Of course, the expression on the older angel face is totally me, although in reality, I’m the younger sister.
While I’m the naïve – inquisitive-troublesome addicting type. My sister on the other hands, is the disciplinary – knowledgeable about everything my brain could never comprehend.
Yes, I’m the artist, and she’s the handy man special. She’s aware of every talent I have, points out all my abilities, while I have to remind her of hers. But one thing for sure, we have so much in common, it’s almost unbelievable.
For instance, I will show up at her house with the same exact dress, or jewelry she just purchased. with the exception, while she may have shopped at Macy’s , mine would be from the thrift shop. Sometimes it’s the other way around too.
I will pick up the phone wishing to tell her about a movie I just watched, while she’s texting me the following message: “Sis, you have to see that movie I Just watched!” Lo and behold, it would be the same movie.
I recalled when I brought a couple Louis Second chairs, my sister sit there and assembled them without a drop of sweat. If it were me, after five minutes, the whole box would be in the trash. That same day, she changed my door locks, after she assembled my wood bed. I asked her, “Sis, why don’t you exchange your nursing job for a post at Macy’s, in the Furniture department?
She gave me what I call “The look.” Yap! That look is her special signature. Even my children are familiar with it.
One day while we were cooking together, I asked her, “Sis, I have a piece of land, do you want to build the house there for me?” She knew I was serious, so we both busted into laughter.
We were not any different in our younger days. We always enjoyed each other’s company. Early in the morning, we would sneak out of the house for our nature walk. We would climb the grass hills, breathe the fresh air, smell the flowers, and sit on the ground, just for the heck of it. It was like a natural instinct we shared. We didn’t’ really have to say much. Just like my father. We had that gift to remain silence whenever we choose to. “Well, for me, it could be challenged when I’m angry!”
Quite often after my volleyball practice, we would sneak out of the house to go watch the classical movies. At the old theaters, located where my father referred to as the “Peuple area” (The commoners area). Although we were forbidden to wonder there, it didn’t make any difference to us. Because we truly enjoyed watching the older movies featured there, instead of the Friday night drive through event, our other siblings looked forward to…
Honestly, I think I was sent on earth to annoy my sister with my genuinely strange questions. For instance, one day I thought it was Ok if I asked her:
“Sis, do you think this herb is really poisonous?”
The look she gave me was as if she was about to chew me, after she would sprinkled some salt and hot pepper, plus some lime juice over me. I told you about her signature look! The she said:
“WHAT DO YOU THINK NADÈGE – What does it say in the BOOK? “Don’t you see, POI-SO-NOUS!!!”
Another day after I read the story of Charles Manson, I asked her:
“Sis, was Charles Manson Racist? How come all his wives were white?”
My sister answered: “Nadège, Would you like me to drive you to see him, so you CAN ASK HIM THAT YOURSELF?”
Me: Sis. “Do you think I have a disability? Sometimes, I think I’m retarded.”
Well, If you really want to know how my sister responded to this one, check out the younger angel facial expression. Seriously, that was her, asking God, “Why me dear Lord – “Do I really have to be my sister’s keeper?”
On the other hands, my facial expression would look just like the older angel. You can tell I’m the busy body type, can’t you? I think I was asking God “What trouble can I get myself into next – Or perhaps what would be my next career I explore?”
To my surprise, before I knew it, I realized she heard me. “Nadège, I don’t care what you think, but you need to take some writing course. “And “YOU,” hé-é-é, need to go back to school and earn your degree. PERIOD!”
Yap, that’s how she talks whenever she gets aggravated with me. I used to feel hurt whenever she gets angry, but I realized not too long ago, other than my father, she’s the only family member who genuinely can put up with me. And I know she’s the only one who truly loves me also. That’s all that matters to me.
Ok. So now I’ve told you I’m practically the driven force behind my sister constant angered brainstorming toward God. Yes, I’m known to annoy the crap out of her; not willingly. This is just the way I’m.
My inquisitive mind is always storming and frowning, it never rest. Believe me, I wake up in the middle of the night just to wonder, “Mm! I wonder if I sit in front of this plant, if I could witness its growth.” And this is probably the type of question I would ask my sister if she was awake!
You see, I read all the rules from the book, “ How To Be A Self Made Pain In The Butt!” Don’t’ tell my sister I told you so!
I hope you understand what I’m trying to convey here. Just in case you don’t get it, let me give you another example. I’m also a pain in God’s butt. Yesterday, since my sister was tired, I realized I couldn’t annoy her. So I turned my focus on God. I thought with all the craziness going on here on earth, I should definitely figure out a way to help him out.
