Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Tale of Two Women – A Mini Series

This is a tale of two women, Claudia Carbajal de Chavez and Deanna Lee McLander, that are very similar yet their compelling life’s journey transform from opposite directions.

Claudia was born of an affluently educated family in Guadalajara, Mexico where she was raised with her two brothers and one sister. Due to her father’s affluence in their community, he was able to provide his wife and children with the finer things of life. Moreover, his hard work afforded his children the benefit of going to college to earn degrees in whichever field they chose. Claudia’s oldest brother became a mechanical engineer, the second brother earned a degree in accounting, and her younger sister earned a degree as an architectural designer. Although Claudia took college courses in hotel tourism she never explored this field beyond the preliminaries. She did do odd jobs as a form of keeping busy……..Assisting a friend in her boutique, running the neighbor’s dogs (I know A_Akak dislike animals—sorry buddy, part of the story.), and helping her mom with the duties of the home.

Deanna was born of a middle class hard-working family in Northridge, California where she was raised with her younger brother. Her father’s education came from the school of hard knocks and the teachings of his father, which was you, must work hard in this life. Deanna’s father taught her to be a strong woman who no matter what happened in this life could take care of herself. His greatest fear was that she’d not have the proper skills in life to care for herself should she never marry, be abandoned, widowed or any other event that would leave her single, so he instilled the values of getting an education and working hard. Deanna began working at the age of 14 at a trap shooting range, setting clay pigeons on an oscillating machine that would throw the clay pigeons in the air for the men to shoot them. Deanna also continued her education and earned a degree. Deanna’s brother earned a degree as an engineer through his line of work---although not earned through the traditional scholastic route, but nonetheless he’s a successful engineer with the Forestry Department.

During the Christmas/New Year’s holiday of 1993 Claudia and her girlfriends went on a little vacation in another part of Mexico. Deanna’s brother, Clint, too went on a little vacation with his buddies to his buddies’ grandparents’ house in Mexico. One night during their separate vacations, Claudia and Clint met in a restaurant/club. Claudia did not speak English and Clint spoke very little Spanish, yet somehow they were able to communicate with one another. They were enjoying each other’s company so much that when Clint’s friends left he told them he’d find his own way home---he didn’t want to leave the presence of Claudia. Clint and Claudia agreed to meet again the next day. Clint gave Claudia the address to where he was staying and invited her to come over the following day for lunch. Claudia appeared the following day, knocked on the front door, and when the lady of the house answered the door Claudia said in her best English, "Is Kleenex here?"

During the Christmas/New Year’s holiday of 1993 Deanna and her husband of now two years were getting through the mundaneness of life. Deanna married Martin in November of 1991. She was 26 years old, felt life was passing her by as all her friends were married and had children. Deanna had a successful career and had been living on her own. She had desired her entire life to be married and have a family, but until this point her dream had not come true. Moreover, Deanna felt in some way she was failing her family by not being married and having children because after all she was a girl and that’s what girls are suppose to do. So, when Martin came along Deanna saw all the qualities in Martin that would make her family happy, yet failing to recognize she wasn’t concerning herself with her own happiness. To Deanna that was of no consequences because pleasing her family and everyone else were the priority.

It was not long into her marriage that Deanna realized she married an emotionally unattached alcoholic and found herself miserably alone. Moreover, felt a part of her soul dying nearly every day for the sufferings of an empty marriage. Seeing her husband rub his mistress (alcohol) in her face everyday she suffered in silence. She kept in constant prayer for answers and insight, went to group meetings for non-alcoholics to try to gain understanding to this situation, continued working hard, and tried to make the best of the situation for her family’s sake. However, after 9 years of marriage with no children of this union, she finally found the strength to dissolve this empty union and stop the bleeding for both of them.

Clint aka Kleenex returned from his vacation thrilled to share the news with his family that he met the most beautiful woman in the world. His family was thrilled with his enthusiasm but uncertain if it would turn into anything because after all it was a vacation filled with fun times.

Clint and Claudia began corresponding with one another through the old fashion route of hand written letters. Claudia’s younger sister would translate Clint’s English written letters, and Clint would have Claudia’s letters translated by one of his mother’s friends. During the spring of 1994 Claudia and her sister came for a visit to America to see Clint and meet his family. It was a lovely visit, and Deanna was thrilled to finally meet this woman who had captured her brother’s heart. Perhaps from the sheer thought of it being possible for people to actually be married to their one and only true love. Deanna was able to spend time alone with Claudia and her sister and saw the reason her brother was so enthralled with her. Claudia was lively, fun to be around, game to do about anything, and appeared to have been raised with the same family values and morals that Deanna and Clint had been raised with.

Claudia and her sister returned home both thrilled and saddened from their visit because they too had bounded with Clint’s family. In the summer of 1994 Clint traveled to Mexico again and this time to ask Claudia’s father for her hand in marriage. The families were thrilled and anxiously began the preparation for their wedding, which would be in the fall of 1994 when her Fiancée visa was approved. Clint and Claudia actually had two wedding ceremonies. In September of 1994 they had a quaint little outdoor ceremony near a beautifully landscaped pond where chairs were arranged around the parameter of the pond. This allowed everyone to have a fabulous view of their nuptials being taken on a deck that extended out to the middle of the pond where the bride, groom and minister stood. It was a spectacular day with the exception of the neighbor next door mowing his lawn during the ceremony.

Claudia’s family and Clint’s family blended so well together and bonded immediately, as if it had been fade driven. The wedding ceremony met the immigration standards, thus allowing Clint and Claudia to begin transforming her fiancée visa into a green card holder status. Claudia’s family being Catholic required that she be married in the Catholic Church, which Clint was not affiliated with so had to take approved classes prior to the church allowing him to wed there. Clint and Claudia performed their second wedding ceremony in the Catholic Church in November 1994 followed by an incredibly lively wedding reception at Clint’s parents’ home. The reception latest for hours of which Deanna found herself both excited for her brother and new sister-in-law and saddened for herself because she was envious of this unbelievable union.

To be continued.......


a_akak said...

And................. ? What happens next? ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! IBEE?

Until the Next episode of ><><><><><

Fe Aman Allah

Mixed Up Me said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mixed Up Me said...

Okay, now I fully understand why my students would yell at me when I would stop reading a story mid-chapter. I thought I was building anticipation, but in reality I was actually driving them crazy!!! The only thing saving me from being crazy now is that I pretty much know how the story ends . . . you know me, Miss "has to read the entire book in one sitting because if I put it down the mean book fairy will come and change the words and I may never know what really happened!!!"

Lebeeya said...


sorry for yelling, its out of excitment. When is part 2 coming!!!???


Great story :) :)

ibeebarbie said...

Salam A_Akak,
It's coming. :-) Is it boring? Interesting? Riveting? Something to read to kill time?

Hi Mixed UP Me, Not intending to drive anyone to insanity, it's just the words come when the come and then I type. I'm curious to know the ending myself----now if only I could type as fast as my brain thinks or is it visa-versa?

Salam Lebeeya, Glad to see your enthusiasm. I was nervous to begin the story as I wasn't certain it would capture anyone but because of you I will continue. :-)