Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tears in the Park



He was sobbing quietly repeating between the sobs the question of 'why did he have to marry her' . His crying seemed to scare the birds that were chatting cheerfully nearby . It scared me too although I was familiar with the man's trauma as he was an aquaintance of mine , one whose advice in various matters I greatly valued.


The 'explosion' of his traumatic problem that he carried with him from childhood, usually happened upon the return from one of his visits to his father's widow; he used to get off at the bus station near the park with the red benches , and sit down on one of them to feed the birds and clear his thoughts before heading home to his wife and kids. He had promised his father on his deathbed that he would visit his widow regularly and help her out with whatever she needed. He kept his promise faithfully; moreover, he also helped his half brother who sometimes got in trouble with the law.

I met him in the park and listened , not for the first time, to the story of his life.

He (Marc) was born in a small town in Poland. His mother died at a relatively young age leaving a husband and two children: Marc and his sister. Not long after her death, his father remarried with the housemaid , a young woman who had come to town from one of the nearby villages to look for work and found her place with the small jewish family.

According to Marc's story, after his father's remarriage, the two children became the laughingstock of their colleagues in school and object to pity of the adult world of neighbors and relatives. The school mates used to mock them for their new Mom, calling her illiterate and peasant. The adults constantly uttered in their presence questions such as: why couldn't he just live with her like man and woman, why did he have to marry her, give her his family name, etc..? All this -not to mention the jewish community's boycotting of the father for taking a Gentile for a wife - was hard on Marc and his sister, and left deep scars on their young souls.

The story appealed very much to the romantic side in me . Here was a man (Marc's father) willing to sacrifice quite a lot to marry the woman he wanted. I saw in my imagination a relationship between two very different persons willing to accept each other 'as is' without any conditions and expectations, and I liked that. Of course, I never disclosed these thoughts to Marc as it would mean to sprinkle salt on his wounds. He liked to think that his father was not too bright ,to say the least, and that's why he had fallen into the hands of the maid. It never occured to him that his father could have possibly felt respect , affection, and even love for the peasant woman. After all, a child was born to them and the relationship was strong and lasted despite the hostile environment.

The widow has recently passed away. I think , may be with her death, Marc will finally get his well deserved inner peace . Who knows, it's hard to tell.

27 comments:

Asif said...

Happened to come here after a long time. I so totally agree to your view. Marc's father sacrificed a lot to marry her and may he might have seen a good care taker for his two kids. We can never say what his real feelings were. But the way he asked his son to visit her regularly to help her shows that Marc's father really cared for her and loved her truly. It’s a sad thing that his true love had a negative impact on the childhood of those two children because of the so called society.
Thanks for posting a nice thought provoking story.

Sharon Wagner said...

That's very moving.

Vera said...

Methinks that Marc's father was a very strong man to stand by his loyalty to the woman who he made his wife. But it is a shame that Marc has not been able to see this. Hopefully, like you say, he will be able to put it all behind him now she has passed away. Another thoughtful piece, Duta.

Nezzy said...

Call me a clueless romantic but it sounds like an amazing love story to me. A man who was willing sacrifice all to marry the love of his life. I can almost here the violins playin' in the background! You always bring us the most interesting stories sweet Duta. :o)

Ya'll have a terrifically blessed day!

The Bug said...

I guess I mostly feel sorry for the poor woman in this story! Hopefully her life with her husband was good!

Bica said...

We'll never know for sure how his father felt, but I definitely tend to agree with you, that he loved her enough to face the challenges this marriage brought forth. Isn't it interesting, the completely different perspectives held here. That's true in life, one set of circumstances can be viewed so differently, by so many different people. Everyone thinks THEIR perspective is the right one!

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Sad and moving story. Kind regards.

Susan Deborah said...

DUTA:

I am with you when you talk of Marc's father but that makes only one side of the story. While staying in a society with a group of people, it is but inevitable that they talk a dozen things. Especially Jews are quite rigid with their systems. But still I wonder about Marc. I wonder what affected his tender mind when he was young and grew up with all those hard feelings he could not get over even when old.

You have quite a repertoire of stories to dole out. Thanks.

Joy always,
Susan

DUTA said...

You see it right, Asif. Perhaps Marc's father felt for the woman something beyond one feels for just a good housekeeper and children caretaker .Pity the environment was so hostile to him causing unneccessary suffering to the children.

Sharon Wagner,

Thanks for stopping by. I agree with you; it's a moving story involving two orphans, and two grown up people feeling attracted to each other in a rather hostile society.

