Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Snapped @ 60

Yesterday ( the 6th of Sept. ) was my 60th birthday.This has never been a problem before for me , birthdays. In fact I have almost always looked forward to birthdays. I have never lied about my age . I mean why bother and what is the point ?It is just silly to lie about how old you are , I think .But now I am 60 years old and I do mean old ! I am a senor citizen now . OMG !!! Although my youngest daughter in the States tells me I have until the age of 62 , maybe even 65 until I am officially a senor citizen. I think she was just trying to cheer me up.I am falling apart at a most alarming rate here.The first two months of the war I was house bound due to my arthritic knees not allowing me to walk or stand more than a few minutes at a time.

Which in around about way brings me to another topic I have wanted to discuss and haven't got around to yet, the simple kindnesses Moe and I were shown by family , friends, neighbors , and strangers during the war.Our son and his family came to take care of us the 1st week I was crippled. That was a huge help as I couldn't walk at all then. Moe still needs his care even if I can't walk.Neighbors volunteered to take Moe shopping to stock up on meds and grocery's , even carrying the things up 4 flights of stairs at times for him as he is unable to do that anymore.

Even when gasoline became scarce they still continued to drive him here and there when I couldn't. One day there was a knock at the door.I opened it to find a neighbors son standing there smiling . He asked for my car keys. He said Aunty Haga (I have all sorts of names, lol ) I want to put 7 liters of gas into your car for you .I know you can't wait in line for 3 days for gas. He refused to let me pay for the gas which cost as much as gold.

I have a friend that lives near us and her husbands family has a thousand young guys in it that all have helped us in one way or another .One would take my car for me and wait in line with it to get gasoline. Sometimes it would take as long as 3 or 4 days of waiting in line . This would be during bombings by NATO over head , fighting in lines with guns and knives by others waiting as well. Very dangerous .My son called one day and asked me did we have gasoline in the car. It just so happened that we didn't and I had hesitated asking the boy to take the car to the gas station for me because it had become too dangerous, so I told me son no . He showed up in one hour with enough gas to fill the car up half way, for free.Now that is love !

Hot plates of food , loaves of bread would magically appear ,when bread was as hard to find as an Easter egg  in a Easter egg hunt .Shop keepers would come to the car , take the grocery list and then bring it all to the car for us when neither one of us were able to walk far or for long.Knocks on the door at odd times but always just when we needed them with offers of help. I am not too sure how we would have made these months with out all these angels.

Now on to another topic I have wanted to talk about , prayer.I have always prayed, just haven't been very public about it as some people.When we moved here I noticed that many would say Alhumduliallah all the time, which means Thanks to God .Inshallah was said a lot too . That means God's Will o,r if God Wants It To Be.People said that whenever they were asked something , go somewhere , or do something. Other circumstances as well but I just can't think of examples right now.Well , even when I was a Christian I was never one of those people that went around yelling those sorts of things , so it was quite awkward when I started to doing it after becoming a Muslim.Now I do it all the time and am not even aware of say them. Khadijateri and I were talking the other day about saying Alhumduliallah so much since the war started ,that  hardly a sentence is stared without starting with it .

Now that I have rambled on here , I will get to the praying part ;before I sleep I say my prayers.Afterwords I give thanks . I list them on my fingers ;thank you God for the electricity today , for our good health , for the help of our friends and family. For they and their families good health . Thank You for our safety .For our families and friends safety .Thank You for our home . Thank You for our car. Thank You for Your forgiveness, and so on , until I fall asleep.Even when I lie down for a nap I say these prayers.The list got longer as the war wore on. Sometimes during the day I will say thanks to God for the sunset , the food we ate,the gentle cooling breeze that came in off the sea when the electric was off. The large and the small things are all worth saying thank you to God .And you know what ? He acknowledges them all .

I said a lot of prayers the day our oldest son was kidnapped and sent to Sirt to be a human shield.We had been trying to contact our son for a few days . Phone contact  was off and on about this time , so we marked up the fact that we had been unable to reach him due to poor phone service when we were unable to reach him for several days . Then we called our daughter in law to ask her to have him call us . She hemmed and hawed about having him call us until after 5 days I penned her down about why he hadn't called us back and the story came out in her tears.He had rented a taxi to drive from some people after the foreign company he worked for left town when the war started . People still needed to work so they could eat. They have 2 little boys to feed and cloth. It was about this time Ghadffy forces was stopping people on the streets , in their cars, and picking them up . Mostly young men but sometimes other older people as well. We had all heard about these things happening.This is what had happened to our son as he drove his taxi. Long story short , he was sent to Sirt to act as a human shield for Ghadffy ,but since our son has worked all over Libya over the years,he knows the most unlikely people in the oddest out of the way places.He managed to get help from some people he found in Sirt that he knew and escape from there after almost 10 days of being missing.There was a point when I thought , due to mis-communication with Moe, that someone was on their way to our house to tell us he was dead.I think that was one of the worst days of my life.He returned home to us safe and sound .Alhumduliallah !By the way , that is a very difficult word to spell.