So I reasoned, “Most people don’t believe in that hell “boooo” anyway! But, I bet you there must be a way to get them to believe God truly exist, and even cause them to fear Him.” Who knows, the world may become a better place!
Immediately this brilliant thought crossed my mind. So I said:
“God, since we are living in the last days, I figured a way which you can convince all your children that you are still alive and worthy of reverence.”
“REALLY? “ God answered.
“Yes Lord! But, did I sense I little doubt in your voice?”
“He answered, “That’s because I thought I was the one with all the answers! Nevertheless, go head my child; creativity is highly welcomed in my realm.”
“Creativity?” I yelled back at Him. “Are you kidding me? I’m talking about brilliance here!”
When He realized how annoyed I was with His tone of voice, He kindly answered: “Go head my child!”
“Well Lord, you said in your word “You ordered the sun to shine on both the just and the unjust.” Bad mistake!
“You think so? “ God asked me.
“Of course Lord. Why do you think they take you for granted?”
God replied: “So what are you suggesting dear?”
“Wait God, don’t be in a hurry! Besides, you shouldn’t be anyway. You have eternity ahead of you. “By the way, don’t you get bored God?”
“Never mind your excellence! “So this is my suggestion:
“Block the sun from shining on the unjust. If you could cancell their electricity as well, even better. (If I were you, I would even turn off their water as well. But, those fleshly spoil brat will need to bathe.) Then, on the third day after a few major lightning from you, (make sure to strike their window, ripped off the roof from their house too) yes, let your thunder be heard so loud, even 50% louder than what you accustomed to. “And I bet you, even the most stubborn atheists would start peeing on themselves. Yes, they will scream their lungs out, “OH GOD! Oh God HELP US!”
I thought the Lord was so proud of me when suddenly I saw a beautiful rainbow shine forth. So I said, “Wow Lord! Is it because of my suggestion, or the South Carolina Flooding?”
God answered me: “No dear. Your country was my next judgment site. But with your brilliant idea, I sent the rainbow, in order to remind me to hold off the flood gates against the land. I will use your idea instead. See you soon!”
“What? Well, Lord, in that case can I bring my sister with me?”
“No dear. She already did her penance during her lifetime with you!”
“Oh Lord! Is this how you repay me? Shuuut! Next time I will keep my mouth shot!”
Then my sister answered: “That would be a first!!!”
I once heard the following quote: “Your sister may drive you crazy or inspire you!”
In my defense I will say: “I inspire and drive my sister CRAZY!” Right Sis?
Ok. I must be right. She just gave me “The look!”
“Hey, stop laughing! I proudly live up to my title!”
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!”
Picture this: I was six years old, living in Haïti. That day, I had serious business to handle. My doll needed a new dress, and I was pissed that I didn’t have any more fabric left. So after I ripped off one of my new socks and started sewing, my mother showed up with a short, dark, heavy-set, masculine looking woman. I thought she was there to punish me since I had just riped off my sock.
“Nadège,” my mom said. “Come and greet auntie Satanise!”
To be honest, when I turned to look at the woman, my mind completely blocked out the “ise” part of her name. Considering what she really looked like, I thought my mom actually said, “Come and greet your aunt Satan.” So, instead of walking toward her, I hesitantly said:
“You mean to say my uncle Sa?”
But before I could finish my sentence, my mom gave me her common daring stare. I knew better than to finish my sentence. So, instead of walking toward them both, I slooowly started to walk backward, until they had disappeared from my sight. Then, I ran inside the house as fast as I could, to grab my shoes, stormed back out from the side door. Yes, I ran all the way to the Cathedral Church, which was located right across our house.
Somehow, my mother always lived next to a church. I don’t know if it was because in Haiti there were so many live demons, or perhaps she might have reasoned: “With a daughter such as mine, I must have access to a nearby church !” Whichever was the case, Church has always been where I spent my favorite spare time. I recalled being the first child who went for confession by the age of five. I also remember begging the priest to partake in the Eucharist, before I even knew what Catechism was all about. Seriously, if a dog barked the wrong way, I would run to church, to confess on its behalf. So I knew all the priests in that parish by name. Well, at least the name I called them. Because I could never remember their real names, I gave them my own name. Most of which described their physical appearance. They didn’t care, because they still loved me anyway.
So now, I would like to share some examples of my confession, and my daily conversation with the Priests.
“Bonjour Father big nose, I have a big confession today!”
