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post Boomerang Effect 2

December 18th, 2010

Filed under: Life Stroies, Immigration Stories — Admassu @ 19:19

Continued from Part 1
(link to Boomerang Effect 1)
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Part 2:
A Lesson is Learned

The old man continued his story:
“… It is the more I grew older that I began to understand the matter…” He said. “…between the childhood and teenage years, you know,  it was so natural if the name of our parents had a constant presence in our conversations. That we were entitled to frequently mention their name at that time was quite natural because they were our direct  link to love and survival….”

“….In my childhood years, I still remember, my mother was telling me endless stories about her own mother. She lost her mother as she was still a child, so she used talking about her mother as a way of alleviating her grief. I recall that I was amazed to witness that my mother was still reciting that same story about her mother till I was a teenager. Though she grew older, her stories about her mother has never lost their importance for her. I often asked myself: “Why is she doing that? Why is she repeating the same story over and over again?…”

“…I hope it does not make you feel strange if I tell you that it is not my wife or my children that occupy my mind in these lonely days of my life…” He continued with a visible melancholy written upon his face. “…My thoughts are filled with memories and stories of my mother just like the way her’s were filled with the memories of her own mother. A lesson is learned. And now, in my old days, I am beginning to understand her. A bit too late but, at least, a lesson is learned.”

The old man’s story is obviously taking us on a completely different route than I assumed. But I am not interrupting him. Maybe it is because I am also beginning to think about my own mother and about the stories she used to tell me. Maybe it is because that was my first time to reconsider: No matter how old we are, we all will be haunted by this deeply planted wish to run back to the protecting warmth of our mothers in order to escape from misfortunes of our everyday life.

So, seeing how deeply he was involved with this thoughts of his mother’s memory, I decided not to interrupt him and change the subject towards our main issue which was about his conflict with his wife. Instead, just to let his mood flow, I asked him to tell me more about his mother and his childhood years.

As I have predicted, he was glad about my interest. As a result, the attitude of his narration was free of mistrust towards my reaction. I could tell that because he was now openly referring his mother as “Emaye…“(Equivalent to mommy in English). That was quite strange to hear a seventy years old man addressing his mother using that terminology.

Emaye was only sixteen as she got married for the first time….” He continued. “…Her first husband was much older than her. As I have already mentioned, her mother was dead and her father was married again. She mentioned that her step mother was behind this arrangement of her early marriage to a much older guy. I don’t know why her father did nothing to prevent this marriage because I have never heard her mentioning his name. It was as if he has never existed. The only thing she was sure of was that if her mother were still alive, she wouldn’t have gone through that miserable situation….”

“…..Any ways, the marriage to this old man did not last long. Her husband sent her back home to her relatives as she gave birth to a daughter. The reason for this rejection was that the man wanted a son.  Though she was still very young, it was six years later after the divorce that she met my father. Despite the fact that she was already married and divorced and despite the fact that she has a daughter from another man, my father was really interested in her. I still don’t know why he has decided to marry her while he could have chosen among other unmarried young girls. My father adopted my by then six years old sister and treated her as his own child. Overwhelmed by his kindness towards my older sister, Emaye wanted to make him happy by giving him a child. Though my father has never put her under pressure, she determined to get pregnant….”

“…. But, unfortunately, the wish to get pregnant was not a success. As time went by, my mother started to fill nervous. My father was not disappointed and he even tried to calm her down saying that they will have a child when God permits. Well, that obviously didn’t help because, as years went by, she was sure that people have started to backbite and to talk about her condition. She didn’t like the way they were staring at her belly whenever she went to market or whenever they visited her at home. Soon, she decided to do something about it. There was no use to remain in the village waiting God to bless her with a miracle. Instead, she wanted to make pilgrimages to sacred churches and meet God right there at his domicile….”

“…. She went through all the procedures that women in her condition usually do in our country when they want God to give them a child. She made presents for all major orthodox churches, she fed beggars by cooking huge amount of meals and by having it brought to those churches. Once she crawled to Kulubi Gabriel till her knees were severely damaged…”

“…. Maybe God must have been too busy with other things, what ever hardship she went through, she didn’t get pregnant…”

“…. She was in the mid of this unbearable state but she didn’t want to accept her fate. Once, coming from a market place, she reached a small hill where hundreds of monkeys used to live. Though she has often used that route to the market, Emaye has never paid attention to those monkeys before. On that day she did something that she has never thought of doing before. To the noticeable astonishment of the passing by people, she started to walk to where the monkeys were gathered. Mistrusting her sudden approach, the monkeys started to jump around nervously and to make scary sounds. My mother kept on walking towards them without paying attention to their agitated reaction….”

“….As she reached the position where she thought was near enough, she started to speak to the bewildered monkeys loudly and clearly. By now, many people were gathered on the road inspecting her. They were sure that she was crazy. The monkeys must have thought the same about her for they stopped jumping around….”

“…. Emaye started to speak to them loudly saying: ‘Dear monkeys. I know you don’t speak my language. But I am sure you understand me. I am here to beg for a miracle from you. To beg you to lend me your secrets that blessed you with so many offspring. If you are kind enough to help me to get pregnant and have a child in a year, I will promise from the bottom of my heart to make you a gift of 25 kilogram of wheat from the finest quality…”

“…. After saying that, she went back to the road and headed home ignoring all those inspecting eyes….”

“….Well, guess what happened after that. Astonishingly, my mother got pregnant at last and I was born within less than a year after she made the unexpected visit to those monkeys. Whatever was the reason for my birth, my mother was 100% sure that it was the monkeys that helped her. Carrying me on her back and loading a donkey with 25 kilogram of the finest wheat she could find, Emaye went back to that hill of the monkeys: as promised, precisely in a year after her last visit….”

“…Some, who knew her story accompanied her. The monkeys were more irritated than the last time. As she reached the same spot, she opened the sack spreading the wheat allover the place. The monkeys started cautiously to gather around her eating their promised present. And Emaye? She was standing in the middle surrounded by wheat eating monkeys speaking to them. By stretching her hands towards the sky in humble and grateful manner, she was chanting continuously ‘Thank you!!!’ and replying with ‘Amen!!’ when ever a certain monkey made a sound….”

“…. To the very end of her life, Emaye was always sure that those monkeys were the one who helped her to have me…..”

The old man was quite for a while. Taken away by his story, I sat still and said nothing. In this uneasy silence, I felt a cloud of sadness lingering above us. I could see, he was fighting back his emotion. I kept silent knowing that whatever I would say, would make him more sad.

“…. A lesson is learned,..” He repeated his first statement. “… Though too late, a lesson is learned….. The reason why my mother is continuously on mind is the trouble she went through to have me. There was a time in my life, where I was sure that she would be proud of me for that what I have accomplished. But soon after that, I became a fool and forgot her suffering. If I had her story always focused on my mind, I haven’t gone that far to betray the mother of my own kids…. Now my dear friend, see how I am living… alone in a cage like this, depending on a welfare of Germany’s state for my daily bread….”

“….Seeing me like this from where ever she is now, what would Emaye think of me?….”

I had no answer for his question for it was more a statement than a question.

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Sorry for the delayed continuation. We hope you enjoyed the story.

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