Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A Tale of Two Women – A Mini Series Continues

In Spring of 1995 Claudia and Clint announced they were expecting a baby. From the monotony of everyday life, this news spread like wild fire amongst the family and brought a sense of excitement and happiness to everyone.

Deanna meanwhile was still making every viable attempt to make her marriage work. She had a great admiration for Claudia because she saw that the two of them shared a number of similarities but the one that stood out most to her was their strength. For Claudia had made the decision to leave her family, her home, and the only country she had ever known her entire 28 years of life to marry Clint and move to America. She had no family in America, spoke very little English, and had no real educational skills to create a career for herself in America, but some how, some way she knew Clint was worth the risk.

When Deanna learned of Claudia’s pregnancy she fell into a deeper depression because she was the oldest child and she should have the first grandchild. For after all she had always been told she was the older sibling and therefore everyone expected more of her. She was once again feeling like a failure.

Deanna recalled one day her father inviting her out to dinner so they could spend the evening together and talk. Deanna was thrilled for she truly adored her father and cherished anytime they spent together. One fateful night, they met for dinner at a restaurant. They had an enjoyable meal and good conversation; however, Deanna sensed there was more to this evening than what appeared before her eyes. After dinner, her father asked her if she wanted to go to a nearby park, which was just down the road and continue their conversation. Deanna agreed, but was really starting to feel very concerned inside as to what was to come next. For Deanna’s father had no idea the unharmonious marriage she was living behind her closed doors. She had always been raised that you keep your troubles to yourself and work it out. They drove to the park where the sun was beginning to set and her father stated that he felt she could be a better wife to her husband. He had noticed on a previous visit to her home that the cat’s dish had some morsels of food on the outside of the bowl and that she should have done a better job of keeping house. He stated that he also observed when Martin came in the door after a long day of work that she didn’t jump up and greet her husband with a hug and kiss. He felt he just had to say something to her, and now felt better because he got that off his chest. Unbeknownst to him, Deanna piled another heap of guilt and shame on her shoulders with the already mounting bundle that existed. Deanna left her father that night vowing to even try harder to be a better wife and to make her marriage work no matter what because she didn’t want to disappoint her father.

During the time of Claudia’s pregnancy she had been attending English as a second language night classes to improve her English. Moreover, since her marriage to Clint she tenaciously established her own group of girlfriends. In the spring of 1996 one of Claudia’s good friends held a baby shower for her in her home, which can only be described as something from out of the magazine “Home and Garden”. The afternoon was breathtakingly beautiful, the outdoor setting was divine and the cuisine was scrumptious. It was wonderful to see the support she received from the group of ladies that had gathered in her network of friends. Deanna harbored no resentment or jealousy towards Claudia because of the fact that Claudia is genuine and her personality is infectious. However Deanna was sad for herself because her marriage was not improving, she wasn’t a glowing mother-to-be, and pretty much felt like she should try harder and stop complaining.

Beginning of June Deanna received “the call” that Claudia was in labor, and hurried to get ready and dash off to the hospital. Deanna’s husband agreed to come later when it got closer to the baby being delivered as he had some things to do. Deanna was use to often doing things by herself or alone without her husband because he just wasn't social and seemed to enjoy just being home with his mistress. She hurried to the hospital to show her support for her brother, sister-in-law and soon to be niece or nephew---still didn’t know the sex of the unborn child. Claudia remained in hard labor for nearly 15 hours before the doctor decided she was unable to deliver the baby naturally due to her exceptional health. Sounds strange, but Claudia was an avid runner and therefore her cervical muscles were in such taunt shape that there was no way they were going to expand enough for the baby to pass through naturally, so they were forced to take the baby through cesarean. Although Deanna’s brother was and is an engineer fire fighter, one could only imagine how difficult it would be in a situation to see your family member in pain and go through such a procedure. Deanna commended him for his steadfastness and devotion to his wife and unborn child to stand right beside her the entire procedure. Shortly after the procedure Clint came to the lobby to announce they had a boy. Well you can only imagine the hoops and hollers in that hospital ward of this announcement. Everyone (Clint’s parents, Claudia’s parents, Deanna, Claudia's sister and Grandmother) was thrilled of the birth of the baby, but the fact that it was a boy was even grander. You can imagine the elevated status Claudia received for delivering a boy…..A blonde haired, blue eyed American boy at that. Surely the extended family members in Mexico could hear the cheers from California.

Deanna’s father is a great worrier. He can worry about anything, and when there’s nothing to worry about he worries about that. Well because of the c-section baby nephew had to go through and the fact that he had been in the birth canal for so long his head was a wee bit pointy----cone head like. Well Grandpa began sweating and panicking, saying to Deanna and her mother, “Oh my god his head. What’s wrong with his head?” Deanna and her mother in their feeble attempt to consul dad and assure him the baby was fine, he remained focused on the pointy-head and just knew there was something wrong with him. Deanna watched through the glass window as she saw her brother holding his new son while the doctor examined the newborn. You could see the thrill beaming from within Clint, and without consciousness, Deanna was certain he even stood taller at this very moment.

