There but for the grace of God…


These little handprints are on the sidewalk in a little town in Alabama.

Try as I might I could not make out all of the names.

Too much time and too much weather had taken their toll.

I think they are Noah, Sarah Beth.   Or is Beth the name of the third handprint?

There is no clue as to the fourth handprint.

I guess I could  have knocked on the door.

Yes, here I am a total stranger wondering whose handprints are those?

Perhaps, I would have been invited in to reminisce about these children.

Perhaps the children live there still.

Perhaps, perhaps…my imagination conjures other scenarios.

I chose not to knock.  I will never know the story of these little children.

It is enough that they were sweet little hands encased in a moment in time.

These  handprints tell  of happy times.

Family.  Love. Hope.

Shoes on the Danube

Across the Atlantic far, far away from Alabama, there is a different memorial.

It is worlds apart.  It is called “Shoes on the Danube”.



A moving depiction of the fate of Jewish people who were killed during WWII in Budapest.

They were directed to remove their shoes before being shot on the banks of the Danube River.

Their shoeless bodies fell into the Danube to be carried away.

A story of horror, hatred, despair, death.


To be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

There but for the grace of God, go I.





22 thoughts on “There but for the grace of God…

  1. What a desperately sad and poignant sight those shoes present. We should always remember the horrors of the war. I too am curious to know more about those little hands. Here we have marked the wall with the heights of the children at every birthday. No doubt future owners of this house will look on and wonder what the children looked like as they grew into adults. Thanks for sharing. All the best. Karen x

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Terrible things went on during wartime, but what is even scarier is that things like this are still happening. Beheadings, kidnappings, mass shootings, poison gas, ethnic cleansing(?). It boggles the mind why man doesn’t learn from these horrors and stop doing them.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I think Anneli’s use of the word “man” may be a factor. It is usually men that carry out these horrors. I have long believed that if all countries were led by women a lot of the world’s problems would fast disappear!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Haha. I hope I haven’t started a war of the sexes, but I agree with you, Peter. I did mean “humans” or “mankind” but yes, I don’t think women would do these things on such a large scale, merely because women are the nurturers, and beheading doesn’t fit with that mindset.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I keep saying in my next life I’m coming back as a man (but by that time the women will have taken over). I suppose we could call it “personkind” but that would be adding one more irritating expression to the already ridiculous list.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. A very moving and thought-provoking blog. Too poignant for me to try to comment. Regarding the issue of women – I have seen quite recently the issue of women and although they are designed to be the nurturers what has happened with feminist movement in its extreme form has changed this frighteningly. The high rate of abortions, the high increase of homicides where mothers have been the perpetrators has called for an enquiry in my country. women are designed to be nurturers but have instead been forced by ‘extreme’ movements to be ALL THINGS, (capable of all things – yes but designed I believe and should be encouraged to specialise in their nurturing role at least for a Season.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The pressure on men & women imposed by our modern world (Hollywood, music) is horrible​. We need to rethink our values. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I hope all is going well with you. I appreciate that you are a talented, wise observer, participant and contributor to the world. Congratulations on your writing career.😊


  5. Such a beautiful piece of writing about a desperately sad time. I love that these moments have been captured in something so simple such as shoes and hand prints to be remembered always. I am fascinated by the hands also, id love to know whose they were and why they came to be printed in the stone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good morning. Yes, it is quite moving. The shoes show the horror more than a statistic or even a line in a book about the massacre. The power of a picture. Thank you for reading and commenting. I hope all is well with you and your family. I love the names of your sons.


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