Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Raised a Roman Catholic (Part 2)

Before I carry on with this post, I just want to let readers know that these life events are being told to you for a reason, they are very personal stories of my life and some people might not like what they read but I feel they are significant events that challenged me and made me into the person I am today... I share them because even when you are faced with the worst moments of your life, there is always a bright side and always something you take away from it.  Once again, I ask that you bear an open mind and refrain from judgments while reading, if you are not ready to do that, kindly carry on to the next blog :)

So there I was, 14 years old and had just experienced my first life changing event... I had lost my Dad, again.

Rewind to 1993, I lived in a large house in Milford, NS with my Mom, Dad and two brothers, actually I think my oldest brother was living in Manitoba at this time... he had moved out when I was 10 and he was 18.  I don't think he could wait to move out and he moved really far away.  Dad hadn't been working for a while because the mining industry was really slow and he spent alot of time at the church, helping with various groups there and praying for a job.  Then his prayers were answered and he was offered a job in Venezuela, South America.  He took the job and left in early 1993, Mom and I were to follow when school was finished, so we packed up the house and sold almost everything we owned, stored the rest and when school ended we moved out of Milford and into my Mom's friend's place in Stewiacke to wait to go to Venezuela... July passed... then August... then when September came, Dad still hadn't sent for us... school was starting again and so Mom thought I better start school, she didn't know why he wasn't sending for us but he just kept saying the house wasn't ready.  October was there before we knew and Mom finally told him we had to come now, we were living out of suitcases just waiting... so on October 17th we left Nova Scotia, leaving behind my brothers, my friends and my boyfriend, not knowing when I was ever going to see them again... this was very sad for a 14 year old girl who's friends mean the world to her.  We arrived in Venezuela on October 18th, I was so excited to see my Dad after many months of being apart but something was up, he just wasn't quite the same.

We drove from Caracas to a small gold mine town called El Callao, it seemed to take forever but I will never forget the beauty and smell of the land as we drove through the luscious green rain forest and small old towns.  We drove through the town and passed through streets made of brick, many people and dogs milling about and it was hot.  The buildings were old, some were falling apart and music played everywhere.  It was, in its own way, a beautiful little town.  We drove up a winding hilly road to a gate, the driver gave the security man a wave and opened the gate... we drove through and into a large subdivision I suppose, where every house looked exactly the same, they were long and horizontally parallel to the street.  The houses were situated around a central baseball diamond and a couple of basketball courts, there was also a little restaurant on the corner.  We pulled into one of the houses and unloaded, Dad brought us inside and showed us our new home.  The door went through to a kitchen from the carport, the kitchen had a sliding glass door that opened up to a cement patio like place, the cement came up to my neck and the rest was covered by security bars so it was kind of like looking outside from jail.  Through the kitchen the middle part of the house opened up to a large living room and dining area with a front wooden door and a back sliding glass door that backed onto the baseball diamond, the back patio wasn't as jail like... it actually had a door made up of bars that opened to the back yard, so you could see outside even when it was closed.  To the left of the living room was a bathroom and my parent's bedroom, to the right was another bathroom, my bedroom and what Dad called the office where I was going to do my school work.  I settled in and we got ready for dinner.  Dad still wasn't himself.

The next day, I was moping around in my room, missing my friends and wondering why Dad was so weird the day before.  My Mom asked me to come look at something, I came out of my room where she showed me a shirt that belonged to my Dad that was in the washer, with what appeared to be lipstick on it.  How cliche, a collared shirt with lipstick on the collar... does that really happen in real life?  Mom was sad, and I wanted to take that pain from her, I wanted more than anything for that bright pink mark not to be lipstick... Dad had some explaining to do.  Keeping in mind that I am 14, this was way too much information for my little innocent-ish brain... could my all time hero in my life actually be committing the ultimate sin??  We would soon find out.

Dad came home from work and was confronted with very loud words that I couldn't really make out over the air conditioner in my room... I was scared... Mom came to my door crying and told me that my Dad had something to tell me... I came out of my room and looked at my Dad whose body language said it all.  Mom tried to make him tell me, but he didn't need to... I already knew, I turned and went back into my room, closing the door behind me before bursting into tears.  Suddenly everything made sense, why he took so long to send for us, why he acted strange when he picked us up and why he was weird at dinner last night.  Dad left shortly after Mom confronted him and I tried my best to console her, all we had was each other, it was only our second day in a foreign country with no friends or family nearby and we had to get through this together.  I suggested we go home and Mom said no, she was determined he would change and that he would love her again... I hoped she was right...

The next few weeks were difficult to say the least, we tried our best to act normal on the outside but on the inside there was turmoil... Dad would come home from work to have a shower, eat dinner with us and leave.  I wouldn't see him again til the next day at dinner... every time he left, I watched my Mom die a little inside, I could hear her praying and crying at night all alone in her room, I would go to her and hold her and wish it all away.  It was so heartbreaking for both of us yet we tried so hard to act normal... like everything was ok.  Why was he doing this to my Mom?  to me?  to our family?  Who was this man that I thought I knew?  Who gave his life to his family and the church back home?  What happened to him?

... to be continued...

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