Once Claudia was transferred to her private room within the hospital Deanna, Claudia’s mother, Claudia and the baby were sitting in this dim-lit room, as everyone else was either outside smoking or getting something to eat. Deanna recalls sitting in a chair in the corner of the room witnessing Claudia’s mother right next to her bedside, talking to her about something in Spanish all the while caressing her daughter’s hair. Deanna recalls vividly feeling the undeniable bond between mother and daughter and for a brief moment found herself jealous because she had desired this for as long as she could remember. Although Deanna realized her mother came from her own troubled childhood where she had an extremely strained relationship with her mother, she still longed for such affection as she was witnessing right now in that hospital room. Deanna left the hospital with her husband feeling conflicted. She was thrilled for her brother and his family, thrilled that God had blessed them with this precious baby, and saddened because she knew the life she went home to behind closed doors. Deanna was grateful because she didn’t live in a physically abusive household but rather an unaffectionate, unemotional household. She was not sure which was the worse of two evils. Grateful she wasn’t being beaten but still wished her husband desired her as much as he seemed to desire the mistress.

In 1997 Deanna and her husband bought a boat to spend time on the lake during the summer weekends. She was thrilled because for once she felt they were going to enjoy something together. Perhaps this was the glimmer of hope she’d been looking for to turn their fruitless marriage around. Admittedly they had many nice times and memories from their boating days; however, they were often times over-shadowed by Martin bringing the mistress (alcohol) along on their ventures. However, Deanna had finally come to the realization that she needed to get over her insecurity of this mistress and except the fact that she was a part of this family. For maybe, just maybe if she accepted this mistress then things wouldn’t seem so bad. Silly Deanna, she always loved to try and find the good in anything…..the glimmer of any hope. For she believed that if she had faith and hope everything would work out just fine. She knew everything was within God's hands to be dealt accordingly.

Deanna tried to create a life with inside her life by going to the gym with her girlfriend five days a week. Deanna believed if she was small enough, sexy enough and doting enough to her husband he couldn’t help but want her over the mistress. The one thing Deanna gained out of this was an incredibly great girlfriend. One that was 10 years older than her and had been through similar experiences in her life, had survived all those experiences and was now married to the love of her life and had a beautiful family. Deanna’s friend was funny, witty, extremely smart and most of all a wonderful confidant and support system for Deanna. To this day Deanna still gives thanks to God for this precious angel He sent to her during her lifetime.

By spring of ’98 Deanna and her husband had decided after much research to purchase a business that Deanna would operate for Martin already had his own successful business. He actually showed enthusiasm and support for Deanna of which she cherished dearly. She decided to give up her 13 years of comfy, secure government position to embrace the uncertainties of entrepreneurship. Her years of steadfastness taught her to never give up on anything, so she was willing to do whatever it took to make this business thrive. She had taken extended courses in order to offer more services than the previous owner had offered, extended the operating business hours for the public, and did all these things with a broken ankle. At her opening house to promote her new establishment she fell and broke her ankle. Her friends and husband didn’t believe she had broken her ankle, perhaps because of their drunken state, but Deanna insisted her ankle was broken. So, to satisfy Deanna’s ‘whining’ they decided to call a cab to take her and her husband home and call it a night. Yes, perhaps Deanna should have taken control of the situation herself to insist on going to the hospital, but after so many years of feeling worthless, feeling tired from continually trying to work on a marriage where she was the only one participating in the union, and not wanting to upset anyone she just sucked it up and decided this too she’d get through.

The next day when Deanna woke she couldn’t stand let alone walk on her foot. She literally crawled from the bed to the restroom, like a dog that had no working legs, pulling herself with her arms. Finally, Martin peered over to see her doing this and said, “do you think we should take you to the doctor’s?” Deanna replied that she thought they should because she believed her ankle was broken.

They arrived at the hospital, filled out the umpteen thousand forms and she was whisked off for an x-ray. The x-ray technician took the photo, looked at it, turned to Deanna and said, “you have a broken ankle”. “DUH”, screamed Deanna in her head. After casting her foot and returning her to the lobby where her husband waited, his eyes widened when he saw Deanna coming out wearing a cast. He felt bad and apologized that he didn’t listen to her.

To be continued………


a_akak said...

:( ............... oh i am at work but i dont care i will read the next one and to hell with those reports :P (i wonder what my boss would say)

Fe Aman Allah

ibeebarbie said...

Salam Ahmed, Awwwwwwwww you enthusiasm is touching. Besides everyone needs a break now and then on their job, right?

Just look really puzzled and frown your eyebrows that always portrays the imagine of someone thinking and working hard.