Now , during these last almost 8 months, I have had good days and bad days , Moe as well .We decided early on that it was just easier to have the good days rather than surfer through bad days , so we tried to see the bright side to most things , laugh off others ,kiss one another a lot , say I love for no reason at all ,as often as possible.Sometimes we did this through a veil of tears but we managed to stay positive as much as possible in the circumstances.It has helped us get through some very bad times.

That is until yesterday. I haven't been able to get my required 25 hours of sleep the last few days and I am not a very nice person with out them .Yesterday I woke up in a foul mood and it just got worse as the day and news wore on.Everything was awful.Moe went into town and came back with tales of a ghost town . Shops  mostly closed.The few that were open were nude of merchandise.No coffee cafes open . Now , you know things are bad when they are closed. People here live on caffeine.Moe said that the trash that had been colected had been dumped on the beach here in Tagura. On THE BEACH , I SAY! Don't know if that is a temporay thing or what, and yes I KNOW there are a lot of things that need doing .I KNOW everything can't all get done at once , they need time.But the beach ?

Then I talked to my daughter in law.She told me that she and our son had driven by the wadi ( dry river ) near their house yesterday . There had been intense fighting there by both sides during the battle for Bab Al Azizia and Tripoli.Evidently many people were shot and killed at this place. Up to at least 150 or 200 people killed there.The Ghadffy people had set up an ambush check point disguised as the rebels by this wadi. As the people came to them , they were executed , thrown over the barrier wall of the wadi to hide them from the next victims as they came up to the check point.So , for the last week or so , in 105+ heat these bodies of victims have been lying in the wadi dead, waiting for some one to show them some decent kindness and humanity .Let's just forget about human kindness and decency here for a minute , or how un-religious this is , or disrespectful, but rather on disease spreading. Rats everywhere,wild dogs , flies breeding on these bodies. Where is WHO when you need them?A lot to do huh? My daughter in law said the smell from decomposing bodies that were no longer in the wadi was so strong they couldn't get within 2 blocks of the wadi.She was in tears as she described the scene on the phone.

We went to bed with a heavy heart last night after hearing that news.The stalemate in Bani Walid left us to wonder.So, off to bed we went , only to be woken up by loud explosions outside our condo in the little ally below us.Gunshots , cannon fire,geletine, running feet ,whistling ,signaling some one else doing the same things several streets over  from us.Then, a car driving up, talking to them , a confederate, confirming a plan of action. More explosions . Strangely enough no one from any of the many check points up and down the main road that is situated at the end of the ally came running up to try to stop them . To keep the peace , as is their duty .Not one of the 7 policemen that live in the condos went running out to uphold the peace at 3 a.m. No one , that is until 45 minutes well after the entire incident was over and the shooters went home.THEN , everyone came running out to see what was going on , after the fact.There went any thought of sleep for the rest of the night.Interestingly enough, the NTC had sent a message out to everyone yesterday ... AGAIN...telling people to turn in their guns and NOT to shoot them AT ALL .Uh huh .

Then ..... as if all that was enough to put me  in a foul mood, I turned 60 today ! AND......the news of  a invisible (evidently) convoy of cars that managed to some how elude all the AWAK airplanes flying over Libya, and every single spy satellite that is focused on Libya at the moment .Now that is just AMAZING ! I mean NATO was able to see a tank parked underneath a tree from how many thousands of feet up in the air, but a convoy of cars driving across the empty Sahara desert was an impossibility , I guess .Not ONLY did the convoy drive across the empty Libyan Sahara desert from the north of Libya to the south of Libya ( which is a considerable distance), then crossed the Libyan boarded into Niger , illegally .It continued to drive almost entire length of Niger , to the capital .Word has it ,the convoy of invisible cars has moved onto a more southernerly town that is closer to the boarder of ANOTHER country , Bakino Faso.This convoy of  invisible cars is suspected of having " senor officials " of the Ghadffy regime , possibly the man his self , but no one thought to stop them .I was told they couldn't because they didn't have a reason . What about searching for a possible war criminal wanted by the Hague? Or ascertaining that the cars were not snuggling hundreds of millions of cash and gold stolen from the Libyan people out of the country?

So , I just snapped today. Gone are all the long months of working so hard to stay positive and cheerful .I am a senor citizen and the world has gone to hell in a hand basket. There, I said it.I am feed up with it all.I am so ready to go shopping , visit my friends ( IF they are still talking to me after today) , go for a drive in the country side , have a decent nights sleep uninterrupted by gun fire, bombs or explosions of any sort.I want to drive to a gas station and say , fill her up please.I want to feel safe again. So far , 60 really sucks.


MCB said...

I think you and Moe are awesome. Go ahead and be angry today and tomorrow. Better days lie ahead.

Nadia Your Eldest Daughter! said...

Mom, you are an amazing person and I am so lucky to have been raised by you. You deserve your good and bad days so, enjoy this year because it will be a good one. Love Nadia

Fatima A. said...

What a horrible day! I've gone through the emotional roller coaster with news from Libya but didn't know about the checkpoint at the wadi. I'm so proud of you and Moe for being so strong through this! You definitely need an overdose of comedy until normalcy makes an appearance! Praying for you and your family from the crossroads of the US!