Thursday, November 19, 2009

David prepares to leave

Read previous part here.

Two weeks passed as though in a dream. On the outside, everything went on as usual – we took long walks outside when the weather permitted. I carried on with my painting, Catherine with her needlework. By the end of the vacation, I completed portraits of all the little ones, while Catherine had made her first batch of baby things – sweaters, booties, hats and even a blanket.

Aunt Anne started looking at me with an oddly approving way ever since I volunteered to take some ironing off her hands. Don't get me wrong, I didn't suddenly begin to like ironing or something. But Aunt Anne is not feeling her best, that's obvious – and there's a limit to what Catherine can do on her own.

A day before he was to depart, David told us he is sorry to leave so soon.

David, Catherine and I were sitting downstairs next to the fireplace. After a long, full day, Rachel fell asleep in Catherine's lap, and Catherine was gently rocking her while we talked in quiet voices. It was very quiet – the boys were busy doing a puzzle at the opposite corner of the room.

"It must be really interesting in college, isn't it?" I asked.

"Yes," he nodded, "but it's different, all different. The people aren't the same – I'm not the same, Becky. Home is here. " he looked around, his stare tenderly lingering on Rachel's sleeping face, "I'm not even sure how to explain this, but here I feel so real. Now that I've been away for several months, I understand that our parents have always worked on creating a place where each one of us would feel loved and accepted, while being nothing more or less than himself or herself. When I have a home of my own, someday, I would like to give my children a childhood similar to what we had with Mom and Dad. They are extraordinary people."

Extraordinary people. Well, when I first arrived here, it sure seemed extraordinary to me to have no TV and dress in long skirts, not to mention all the other weird religious rituals kept in this house. I felt stifled. But now I sensed that Aunt Anne and Uncle Ben are, indeed, not only weird beyond weird – there's something more about them, even though they can be a pain in the neck. However annoying they might be, I feel welcomed and cared for with them. And in a way, as much as it pained me to admit this, looking at them made me think they are more like what parents should be than my own Mom and Dad ever were.

Our conversation was interrupted by Aunt Anne, who entered the room to remind David to email her and Uncle Ben at least once a week, which David promised he would do.


Star said...

Home is where the heart is as they say and it is true. We are all homing pigeons, not realising how precious home is until we move away. I agree that home becomes more real without TV or other outside influences. Over here in England, I prefer radio (if I had to choose), not because our TV programmes are not good, they are brilliant, but because while listening to the radio, we can look up and see one another's faces and that is so important, isn't it. I'm sure that David will keep a picture in his mind of you all and when he needs comfort and familiarity, that picture will pop up and remind him of your love.
Blessings, Star

Rachel said...

I feel like a Dickensian urchin...

"Please, ma'am, may I have some more?"


Horrible, I know, to read one little bit and immediately want to read more and more and more (since you've only got limited time to write), but hey, you've got a fan. Please, keep up the good work. We really love your story...

Mommy Lynda said...

What a blessing he is to his parents. That is a great testimony to them as parents.

Holly said...

It is such a pleasure to read this story. Thank you for sharing it with us!

Leila said...

Hey I read all the parts of your story and they were really well written and very nice to read, but I find the whole thing a little unrealistic! You would think that a spoiled rotten city kid would have more temper tantrums and little rebellious fits! Personally, I did not accept biblical womanhood or the more conservative lifestyles right away when I was first exposed to them. I often thought the usual things like "they believe all women should be subservient" and "they are so closed minded", "they are living in the 1920s", "they are legalistic and elitist" etc etc
But yeah, honestly, just the way they lived their lives is what convinced me too! (The peace and love I saw in their families, not having a dependence on material and worldly things, etc)

Civilla said...

Anna, if you get any comments that are obscene or nasty and they are from "me" please delete them. They are not from me. There is trouble on the blogosphere and a person is impersonating me and others and leaving bad comments by typing in other people's url addresses!!! I would never make an obscene comment. You can delete this if you wish.

Rosemary said...

Thank you, again, for the story. I know that it takes time for you to translate and post, but it is so appreciated.