Month: August 2015
Two of my siblings are on their way to visit Papy, (our Father) since he hasn’t been well. The fact is, while I’m looking forward to seeing them, I doubt their feeling are reciprocal toward me.
Yap, you heard me right! Last I heard, I’m considered like an atheist, and a member of Babylon the great, and lastly one of Satan’s offspring.
Unfortunately for me, according to the Jehovah’s Witness teaching, my soul is now doomed for the pending destruction, with all the other unbelievers.
Why? After I was suffocated with “THEIR VERSION OF THE TRUTH,” I had enough sense to say “Hell no!” Thankfully, afterward I took off running at the speed of lightning when I decided no religious organization will further determine my eternal destination. And because of this fact, my siblings were provided with an allergic prescription, just for our future encounters.
The last time my” Holy” siblings and I had a loving conversation was back in 1988, prior to the three elders visit, from the Jehovah Witness organization. I had just walked in from a prayer meeting when I saw them walking toward my front door. They held a manila folder, which apparently kept a record of my spiritual encounter during my insane years with their organization.
“We’ve been informed that you are currently visiting other denominations, the churches from Babylon the great, is it true?”
“Yes, your honor it is!”
“Do you understand this action on your part is ground for reproof? So do you intend to stop this venture?”
“No Sir. In fact “My soul is rejoicing in the Lord, and as long as they have not asked me to sacrifice my soul to Satan, or to join your future master in Hell, I see no reason to stop joining their prayer group.”
“In this case, you must renounce your title as a “Jehovah’s Witness.”
“My pleasure your honor!”
“You must write a letter with the following… request, so we in turn will submit it to our headquarter in New York.”
“My pleasure Sir!”
What I was instructed to write: “As of today, I no longer wish to be part of Jehovah’s organization.”
What I wrote: “It has come to my understanding, for the past four years, I have been part of Satan’s organization here on earth. So today I’m boldly renouncing my association with the Jehovah Witness organization. Instead, I’m joining the true army of the Living God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth!” Yes, I still hold to the fact that Jesus Christ died for my sin, and yes He is my Lord and Savior. Furthermore, I believe in the baptism and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, contrary to the teachings of your organization. I believe in the fervent prayers of the body of Christ, and those I once called “The unbelievers,” are now my beloved brothers and sisters in Christ.”
After the elders read my letter, the expression on their face was by far one of the most memorable event of my life.
As they stood up together, they pointed their hands toward me, to recite what they believed to be their final decree upon my spiritual walk:
They said: “Whatsoever we bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoe…”
Unfortunately for them, all along I was negotiating with the following thoughts:
- Remember even Jesus had tantrum?
- So you think you only inherited your civilized paternal side…?
- Grandma Do, would season this nonsense with some lemon and hot pepper for a feast, and top it with some Rhum!
- Finally I said: “ I know you’ve asked us to die in the flesh, but I’m not there yet, so please forgive me.”
“Child, only God is your judge! So, get those ignorant punk out of your house!”
“YOU PUNK – GET OUT- OF- MY – HOUSE!!!” I yelled.
I still recalled how my sister answered me that day:
“I have nothing in common with an unbeliever! Don’t bother to call our brother either!” I was honestly wounded by that. We grew up together, and I loved her very much. But, her arrogance prompted me to answer her!
“Ok. If you ever decide to knock on heaven’s door, I will make sure I drag the latter under your feet, so you can fall back on earth, where your freaking religion claim you’ll be spending eternity!
As unbelievable as it may sound, the Jehovah’s Witness teachings were not the only poison which almost summoned me to the hospice department. Now after years of exposure with other denomination, I’ve learned to set my own religious standard. I will boldly worship with other Christ believers, while I’m there, I will dance and praise God as if it was my last day breathing. But I hold firm this belief, my spiritual walk will remain a personal journey between me and my Lord, and no one will ever have the chance to deter me again.
