Anna Paquin as Irena Sendler in The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler
Edna: Margie, I saw a movie on the television a couple weeks ago, and I just have to tell you, it was the most wonderfully done and moving thing I have seen in a very long time. It was about a Polish woman named Irena Sendler, have you ever heard of her?
Margie: Wasn't she involved in helping people during the Holocaust, Edna? I know that movie was on TV and I had planned to watch it then my TV messed up.
You probably did something to it because I really did want to see that movie. Go ahead and tell me about the movie and her.
Edna: Well, the movie is available for free on CBS' website for anyone who hasn't seen it, and I urge all of you to go watch it. But don't forget the tissues, this is a very emotional movie.
Margie, you are indeed correct. Irena Sendler was a Polish Catholic woman who risked her own life to help thousands of Jewish children to avoid Nazi concentration camps during the German occupation of Poland in World War II. She worked tirelessy and carefully, but she was eventually caught by the Nazis. However, her story has a (relatively) happy ending, since she escaped from the Nazis and spent the remainder of the war in hiding. She lived until 2008, and she was 98 years old when she died.
Folks, I will tell you this: she had tremendous courage in the face of terrible and horrific odds. I do not know whether I would have had the same kind of courage, although I would like to think so.
Margie: Edna, you've got as much courage as Courage The Cowardly Dog.
It takes a special person to do what she did. I am so happy to hear that she managed to get out and live a long life. I best go watch that movie. I'll get tissue from your room first.
Edna: Margie, you go right ahead and use all of my tissues that you want. I'm feeling charitable after talking about Irena.
There is also a wonderful story about how four Kansas high school students in 1999 reached out to Mrs. Sendler, resulting in an unlikely but wonderful friendship. You can read more about it here: Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project.
We should all take a page from Irena Sendler's book, and always look outwards to help others, no matter what the personal cost. She has become my hero, and I'm so glad to have learned about her.
The real Irena Sendler