Sneak peek into an estranged world. Cheers!

Posts tagged ‘love’

When a tough woman goes soft

It has been hard for me to write lately, not from lack of imagination, but more from the feeling of uselessness I have been struggling with on a daily basis since the start of this new year.

This morning I saw this video that a friend had shared on her Facebook, I wasn’t able to continue it through in one seating and had to stop it multiple times to clear my eyes and the ideas running in my memory; it made me cry, and made me smile; but most importantly I was so appalled at the fact that they kept repeating the words “I’m sorry” when they never had to.

The video is an open letter from parents to their children, and I believe everyone needs to watch it.

Being born and growing up within a family, we take for granted all the time our parents have given us, the times we overwhelmed them when they were tired or angry, and still had the patience of taking good care of us, raising us to become the person we are today.

Without my parents I wouldn’t be who I am today, and neither will you, since we all influence each other in one way or another. And we all have to get ready for the day where we will have to pay for this care by caring for our parents in return; for me being Lebanese and having lived closely attached to both my parents and grandparents, I feel and know I will have to care for them when the time comes. After all life is a cycle where you go from being a child, to maturing into a full adult, until once again you turn into this little child that needs to be taken care of.

I owe my parents as much as they have given me, and even more for having taught me how to love and care, when to play and be serious, and how to respect above all, those that came before me.

So when I watched this video of parents excusing their behavior to their children, begging them to accept whom they have become with age and the needs they have, and most of all having to explain each action; I couldn’t help but first, be reminded of these families that send out their parents to elderly homes so they wouldn’t have to take care of their burden, or simply ignore them and let them fade away on their own.

I’ve seen this repeated over the years by families abroad, in books I have read and movies I have watched. When for me, without saying, I know that I will have to, and want to, be the one who cares for my elders, show them love and respect, for after all, they gave me love more than I can ever ask for, and taught me the ways of life: all a person needs is a gentle touch from someone who genuinely loves them to know that they will be OK.

This video also reminded me of my grandmother, teta as some of you have read in my previous post has been in the hospital for a month, after being struck by dementia for the past 5 years, watching her memory fade was one of the toughest things I had to endure, but not as tough as it was on my mother and her siblings.

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But there was one easy way for us to make her feel safe, we would stroke her hand and watch her features relax, stroke her hair and see her eyes flutter and close as a newborn child would under the touch of his mother.

This video has reminded me to mourn her loss, and accept the reality of things. It has also reminded me that one day I will have to be as good as my parents if not better when comes my turn to care for them. After all, and at the end of the day, they are the ones who sacrificed so much to provide to me and my siblings all they could.

It doesn’t hurt to remind yourself and those you love that you love them, and that nothing will ever change that. Say I love you, or stroke their hand, the message will always be the same: I will be there for you when you need me, just like you were here when I needed you.

In memory of my teta, a tough woman that my family had to watch fade away into nothingness, leaving behind all the best memories and lessons in life.

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I love you and miss you.

T.

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V – day

Open letter to all single people on Valentine’s Day.

You’re not alone and you are loved.

You got your family that loves you and you love back despite the differences cause you got no other choice. (Hey you need someone in your life that can’t shake you off and you can’t ignore, it’s the fun of life).

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And you got your friends, whom you chose to love and who have chosen you to be part of their lives.

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And of course you got these stalkers that freak you out most of the time but make you feel a bit special knowing someone out there has got the hots for you.

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Unfortunately in Lebanon with the assassination of Rafic Hariri on February 14 2005, valentine has been mostly ignored throughout the country; yet as always, we find a way to deal with it rationally so not to miss any holiday.

So to that I say love shouldn’t be shared on February 14 only, but every day, minute, and second all year round.

So happy human bonds day everyone.

T.

Happy 2014 Lebanon!

Here’s a funny/interesting post to begin this 2014 new year in Lebanon.

We all partied, most of us probably wont remember what happened the past couple of days; I for one have blank spots, but I’m proud to say I remember 90% of the festivities.

The interesting part of NYE 2013/2014 is listening to the news on the 1st and 2nd January. As most of you already know, people in Lebanon like to express their joy sometimes in firing guns in the air, whether it be a birth, a wedding, or in this case the welcoming of a new year.

So this New Year we heard of 1 person being killed and 4 injured during the “fireworks” lebanese style.

I’m not sure how to react to this, but Hey! what else can I say, I hope next year the lebanese will switch to actual fireworks!

Cheers and Many Blessings for the coming years.

T.

“Goodmorning” lebanon!

Now I sure some of you might be surprised at that post today, but today should have been a good day, which is why I say goodmorning!

Today marks for most of us the last day of work for the year before heading out to the villages or preparing our homes or our plans for a happy happy new year.

Most Lebanese are out shopping, swearing at traffic, wiggling their way around to make sure they end this year 2013 in style and welcome a new year full of joy and happiness.

