Touch My Tears is a collection of stories of ‘The Removal’ as passed down through generations of Choctaw families, and edited by Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer. The “Trail of Tears” was aptly named as the devastation of families being forcefully uprooted from the land of their families and ancestors was full of pain, sorrow, sickness, and death.
These stories are poignant and devastating. We need to hold them close, pass them down, so that our children and our children’s children never forget. We need to pass them down so we remember to keep from being part of a future that repeats our history. Keep tissues close by as you open the pages of Touch My Tears and come face to face with another side of history.
The stories inside weave a tale of the Choctaw people who lived peacefully, raising families in a land they always knew as home until one day a people decided they didn’t have enough space of their own and destroyed a peace so fragile. The Choctaw were given empty promises and lies. Dehumanized, they were treated like animals, often times burned out of the homes they worked so hard to care for. Families were torn apart in The Removal. The stunning inhumanity of even the name is enough to bring me to my knees – The Removal – as if these people, simply by being different, were something undesirable to be cut away, to be thrown away.
Forced to walk hundreds of miles, the young, the old, so many stood no chance. Beaten down, again and again, the Choctaw journeyed on, forced through swamps, through winter with barely any clothes, let alone something on their feet. Still they persevered. At the end of the long journey many would find the promises of money, of homes and land, were once again empty. Still they pushed forward, creating a new home in what is now called the Choctaw Nation.
I recommend Touch My Tears to adults to then read to their children. Don’t let history be forgotten.
**I received a copy of this ebook through BookFun in exchange for my honest review. **