Adonis Diaries

Archive for February 1st, 2020

 Julia recollects: “How I fell in love and selected my husband…”

In those days, people and future couples constructed a love story: they were unable to intimately meet, talk and express their feeling except through the eyes and a few gestures.

An older friend of father recounts that, once they were passing by my mother house, Geryes told father to remove his shoes lest Adel hear them. Adel was the aunt (sister of Eugenia, mother of Julie) and her house was across the street, and she kept an eagle eye on any intruder where the four sisters lived alone. Father found this advice pretty relevant and acceded to the request.

Eugenia and Tanios worked in Africa (current Rep of Mali) to eek out a living.

As WWII ended and travel lines were opened, Julie’ dad asked for her and her two younger sisters Maria and Montaha to join the family in the town of Segou, in West Africa. Segou is in current Rep. of Mali and was a French colony till 1962.

Apparently, Julia’s father had lined up two prospects for marrying Julia without her knowledge.

The trip from Beirut to Marseilles (France) took an entire month, and mother was so seasick that she couldn’t swallow anything. The Captain alluded that Julia will not make it to destination.

A month later, Julia and her sisters left on a rickety plane from Agadir and barely made to Dakar (Senegal)  and to Segou by train and cars.

About a month before Julia left Beirut, Georges had travelled to join his family in Segou.  Georges’ ship landed first in Cyprus, then to Alexandria before resuming the travel to Marseilles. Georges boarded a “bananier” or a cargo ship for banana to Dakar and then by cargo train to Segou.

Julia’s mother opened a shop for selling almost everything that could be sold and her 2 daughters Maria and Therese took over the running. Julia barely set foot in the shop.

There were deep enmities and animosity between the Georges and Julia’s  families: Julie’s father Tanios Gebrayel considered the other family (the Bouhatab) to be plainly a lazy lot and that nothing good will ever come from them. (These 2 families are from the same town of Beit Chabab)

Tanios was not far off the target in his assessment from facts and evidences: the father of Georges (Antoun) was known Not to care for business and his wife didn’t care for raising her children (Many died in childbirth or shortly after as was  very common). Actually, my dad worked hard in the next 20 years and then reverted to his genes. Same case with me.

Julie’s dad disagreed with any marriage arrangement with Georges, although he knew that “I loved him and will refuse any alternative arrangement”.

Julie said “Father brought me an eligible handsome and tall guy, but I faked to be busy and never met him”.

She resumed: “I asked Georges to rent a room in the hotel in front of our shop in order to distance himself from his family. The next day, Georges packed a suitcase and moved in a room”.

Georges crisscrossed West Africa for a suitable location to settle with his future bride but could find nothing but a shack in the town of Bouake, kind of 100 km from Segou and leading to Haute Volta (current Burkina Faso). You had to use a barge to cross the river since no bridge was available at the time.

Julia convinced her dad to meet once with Georges and he changed his opinion: “Seemed a nice and intelligent guy”

Georges’ family refused to attend the wedding despite several attempts by many people. And Julie’s father had to pay for all the expenses of the wedding ceremonies.

Note 1: Mother was 8 months in her pregnancy when two problems happened simultaneously. Georges had to undergo surgery of the appendix, which turned out Not to be the case, and all the saved cash was stolen in the shop at night.

I came to life in dire conditions. I was born upside down, feet first, and I was blue and barely breathing. I would not eat or take the tits and the physicians took me for a goner. Mother would lie to the doctors saying that “I managed to suck some milk”. I’m sure the physicians never believed mother’s assertions but they had to deal patiently with such cases of insane mothers under grave situations.

Note 2: Gerges passed away in 2014 on Christmas Eve after being bedridden for 2 years. Mother and I took turn to change him, clean him and feed him while on oxygen machine. and with frequent electrical interruptions. Mother suffered from back pain but Georges was relentless in following his routine to the minutes.

Note 3: Julia/Julie passed away in January 2020 and suffered constant pains for an entire week, and Not from from cancer.

Note 4: Julia https://wordpress.com/post/adonis49.wordpress.com/2659

Elder people are ashamed of dying before offering something to this troubled humanity

Many people are afraid of old age.

They fear the loneliness and isolation, the unattractiveness of wrinkles and sagging skin, or the impairment of infirmity.

But according to psychologist Marie de Hennezel, old age is an attitude of mind (most of them lost their mind anyway, though a few have this energy of determination to remain functional on their own)

Hennezel suggests it can be a period of contentment, and happiness that comes with letting go of old attachments and finding new roles. Here are some tips based on her book The Warmth Of The Heart Prevents Your Body From Rusting.