But as I notice we, as a country, as Lebanese, still dream big; we dream for peace and safety…
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And this is what we get
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Even Lebanese and non Lebanese living abroad get injured
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I’m not taking about physical injuries of course, I’m also taking about mental and emotional; we as a country have learnt to be thankful for surviving explosions instead of being thankful to the Trust, love and prosperity that we’re supposed to wish for.

And still, someone keeps dividing us, destroying our Trust in each other.

Media and crowds run to assumptions, blame parties, and forget to mourn for those whose life was destroyed in a blink of an eye; 5 dead and 70 injured in the polls today.

Will our history ever stop repeating itself? No one knows. But I still have hope.

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So goodmorning to all, and hope that 2014 brings with it some safer days with less tears and more laughter.

T.

Family time

Family reunions, don’t you just hate them sometimes?

I usually enjoy family reunions, seeing all the cousins and family again, sharing stories, and hugs; it always makes you feel good.

Being Lebanese you get used to having a big family, with many cousins, and considering your extended family as part of your close cousins. But being Lebanese also means that most of them don’t live in Lebanon anymore, most travelled to other countries for studies, work, and sometimes for providing a safe-r- environment for their children.

I love family reunions! I’m aware that I just contradicted myself, but I honestly think that there is no way I’ll be able to specify which emotions override the others when it comes to family reunions.

I love seeing my cousins and sharing our different stories, going to parties and crashing at pubs; now yo u won’t know exactly what I’m talking about unless I give you an overview of my family: family = a bunch of extremely different people, many generation gaps, some religious some not, most of them party animals (the kind you’re sometimes ashamed of being seen with publicly, unless you are included in the party animals group). Family = single cousins, married cousins, married with kids cousins, gay cousins, open cousins, and conformist cousins. Family = having all the generations I none area, from the grandparents, to parents, to my generation, to the cousin’s kids’ generation. It is altogether a society of difference living under one family name.

Meet my family! (and good luck with that)

During family reunions you always have different repetitive scenarios: (one way conversations with what I sometimes feel like answering):

1- The older generation: “oh my god how much you’ve grown!” (thanks); did you get into college?!” (you were at my graduation 2 years ago); “how’s work?” “did you get a job? How’s work?” (the usual, it’s work); “you gained a lot of weight! You should start regime/gym” (have you seen yourself?); when will you get married? (oh god why?!!?!); I want you to meet my grandson’s friend, he would be a perfect husband!” (kill me now, please); “why aren’t you eating more? Eat! Eat! If you’re not healthy no one will want you” (didn’t you just say I gained weight?)

2- The uncles and aunts: when will you get married? (oh god why?!!?!); I want you to meet my son’s friend, he would be a perfect husband!” (kill me now, please); “yalla yalla, hurry up we want to see your kids grow, start making babies” (don’t I need to get married first?); how’s the boyfriend/girlfriend? When will we meet him/her?” (why? To scare her/him off or to judge me more?)

3- The cousins: “yooo, let’s get wasted soon!” (okay); “man I got so wasted last night!” (same here); “dude let’s have coffee sometime and catch up” ; “let’s go partay!”; “did you see cousin X’s new look?”; “guess what happened”; etc.

Now the first scenario is the most annoying, being judged by elder generation is the worst family reunions; it’s an endless one way conversation of complaints about what you’re doing, how you look, where you are in your life, and what you’re planning for the future. Though at the same time I enjoy seeing them all, it’s a connection I never want to sever, whatever the risks.

The second scenario is somewhat fun, but also annoying most of the time, they are the ones that believe they have the right to judge you since their kids are your age, but they are doing much better (at least in their opinion) and expect you to be just like them, act one way around family but do whatever you want when with friends (sorry I prefer to stay the same, which sometimes got me the wrath from some uncles and aunts). Some of them are also fun since you’re now old enough to hang with them, listen to their stories, and share a drink. Watching them get wasted is fun too.

The last/third scenario is usually the most interesting one, getting fresh new stories of fu**-ups, random stuff, interesting reads, and of course a good dose of the family gossips. Unfortunately some of these cousins already have kids, so you’ll have to play baby sitter at times as well.

At the end of the day, I can’t help but love them all, even though I hate them most of the time (hate is not the opposite of love, it’s loathing, so they’re safe for now). But dear family, if you are reading this, you should know I still care, cause you’re the only ones that will never let me down.

Cheers to all families around the world.

T.

My motorcycle diaries -3-

Part 3: Obsession satisfied:

Being the nerd that the youngest sibling was known for, with her obsession being so close to her grasp, she went off reading books and researching, trying to perfect her knowledge in motorcycles.

If you ever go back to her school, you will see on the lending sheets her name on each mechanical book that has anything and everything to do with motocross bikes, from the pictures to the detailed explanations of the rotors.
She worked hard, figured which parts were missing in her new-found toy, and assessed what she needed to fix it.

Being a smart-ass for the most, but leaning mostly on help from Bob (I.H); by the age of 10 the young girl had a working motocross, an authentic Honda XR80R, 1984.

