretty open and real on this blog…especially on my Sunday posts when I talk about my family. I do this because I pray my experiences can help others. I’ve been considering talking about a huge issue that I deal with and so many others deal with too: Secondary Infertility.

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Infertility has become a dirty little secret in our society. Many couples suffer in silence because  it’s not something we like to talk about. It’s just too painful. Anywho, we have been trying to have more kids for over five years….since little man was born. I was told my ovaries were weakening fast and that was a couple of years ago. So it would be a miracle for us to have more kids but….I still believe in miracles :). I’m praying the natural doctor I’m going to will help out with this and also my other health issues.

Back in 2010 my husband met a lady who was going to abort her twins. We naturally begged to adopt them. We were so excited. We met the lady and I felt the babies move. There was a connection. I went home and made a baby registry. Our whole family had dreams. Michael wanted to be an older brother.

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But those dreams shattered when I got the call…..the lady was miscarrying. We spent the weekend with her and I was there during the miscarriage….praying etc. There was alot of craziness that I won’t go into but the birth mother didn’t want the babies. I never carried the twins in my stomach but I’ve always carried them in my heart.  They are in Heaven now and I believe they know that we loved them. That they are wanted. And I wonder if my Dad (who died shortly before them) is looking out for his grandchildren up in Heaven.

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When it happened I never fully grieved. I was already broken up because of my Dad dying. Only a few people knew we were even adopting. A couple of people told us they were sorry but for the most part the whole situation was forgotten (except by me). Maybe people just didn’t know what to say. I pushed the grief down deep inside…tried to ignore it.

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We didn’t have any bodies to bury. We broke ties with the lady for the safety of our family. So we have nothing…not even an ultrasound pic. I just remember the moment I felt the babies moved. I wish people would’ve said more about them….validated my feelings. It just felt like the twins were forgotten and never honored. Like people forgot they were real.

Well, lately I’ve been on a Christian infertility forum and I’ve met some amazing ladies. One of them gave me the inspiration to go to the natural doctor. I’ve also met many ladies who have lost children….some by miscarriage..others by adoption. My situation is a little strange since the twins we were going to adopt miscarried. But the mother did not want them and I did so desperately want the babies. I have been so encouraged by these sweet ladies…to let myself grieve and to finally name the children. We thought of names when they were dying but we never got to have a service.

So tomorrow we are finally having a memorial service for the twins, Autumn Grace and Caleb Zachary. They never had a funeral so we are burying a memorial box with baby clothes and trinkets. My son drew them pictures. I’m writing a letter. This weekend I let myself fully grieve over the loss and the painful things we dealt with in the process. For the first time my husband and I talked about how old the twins would be now and all the things they would be doing….they would be one and a half…learning to walk and talk.  I had a good talk with Michael and finally acknowledged that he has siblings in Heaven. He was so young when it happened that he forgot. I thought I couldn’t become more broken after my dad died…I was wrong. But not allowing myself to grieve (because I wasn’t their birth mother) just made things worse.

So I’m glad the twins will finally get the memorial they deserve.  How about you? Have you ever lost a child? What did you do to help yourself through the grieving process? How did you honor their memory? Please feel free to comment.

If you are dealing with infertility or loss please find a good support group. It’s a painful thing and many great women before us have experienced this…..Hannah, Elizabeth, Sarah….ladies from the Bible who all longed for a child. Secondary infertility is painful too in it’s own way. We’re in this struggle together and our Heavenly Father DOES care. I know Jesus Christ has wrapped his arms around me throughout this whole process. I don’t know what His plan is….but I know He loves me.

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God bless and Remember The High King Lives!~Amber Dover

PS: this is the song I listened too when we were going to adopt them. It’s a love song but the words seemed appropriate. “I knew I loved you before I met you…I think I dreamed you into life…”

I knew I loved you by Savage Garden

0 comments on “Weekend Special: Life is Beautiful, Holocaust Memorial in SL, & Our Twins in Heaven

  1. Amber, you have such a beautiful heart. This post is one additional proof. You are such a good mother to the twins even though you never got the chance to meet them. This story brought tears and I’m so happy I have met you. You’re amazing!

    1. Nikky you always encourage me and make me feel better 🙂 ((hugs)). I was nervous posting something so personal…but your comments made me feel it was worth it. I’ve had a rough day and I haven’t felt amazing….in fact I’ve felt like scum. I’m glad God loves us despite our faults. You are such a sweety and God used you to help me today 🙂 luv and prayers, sis!

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