Tip 1
Be realistic about becoming old. Accept that biological aging is unstoppable. Do not be ashamed of losing your seductive shape in old age. Accept you cannot change the loss of former physical powers, and previous economic and social roles.

Tip 2
Look after yourself. Make room for bodily pleasure whilst eating moderately, keeping alcohol to a minimum and avoiding drugs and tobacco.  Stay physically active, doing things at your own pace. One can get more out of life in old age with a body that is functioning to its maximum potential.

Tip 3
Take advantage of your new stage in life to look for things you can now do which you were not able to do when you were young – having more time for yourself with no responsibility of parenthood and earning a living and with greater freedom of speech to say what you think.

Tip 4
Accept the inevitable degree of solitude that comes with living alone in old age and not going out to work, not as isolation but as a freedom to meet ones own inner spirit and be oneself and to discover unsuspected resources and release latent energy.

Tip 5
Maintain a social life when you can, forgetting yourself a little and taking an interest in others, using a pleasant tone of voice, making yourself agreeable, cultivating your charm, giving and receiving and showing generosity. Then smiles and kindness, respect and affection will do you good. Friendship means a chance to share your worries.

Tip 6
Keep contact with the younger generation. This is still possible despite today no longer being an era of the extended family which had meant naturally occurring contact across the generations. The trick is to be young at heart, not expecting too much of others who have their own busy lives but simply being receptive, retaining a taste for life and a desire to pass on one’s experiences and lessons learned.

Tip 7
Make the best of your looks and find new ways of making love to your partner. Don’t bury your own sensuality and desire in old age.

When we grow old we are not in love with the other person’s physique but with his or her presence. Think of beauty as something intimately tied to emotion. It is what we call charm: the depth of a look, an expression in the eyes, a dazzling smile.

Charm does not grow old, nor does emotion. In fact, both can even gain in depth and intensity with age. Learn about the tradition of the Tao of Love a Chinese spiritual path. It recognises that it takes longer and is more difficult to attain orgasm if you are old.

Although sexual relations may be slower and less active it can become more sensual. Sou-Nu the governess of Emperor Huang-Ti declared  ‘A firm hard member which is thrust roughly in and out, is of less value than a weak soft member which moves gently and delicately.’

Tip 8
If you are widowed, and the loss of the partner was a great ordeal, it is possible to work through a bereavement by internalising the company of the deceased loved one and still feeling their protecting presence.

Tip 9
Live in the present moment by savouring the good times and forgetting the bad (why forget anything? It is bad for the memory).  Rediscover your ability to be enchanted and amazed, in old age allowing your curiosity to be stimulated by being open to new experiences. You can still learn from life for old age can bring new things.

Tip 10
Find peace with the past and with yourself by taking stock of your life. Ask yourself  ‘What was it all about?’ Give expression to unshed tears, repressed anger, and self-delusions.

Forgive yourself for your failures. Be prepared if necessary to pay for past mistakes and negligence and put your life  in order before leaving the world’s stage.

It’s never too late to change for example from being a bit of a grumpy, selfish depressive individual who spends life complaining and annoying others: but to do so will require an inner awakening and great effort and forbearance.

Tip 11
Accept help when it is needed. Make needed changes to where you live. Do not feel diminished by receiving personal care. It is possible to entrust your own body to the care of others without embarrassment or sense of humiliation.

Tip 12
With old age, one realises that everything of this transient world passes away. Why not try searching to find something that doesn’t pass away?

This could mean listening to what is inside you; an inner part of yourself that is more important than your external side. If you have the courage to explore your own depths you can draw upon them. Allow the part of yourself that does not grow old to live.

Those who have explored this spiritual path have let go of worldly things they had been attached to and said they have found something eternal in which they felt they could put their hope and trust.

Paul wrote in the Bible ‘Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.’ (2 Corinthians 4:16).One can leave one’s ‘little me’ and receive a higher consciousness: when one is in contact with the Spirit inside oneself, one never feels isolated or cut off.

Copyright 2011 Stephen Russell-Lacy
Author of  Heart, Head & Hands  Swedenborg’s perspective on emotional problems

havau22 | January 30, 2020 at 10:44 am
Note 1: I have been taking care of my elder parents of older than 90 and it has been trying. My father died after being bedridden for 2 years and had to change him, clean him and feed him. Now is the turn of my mother and she is Not in any sustainable condition.
Actually, after taking care of her for 6 years, she passed away after constant pains for an entire week: This is the hardest situation of being exposed to constant pains for 3 days and nights and Not knowing how to be of any help.

adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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