Unfortunately being a smartass (as previously mentioned) and being over excited with her new-found toy, she decided to give it a test drive right after she got it running, causing her to fall in the first ditch next to the house due to the fact that she had forgotten to add foot breaks. Lesson learnt!

By age 11, Father’s youngest was roaming around the off-roads of the Cedars, trying on new tricks, trying to stabilize herself , learning the hard way how to drive a shift-gear engine, following the murmurs of the bike (up till today she never checked the rpm, she bases get driving with the use of sound and feel) and trusting her guts.

At age 12, she had met her new best friend H, with whom she will from then on share all her bike rides, teach her how to drive, and sometimes how to clean the bike after a muddy ride.

And this is when the first accident took place, it wasn’t a crash per-say, but imagine a twelve year old girl driving a cross bike off-road with an eleven year old girl holding on from the back; anything going wrong would be scary. But it wasn’t that bad, they had stopped on a dirt road, checking out some ATV riders rolling by them when one of them scared H off, being as young as they were, the girls didn’t know that you should never grab a driver from his shoulders, but always from his waist: so they toppled sideways. Being in tiny shorts, heavy helmets and as skinny as young hyper girls could be, their injuries on the gravel were worse than the fall itself. But they got over it quickly, and moved on to drive around again.

At age 13, the young girl decided to push herself and see how far her limits were, having her breaks break, driving into trees and bushes while attempting jumps and stunts (unfortunately riding tracks didn’t exist in Lebanon, so she had to do with natural settings and creating new roads), and, for the life of me I still can’t remember why, she decided to go for a stroll on an actual road.
Roads in the cedars are small, and most of the time empty; so she wasn’t scared of heading out.

Then there was a big crash sound, tires screeching, the motocross falling to the ground and the young girl flying (literarily) then skidding on the pavement; Echoes of voices screaming, lights flashing, the feeling of nausea as well as an indescribable feeling of ecstasy from the flight.  

The little girl was on the ground, face up to the clouds, numb. She survived, with a fractured neck bone, a couple of bruised ribs, a head injury, and numb knees. “Please don’t let me be paralyzed” was the first thing that came to her mind before drifting back into confusion.

Four months later she was finally able to overcome her fears of the bike, Mother had always told her, “if you fall, get back up again or else you’ll stay on the ground forever”. So she did, she fixed her bike, and rode it again as soon as she was able to use her body freely once again; unfortunately still leaving her till today with weak knees.

At age 16 her elder brother decided to buy a small bike to learn on, so he got a Yamaha TDR 150cc, which his younger sister was able to use later to teach friends how to drive.

By age 21, she bought her first big bike, fully built and unused, it was a Suzuki 200 Djebel Cruiser; now of course she had to meddle around in it so she removed heavy useless parts that don’t need to be used on the Cedar’s off-road, and kept driving it till her 24th birthday.

That little girl was me.

Today I have already sold the Suzuki as well as the TDR; I doubt I’ll have the guts to get rid of my baby the Honda XR80R, the fact that I had been fixing the rear suspension at the time of the accident saved my life, it threw me off in the air instead of crashing face-first into the car.

Now planning to buy with the amount collected my dream bike: the KTM enduro1, 125cc.

– End of story-

I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you.

T.

It’s all about the socks!

Did you ever sit at a restaurant, club, pub, touristic area or even at work and noticed the vast array of socks being worn by the people surrounding you?

Dear readers, after reading this blog I would love to hear of strange socks you might have seen around.

So why socks? I’m not sure exactly, but I find them to be so interesting sometimes! It’s the only clothing people don’t usually look at. You can find all kinds of socks, from the simplest to the most colourful and complex.

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I for one have always loved wearing the most colourful and intriguing ones I can find, for no specific reason, I enjoy the comfort of my toes ,and having something flashy in my clothing is sometimes too much fun to ignore. I sometimes even try to match my shirt or underwear to them (I hope I’m not the only one).

http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Socks_Addiction

So why socks? Why not socks! I’ve met the most interesting couple a year ago, during winter in the cedars; which means shoes off at the door and socks at the chimney to warm your toes; upon walking in I saw the most eye catching socks I’ve ever seen (really wish I had taken a picture back then!), so colourful, full of intricate designs.
So of course, me being as curious as you know, I pointed them out and asked if there was a story behind it.

I honestly never thought it could be a love story.
So mrs.T and mr.T went through a bad divorce a couple of years after getting married and moving to the states (USA-washington). Ten years later, children were all grown up, heading to college, so she decided to move back to lebanon.
On the flight back in (which is a pretty long one), she removed her shoes to get comfortable; and that’s when mr.D saw her (well her socks as starters, then her). They got to taking about socks the whole way, sharing pictures and favorites.  A couple of years later they were married, and have the best couple matching socks they could ask for.
Their best romantic getaway travel would be to go sock shopping for the best two matches.

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So why socks? Just because it’s something different to fall in love through. What do you think?

T.

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