“… and with the melancholy awareness of someone whose most poignant moment of existence has been turned into an infinitely reproducible object, he remarked that the boy “will never be able to get over it. He’ll spend the rest of his life staring into the distance, wondering what they’ve done to him.” ¹
Rui, today is a sort of holiday for fathers to spend with their children. But this isn’t a day that is any different from any other.
Rui you have a Daddy here who is bereft because of what your mother, Japan, Ohnuki, and others have done to us. I am engaged in this struggle to remain your Daddy, every single day.
I am lo0king for some ways to restore a loss whose depth we can’t even understand, and as strange as it sounds to you and to me, it’s a loss that can’t be restored.
Rui I walk by our park every day; the one we played in most.
Rui, I have your pictures here. I still have your old clothes, your books, a lot of your toys.
Rui, I have never had a day of peace since your mother abducted you.
Rui, my whole spirit, my whole being, is dedicated now, as it always was even though you might not remember, to finding and bringing you back to the life that should have been yours and mine to share.
Rui, words aren’t good enough to repair time, soulful experiences, and real, deep, honesty and care.
Rui boy. I won’t, can’t, haven’t, could never have forgotten.
1. The quote is from a book review, written by British journalist Michael Ignatieff, about a book of war photographs The Temptation of Despair: Tales of Life in the 1940s by Werner Sollors (Belknap), and a well-known photograph of Holocaust survivor, Sieg Mandaag.