“Yes Angel, who did what?”
“My mom said a bad word this morning. My brother came home late last night again, and I pi on my bed last night, so the maid will have to wash more clothes today because of me. So I ask forgiveness.”
The priest: “You are forgiven my child.”
And I continued, “But today, I also want to confess for mother Mary.”
“Yes. you see Father, I was looking at her statue, but she did not wink her eyes. So I think she’s dead.”
Meanwhile, if father Red Skin was passing by, I would scream: “Hi father red skin, how are you doing today?”
“Fine, fine, my child! Are you confessing again?”
“Yes father red skin. I’m confessing for “Mother Mary. I don’t want her to drop baby Jesus on the floor because I think she died.”
Father Big Nose answered: “No my Angel. Remember, this is just a statue, so she won’t’ wink back. Our real mother Mary is in heaven with our Lord – but you’ll learn all about that from Catechism.”
“But father Big Nose, my great, great, great, grandfather Moses said, we should never pray to a statue”
“And I agree with your great, great….. Grandfather!
“HI FATHER Lag –uad- a; “Hi Father HEAVY TONGUE!”
“Hi T’Angel. Here for your t’dream toot’day?”
“No. I’m confessing. “Oh My God! I forgot to tell you father Big Nose, “The reason I’m here, is because “Satan is in my house!”
“Satan is in your house?”
“Yes. She came home with my mother. She has big nose, big ears, and gigantic eyes. She’s black and short. But she’s missing her horns. My mom called her auntie, and she wanted me to kiss her.”
“Well! If your mom called her auntie, and she does not have horns, she’s probably not Satan!”
“Yes she is. My mom just told me: “Come and kiss your auntie Satan!”
Father Big-Nose pause for a moment. “Mm! You said she’s a she?”
“Yes Father. My mom made a mistake and called her “She” but I was about to say she’s a “He” and she gave me the daring look.”
“Angel, perhaps she’s just a friend of your.”
Father Big-Nose, Pleaease give me some holy water so I can sprinkle on her; I’m scared of her, and I don’t want her to sleep at my house!”
“YOU, scared little angel? I find that hard to believe! I will give you the holy water, but just sprinkle your house, not her. Most of all, do what your mother ask of YOU!”
“Ok, father Big -Nose. See you later!”
When I arrived home, both, my mother and Satan-ise were sitting on the patio. So I kept on praying she would not come near me. As soon as my mother walked toward the back door, I heard Satan–ise said:
Nadege, bring me the comb so I can comb your hair. You’re going to your grandmother’s.”
“In your dream!” I whispered. ” You are NOT touching my hair!” Afterward, I ran in the backyard and begged the maid to comb my hair.
“Nadege, come and bathe!” Satan–ise yelled.
“In your dream! You are not washing me with your hell water!” Then, I rushed toward the back and throw some water on myself.
“Nadege, come and get dress!”
“NO, YOU – are- not- dressing me – YOU SATAN!” I finally yelled.
Just about the same time, my mother happened to be walking inside the house and heard me. So she said, “Who are you talking to Nadege?”
“To Satan Mahhhhhh!” I answered back. “I don’t want her to touch ME!”
“Wo is Satan?” My mom replied.
“Her. And I don’t want her to touch ME!”
“Her! She has a big nose, big ears, large eyes; and she’s only missing her horns.” When I saw my Mother’s face transformed, and heading for the belt, I grabbed my tiny bottle of holy water, and rushed toward Satanise to flush the blessed water all over her dress, and her legs.” But, to my surprise, she was still standing in front of me. That’s when I yelled:
“You are a bigger Satan than I thought!”
And when Mother noticed I was about to run back to the church, she grabbed me by my hair. But, I was so busy screaming, “You Satan, out of here! You Satan out of here!” Then both, my mother and Satanise started laughing hysterically. And, thank God, although my Mom was holding the belt, she could not manage to stop laughing long enough to give me the whooping which I had truly deserved.
I was furious at them. By then, my face looked like a car in bad need of a major tune-up. I just could not understand why my Mother was laughing with Satan. And why would she invite her to our house? So, I stood up with both hands on my hip to say:
“Laugh all you want, but you will see when father Big Nose comes here. He’s going to call aaaaalll the angels, and you’re going straight TO HELL!
I did not get a whooping that day. But I was banned from going to church for two weeks. At least, “So my mother thought!!!
As for Satanise, thank goodness she displayed a great sense of humor. Although, I don’t recall ever seeing her again.