AVAILABLE ON AMAZON...BOOK & KINDLE
There was a family from India. The mother walked at night, sometimes by herself, sometimes with her husband who was a professor at the university. They had two children. The woman fasted one day a week, where she ate nothing I assumed for twenty four hours, which I found interesting. I know we had many conversations and that our children played together but don’t remember much else. I know they moved to Pennsylvania for a short time before moving back to India. I still have letters from her saying how when they get back to India she wanted me to visit them and stay with them and would, “Get you many gifts.” Years later I had tried to locate her but to no avail.
Another family was from Saudi Arabia. I don’t know what the husband was studying. His wife was like a little girl, so quiet, so shy, and so innocent. She said we were sisters. They had a little boy who would come over to our apartment all the time. He really liked me as did his father. The father, not threatening at all but wanted me badly. He said many times he would divorce his wife. All he had to do was “Write it three times on something and give it to her family.” He never touched me, nor made advances toward me. He was pretty obsessed with me but very respectful. I told him there was no way we could be together. I was married. I loved his wife and would never do that to her and he shouldn’t even think of us together. They too were Muslim and one day some Seven Day Adventist or Jehovah Witness’s came to their apartment while I was there and I stupidly said, “They are Muslim!” and shut the door. Maybe they would have liked to hear about Jesus. I regret to this day doing that.
They too moved away. I barely remember when or how we said goodbye. I have a photo of when my daughter and I took them to a fireworks show one year. They seemed to enjoy that. After returning to their home country they sent me a robe from Morocco and a gold ring with my name in Arabic engraved inside and a gift for my daughter as well. I still have letters from him where he wanted me to come to Saudi Arabia or to Jidda where they vacationed. I did consider it, for a visit only; there was so much trouble in the Middle East though that I didn’t want to risk it. I don’t remember exactly which of these years my friends had left the U.S. but in 1981, Egypt’s President, Anwar Sadat was killed. An independent organization for the liberalization of Egypt claimed responsibility. They were against Sadat’s policies including him signing a peace treaty with Israel in March 1979. Pope John Paul II was shot by a Turk. The Lebanon War went on from 1982-1985 which involved the Israelis’, Palestinians and the Lebanese. In ‘83 the U.S. bombarded Lebanon and then a few weeks later a U.S. marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by suicide truck bombs a couple of times. So there was no way I was going to go to the Middle East with so much turmoil and unrest.
I have always said, “The first time I ever ate kiwi was on a bed with a bunch of Arabs!” I know that statement allows the imagination to go a bit wild but it was with this family so not such a shocking event.
I also met some very good friends of theirs, also Saudi’s. He was a large burly type. They had a little boy also and the wife; oh my God was the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. Such a beauty and at first I wondered how she could be married to this big bear but soon found out that he was so kind and generous and probably loved her dearly and treated her like a queen. They were always so happy. They moved to another town further south for him to finish his education. I was unemployed for a second time and I went to Lake Texoma with a friend to go boating and skiing. We stopped to visit this Saudi family and when we were leaving the wife ran outside and put something in my hand. I didn’t look until I was back in the car and we were driving away. They knew I was not working and she had slipped some money into my hand. To my surprise it was four, one hundred dollar bills. I was truly surprised and grateful for the gift and thanked them many times over.
There were a few other foreign neighbors that I only greeted as I saw them. There was one couple whose shade of brown skin and their absolute beauty intrigued me. I couldn’t figure out where they were from so I had to ask. They were from Ethiopia. Another apartment was occupied by some Arabs where the woman probably had actually worn the burqa all of her adult life. I remember going to visit them briefly about something and the woman who opened the door, I knew was the grandmother. She opened the door with her face exposed. Something in her eyes showed her age but not the skin of her face. Her garments had shielded her face from the sun and her skin was so smooth and silky it was hard for my eyes and mind to corroborate what I was seeing.
You sure met a lot of interesting people. How was home life going?