Meanwhile, I intend to love genuinely, forgive abundantly, while I embrace the wisdom life has to offer. And, whenever I damn please, I will feast with a glass of red wine and laugh my heart to healing.
And while I dance my traditional Kompa, to the beat of the drums from my homeland; if anyone dare to question why? I will answer:
“Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!”
THE GOOLD OLD DAYS!
Growing up in Haïti, my Father was not only a good provider, but he was a creature of habits as well. We faithfully went to the Drive in Theater every Friday night. We had Ice cream every Sunday. And, he always made sure we went to church every weekend. Unless, he was driving us to the Country Side.
No, I did not say he himself went to church, rather he made sure we were in church. Yes, we believed in God. I’m sure my Father did too. But, to be honest, God had nothing to do with our faithful church attendance back then.
Of course, we greeted him with the sign of the cross, once we arrived at the Church! Don’t you think it would be disrespectful to walk inside a man’s house, and not even devote one second to say at least “Hello!”
For a fact, the most pressing reason why my sisters and I looked forward to Sunday Mass, was just so we can check out the latest fashion. Yes, we practically wore a new outfit every Sunday. For that purpose, we needed to keep up with the latest style. As for my brother? Well! I think he was pre-occupied conversing with God about all His gorgeous female creations!
So, let me share with you our typical conversation during ongoing Mass:
|My Older Sister||Me||My younger Sister||My Brother|
|“Look at that yellow dress to my right, center bench!”||“The one with the lace, or the belt? Because the lace one is mine for next Sunday!”||“Which one? Where? I don’t see anything!”||“Beautiful! She looks cultured, got to have her number!”|
|“Oh! You like the one with the lace? That’s pretty too!”||“Yeah! I can sew it with the blue fabric Papy brought me? Will wear my hair up!”||“Where? Which one? Don’t see anything!”||“OMG! Is it Angel day today? Look at that face? Truly made by God’s hands. Am dying here, DYING!|
|“Now, that’s a purse! Look at her matching shoes!”||“LOOK AT THE JEWELRY and the scarf! I bet you they are from Paris! Her mother own “La Trouvaille Boutique!”||“Don’t see anything! Oh! Talking about her? She’s in my school!”||“OMG! I’m in love! Wonder if her brother will give me a hard time?”|
|“Amen! While she kneels down. “Wow! He is cute!”||“Amen!” While I kneel down! “That ugly boy is staring at me, how freaky is that?”||“Amen!”
While she kneels down.” I wonder if the soup is ready at home!Oh! She’s in my school too!”
|“Amen!” While He kneels down. “Please Saint Altagrace, if you make her look at me, I won’t bug you till next Sunday!”|
|“It’s time for Communion let’s go! Take a good look at the dress for me ok?”||“Check out the front neckline, and any details as she walks by!”||“Is Thomas waiting for us outside? I’m hungry, hope we have some French bread!”||“OMG! She was right in front of me, she smells like fresh roses! But her brother was too close, couldn’t ask for her number!”|
|“So did you see that dress? Definitely my next Sundays outfit!”||“Oh my God, how gross? He asked me for my number!”||“His sister goes to my school, his the colonel son!”||“Who asked you for your number? How dare him?”|
So, at last while at the dinner table, while we’re sipping our traditional Sunday soup; if Papy were to ask us:
“What was the subject of the Mass today?”
“My older sister would answer: “About God’s infinite grace and providence!”
“My younger sister: “I think it was about the life of Saint Augustine, I was too hungry to listen.”
Me: “It was about God’s creations, all the beautiful jewelry, fabrics, flowers, and that ugly boy who winked at me.”
My brother: “Yes! His graceful beautiful providence left me charmed!”
When my sister who’s a nurse mentioned my father is reflecting dementia symptoms, I completely refused to believe her. Of course I was in denial! I didn’t want to remember my father as the helpless elder he had become; I would rather see him as the sound minded engineer he once was.