Nezzy,

When two people accept each other 'as is' - we usually call this true love. Possibly, this was the case here too. Have a wonderful, blessed weekend!

Vera,

I think Mark's wife had something to do with his not being able to see things. She comes from a rich , aristocratic family which also has its roots in Poland. Clash of classes within the family, I suppose.

DUTA said...

The Bug,

As far as I know, her husband was good to her, and so were the two children despite the suffering they went through in school and in the neighborhood. The child she bore to Marc's father, was probably the only one in the family that caused her probems.

Bica,

It's interesting, indeed, to see the different views and perspectives on the same matter, especially in a complex story like this one.

Phivos Nicolaides,

Yes, it is sad, moving and thought provoking - like many other love stories and orphan stories taking place on an hostile background.

Susan Deborah,

Well, I'm familiar with the story from Marc's angle only. I suppose the addition of a new-born child to the family also aroused feelings of envy and neglect in Marc; and then , later, in adulthood, Marc's own wife (who comes from a rich, high class family) perhaps fueled the situation in some way or another.

Dimple said...

Hi Duta,
Thanks for coming by. I had not thought of the colors in the sky being Israel;, but I agree that the friendship between our nations needs to be emphasized and strengthened. It says in scripture that someday all nations will come against Jerusalem. I don't like to think of the US being among them, but that is how I read it. It will be a terrible day!
Your story here reminds me how much we hurt ourselves when we refuse to forgive those who have hurt us. We hurt ourselves much more than the one we have not forgiven.

Lady Di Tn said...

Unhappy childhood memories are never forgotten as a word, a sound, a song or smell can trigger these unpleasant memories. Why will never be understood nor answered for him. Which is a very unfortunate thing. At least he was an honorable man and kept his promise to his father no matter how unpleasant for him. We can only hope he finds more Peace than he had.

robert said...

His drama was about his promise, not about his life. So, he will find his inner peace when there will be no promise to kept.

DUTA said...

Dimple,

Well, unfortunately, nations come against us all the time. I hope the US will never be among them.
I totally agree with the last paragraph of your comment: we hurt ourselves more when we don't forgive.

Lady Di Tn,

Marc is a kind, intelligent and well educated person, and I wish him from the bottom of my heart - to find Peace (peace- your preferable word).

robert,

I hope you're right. With no promise to keep, he might find in himself the strength to fight the inner demons that made him suffer for so long.

香昱信張君林 said...

用心經營的blog~有一天你會紅!............................................................

Regina said...

I hope that Marc will soon find forgiveness in his heart. It will not erased the trauma but it will lighten his burden and will bring healing to his soul.

Happy new week Duta.

Nel said...

What a wonderful love story. It is so sad that we as people judge others and make fun. I always love reading your posts! You my friend should write a book!

until next time... nel

Alicia said...

What is sad is that the children had to suffer at the hands (mouths) of other children & their own relatives. I hope the father was truly happy and in love and I hope your friend can make peace with knowing that his father has happy.

DUTA said...

Chang Ling Shang,

Thank you for stopping by.

Regina,

Right you are. Forgiveness "..will not erase the trauma but will lighten his burden, and bring healing to his soul".Nicely put.
Have a happy new week too, Regina!

Nel,

You, sweet Nel, write it first, as you're really made up of writer's stuff. Besides, English is your native language.

Alicia,

Children can be very cruel. I think it's their cruelty that hurt him most. I can only join you in your hope for Marc's finding peace.

Lisa said...

Duta, you always have such remarkable stories.
Thanks for sharing. Hope you're well

Lisa Petrarca said...

Duta,

I love that you are so open, non-judgmental & willing to see all sides of the story. You truly have a special gift-thank you for sharing yourself with us!

Culture Served Raw said...

Very stirring piece Duta.

DUTA said...

Lisa,

Thank you for your kind words. I hope you're well too.

Lisa Petrarca,

I'm glad you think I'm like that - "open, not judgmenntal...". At least, I try.

Culture Served Raw,

"stirring" is indeed the best word to describe this story. Thank you.

DaniloM_W志竹olff0615 said...

一棵樹除非在春天開了花,否則難望在秋天結果。............................................................

DUTA said...

DaniloM_W,

Thank you for your comment.

Entrepreneur Chick said...

People can be so mean to children.

DUTA said...

Entrepeneur Chick,

True. Yet the same is said about children, namely that they can be very cruel to one another and or to adults.