Just who is Jean Rodenbough, anyway?
Let me tell you: I was eight years old and we were in Honolulu, Hawaii. My father was an Army doctor. Early one morning in December our family woke up to loud sounds that first seemed like the Navy practicing their firing. But it was the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
The days following were the beginning of a time that changed everything for me.
Many years later, I thought of that time, of the effects on my psyche from the nearness of that war. I wondered then what must it have been like for children who were living in the midst of war? And I began researching stories, gathering stories from friends I had known recently, and those from my own childhood, about how they experienced World War II.
The book that resulted, Rachel’s Children: Surviving the Second World War, was published in 2010 and has been read by those who lived through those times, and those who were born long after such a war. The book describes the tragedy and outrage that wars carry in their paths. My stories are commented on by brief poems and reflections, to provide some distance from the pain of those years.
Now in my late 70’s, I feel some release for my own emotional reactions. It is in telling our story and reliving the experience not only of our own lives, but the stories of others which verify our own, that make us whole. I am glad to have made the effort, and appreciate All Things That Matter Press for publishing it.
Now I work on another collection of stories, this time of animals who have been tragically abused, mistreated, abandoned. The stories tell of the caring human beings who have taken these animals into their own lives and made pets of them. Poems will be the commentary for the situations that at last have given peace and love to these creatures: dogs, cats, birds, and all four and two-legged beings.