During the past two weeks, I’ve been in charge of his meal, while my sister takes charge of the grocery. I’m enjoying spending quality time with my father. We eat and chat, but whenever he dosed off to sleep, I focus on my writing.
One morning after I asked him for his choice of meal? He specifically requested for some eggs, which I prepared to his liking. In fact, he even gave me a compliment, which is rare. My father can be a harsh food critic.
“How is the egg Papy?”
“Very good! Just the way I like it!”
After he ate two eggs, once slice of bread, one banana, half a cup of V-eight, quart glass of milk; he munched on a bag of hot chips, which my daughter had brought him a couple days ago. Then, he grabbed his phone, which led me to believe he was searching for a number. About two hours later, he was still searching.
“Papy, are you looking for a phone number?”
“No, I’m waiting on you for, for, the, the food!”
“What food Papy?”
“What do you mean by “what food? You haven’t served me my breakfast!”
“Papy, you just ate your breakfast!”
“Me? I just woke up, came to sit on the table to wait on you!”
“Ok Papy, what would you like to eat this morning?”
“He thought for a second, “What do you have here? Whatever you have!”
“Would you like some eggs?”
“Ok, give me that!”
So after I prepared two eggs, toasted some bread, add some fruits… I placed the plate in front of him;
He stares at me for a few seconds, then laughed hysterically:
“Are you suffering from dementia? You just fed me! I guess I should be taking care of you, instead of you caring for me!”
Although my heart was aching, the incident was too funny. So I laughed my heart to tears.
On that same day, when my daughter came to see him, after she kissed him she asked:
“How you doing Grandpa?”
He answered: “Your mother is losing her mind, fed me breakfast twice, I haven’t had a bite to eat, since this morning!”
My father was known to be a character. I always admired him for his ability to reason, his sense of humor and realism. Unlike the jealous and unreasonable fathers, who lived in our neighborhood, when it came to matters pertaining to boys and girls, my father was not shy in understanding. In fact, he had such a remarkable ease, all our friends were comfortable around him. Young and old were welcomed to our house after church, to enjoy his sense of humor, while we sat around the table for our Sunday soup.
“If a young man shows interest in you girls, you must invite him to your house, and introduce him to us. A young lady should never permit a young man to court her before he meets her parents; he may fail to show her due respect.”
Of course, my step mom thought differently. “Boys should not be welcomed till the girls are much older!”
“What are you talking about?” My father would answer her. “They are girls, and regardless, boys will flirt. I would rather they do it here!”
So I was fourteen when I received my first letter from an admirer. In fac,t I was home sick during that whole week, and honestly had no idea about the boyfriend and girlfriend world. I thought people just grow old and got married. But somehow, this boy from my class had fallen in love with me. Till this day I try to recollect what gesture I might have done, to draw his attention. Apparently, when he did not see me at school, he decided to write me a letter, which he gave to my younger sister.
The letter was a declaration of his passionate love for me. Looking back, I think he must have been one of King Solomon offsprings because his letter pretty much had the same verbiage as the “Song of Solomon.” The love languages displayed in the letter were like a foreign language to me of course. I recalled my older sister reading it while laughing her heart out. After the long love poem, he would ask me “If I could be his girlfriend?” Thank goodness I was wise enough to answer him: “Thank you for your letter, but I’m too young to have a boyfriend.”
Because my letter eventually fell off my sister’s notebook, so my Stepmother picks it up and asked her:
“What is this?
My younger sister said, “after I swallowed the cup of saliva swimming in mouth, I answered:
“I am asking you what is this?” And you are asking me, “What’s that?” I said “WHAT IS THIS?”
“It’s, it’s a letter to, to.” She swallowed another cup of saliva before she says, “To a boy!”
“Is that right! So we’re paying all that money to a private school, so you can learn how to write letters to boys, AT YOUR AGE?”
“This is not my letter Mom, it’s my sister’s letter.”
“Oh! So now you are a mailman who delivers letters to boys?”
Of course, my step Mom called me. But, any attempt to reason with her was of no use. Telling her ” I did not encourage the boy to write me,” was like pouring a cup of water in the ocean. It did not matter to her. Her logic: “Boys had no business writing me, I had no business answering them, and my sister certainly had no business carrying the letter. So she placed the letter on my father’s pillow for him to scorn us later.
Meanwhile, both of my sisters had diarrhea, and could not relax. I was peacefully taking a nap.
My older sister feared that my father would claim, “She was the one setting the bad example since she was older.”
My younger sister on the other hands, feared my father would say, “She was too young to follow our footsteps.”
My thought exactly: “I did not ask God to make me beautiful, and I certainly did not encourage the boy to write the whole freaking chapter from “The Song of Solomon,” so I had no ground to worry.”
Finally, after my father called me: “What is this I hear you are writing letters to boys?”
“Papy when you were a young man, and you wrote a letter to a young lady for the first time, did she encouraged you?”
“Papy answered “Absolutely not!”
“Exactly! So if I answered the boy, “ I’m too young to have a boyfriend! What did I do wrong?”
“Papy shook his head, then said: “Well done! Go back to your room.”
My Stepmother was furious. After she fussed and fussed: “You are not going to discipline her? She’s encouraging boys to write to her. “The girls should not have any boys showing interest in them at this age, so you are spoiling them!”
“I have four girls, for whom I’m spending my wealth to care for them, paying a chauffeur to drive them back and forth to a private school, so they can obtain the best education; though Am thankful to God they are not looking like a Rottweiler dog; if boys don’t start writing letters to them now, out of all men, I would be the most to be pitied!”
The first day Sister Marie and I met for the play rehearsal, she sat down and repeated the same scripture over and over.
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.” Though I speak……”
She continued with this charade during the whole hour. In fact, that’s when I realized could never be a nun. I foresaw myself snoring during the early morning, and evening prayers. I would be such a pain in the convent, just like Floriane Maria in the movie, “The Sound of Music,” Mother Superior wouldn’t know what to do with me.
Finall, I thought “I have to find a way to maintain my sanity,” so I started drawing. First, I drew a picture of myself snoring, and of Sister Maria holding a ruler with a furious face. Then I drew a new portrait of her being carried to heaven by the angels. I also kept count of her repetitions. But while I drew little circles, I whispered “Sister Marie is going craaa-zy!!!! I’m sure she heard me, but she still did not show any sign of annoyance.
Furthermore, to test her endurance, I dropped myself on the floor, rolled over a couple times. Then, I placed my school bag under my chin, while I laid flat on my stomach, with my arms wide open. Still not a zilch from her.
So I got up, while standing next to her, started hopping on one leg; knew she hated that. Still not a sign from her.
So I finally concluded: “Sister Marie went to heaven and left her body behind.” In fact, I started singing the same sentence, over and over, and I danced all the latest dance I knew, even did the twist. Not a zilch from Sister Marie.
When my brother came to pick me up, I grabbed my school bag, and as I started running toward the door. I heard: “See you Friday Angel!”
“I suddenly stopped running, just to turn and look at her. She was smiling.
“Oh My God! You are back from heaven Sister Marie?”
She shook her head, laughed, then said “Yes Angel, I came back to take you with me.”
“Oh no, sister Marie. Today I realized I could never be a nun like you. I would be bored to death. “
“Why would you be bored?”
“Because you were repeating the same prayer over and over for a whole hour. That’s too boring!”
“ I was not really praying, I was merely meditating on the word.”
“Well, “I can’t merely meditate on the word” for so long either Sister Marie. I would start snoring, all the angels and demons would start running inside the church.”
“ You have a great gift if you can cause even the demons to run back to church.”
“Sister Marie, my grandma used to tell me, “I snore so loud, that I will cause both angels and demons to wake up from their sleep and run to church.”
“But why would she think they would rush to church?”
“Because my snore sound just like thunder, they would think it’s God’s voice rebuking them!”