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Um Osama–mother of Osama

This post was inspired by Spearfruit a fellow blogger. I saw this song on his page and it brought back memories! Thanks Spearfruit! He shares stories about his life and is very honest and open! 

I walked up to the piano, the clicking of my shoes echoed on the hard floor. I felt as if everyone could hear my heart pounding and the paper of the sheet music crumpling through shaky fingers. My sweaty hands wore little holes through the paper where it had now frayed.  It was a mess, each week being summoned to walk those few feet up to the piano, only to stand like a statue staring and waiting for the inevitable. “Either sing or fail, everyone else has taken their turn, just sing and get it over worth.” Each time I opened my mouth but nothing came out. The spotlight would be on me, singing in front of my peers. I was not a shy girl at all, I chewed gum making enormous bubbles, talked, laughed, spoke in accents, but this was just not doable. Mr. Mcguire, the music teacher started to pull me aside at lunch and coax me into completing this task so that I would not fail. He told me to just get up and try, no one would laugh, everyone had done it! He called my parents who told me to please just sing, avoid failing. But, I could not.  Here it was, the last chance, “Lynn, Lynn, this is it, sing or get an F!” I had never failed before so maybe that was the motivation, who knows, but finally I managed to sing, “Fire and Rain”. I could hear the sweet melody playing in my mind all of these 20 years later as I stood gazing out through the compound window. It was like a tiny crack through to my life’s reality that seemed odd but some how delightful. A little smile came to my mouth as I remembered that day and how 7th grade music had changed everything.

Lynn, LYNN, how many times have I told you no, no no, do not make this one!”The words were a jolt back to this moment, to reality. I looked down at the tray of sweets, meringues, eclairs, carrot cake and lemon bars, wondering which one was the culprit this time.  He had met a very wealthy man who owned businesses and sponsored many large companies. He had requested that I make a tray each week for him to bring when he visited this “Skeik”. It is customary in Arab culture to visit people for illness, delivery of a baby, graduations, deaths, and  random visits to be social. Visiting is just part of Arab life and not given a second thought. This man, the “sheik”  opened his enormous mejalis (sitting room)  each night for dinner and tea to a multitude of wealthy men. There were also many others who came to hang out or who needed something from the gracious “sheik”.  Making this tray of desserts three times a week, every week for 6 years would soon be added to my already busy list.  I knew not to show weakness or sadness and I asked in a monotone voice, which ones?”How many times have I told you not to make these, his finger was aimed at…….. lemon bars“. I had forgotten that a dessert had to be easy to handle when given to a large group of people, one of the many “rules” about baking which had escaped me as I made my way through my hectic daily routine. He turned and walked away to prepare for the night with his beloved “Sheik” without further incident.

My routine had not changed much from the villa to the apartment and now to this luxury compound. I woke at 4 a.m. with the baby, which I had now done for many years, starting with my oldest son who was now 9, down to Abude who was no longer a little baby, but close to turning 2.  I treasured these moments with each of my precious little ones, chattering as we shared our morning routine. I made the school lunches, got breakfast going and did general clean up. I climbed the stairs to wake the boys and get them up for another school day. See See and Foof still slept only opening their eyes to playfully wave to Abude.The driver, Ushruf would arrive at 6:30 and wait outside for the boys. At first I had accompanied the boys on this trip as I could not imagine letting my children go alone with a stranger. But after a few weeks of this routine, carrying a napping Abude, fussy and tired toddlers, and seeing that Ushruf seemed clean cut and kind, I decided to stay home. The routine days were filled with the joy and happiness of being a mom, cooking was the main activity for a large and growing family.

He smiled warmly when he returned from the “sheik” and his open mejalis night. The lemon bars were now forgotten and instead he spoke of the “important” people who had attended, their trips on the private jet, lavish meals served by the numerous household help. My ears perked up and I hung on ever word when he mentioned Um Osama, a woman who he had spoken highly of to the “sheik” and other visitors,someone who embodied the traits of a perfect wife and mother. She was an educated woman who chose to stay home with her many beautiful children, she baked and cooked from scratch and never left the home. I sat blankly wondering who this woman was.

81 Comments Post a comment
  1. Has to be you Lynz – you embody all those things. No wonder you are such a fab cook.
    Your description of you drying up as you prepared to sing, is like a passage straight out of my teenage novel, so reading this account by you, I know that I got it right.

    Liked by 2 people

    September 27, 2015
  2. lpmendoza #

    Hi Lynz!
    I nominated you for the Infinity Dreams Blogger Award because I really enjoy reading your posts! You can find out more info here: https://healthyinallhuesblog.wordpress.com/2015/09/27/infinity-dreams-award/ Have an awesome day!

    Liked by 1 person

    September 27, 2015
  3. Another amazing post – every time I read these I feel as though I am there experiencing this time along with you. Thanks for sharing, I enjoy reading these posts. Also, thanks for mentioning me and my blog. Have a great day! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    September 27, 2015
  4. Just a very different culture to say the least!

    Liked by 1 person

    September 27, 2015
  5. “…I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end. Seen lonely times when I could not find a friend but I always thought that I’d…..” My favorite song and I’ll bet you sang it beautifully. Just hearing about the pastries on that tray made my mouth water. He really has no idea what he gave up, does he? Have a wonderful Sunday, Lynn.

    Liked by 2 people

    September 27, 2015
  6. Thanks for reading! well that started my singing for years so it was sweet

    Liked by 1 person

    September 27, 2015
  7. Wow Lynn, you have me wondering who she is now too! Another wonderful story. I am so happy to have discovered your blog! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    September 27, 2015
  8. Interesting glimpse into your life and the Arab world Lynz.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 27, 2015
  9. NJ #

    You look beautiful in that picture 🙂 and how hardworking you are 🙂 I have so much to learn from you 🙂 and yes its general make trait to praise your wife when she is not hearing it 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    September 27, 2015
  10. Well thank heavens for your music teacher … he taught you not to give in. To feel the fear and do it anyway. But conversly you must have thought many times that He could go to hell … if you didn’t you are truly the angel you appear to be in that picture!

    Liked by 2 people

    September 27, 2015
    • I didn’t think of that for years! I had to be “good” or things were worst for everyone, he was cranky, not willing to do anything to help with school for the kids etc. and short tempered, so I just thought it was me, until I hit age 40!! lol things changed!

      Liked by 1 person

      September 27, 2015
  11. Interesting post as always Lynz. You really learned to practice patience that time. Don’t be surprised if this change by time, you have been patiently enough for this life. Now it is time to practice patience with yourself and your healing.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 27, 2015
    • thanks Irene, I appreciate it, you are right, I am not patient with me so that is a good reminder to start healing!

      Liked by 1 person

      September 27, 2015
  12. How could they NOT like lemon bars? That made me so mad! Good post, Lynz! You’ve always been a great mom and housewife.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 27, 2015
  13. It’s amazing how much you put in and put up with and yet your sacrifices would not be acknowledged.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 27, 2015
  14. Another interesting story, Lynn. I enjoyed reading about your ordeal over singing before your peers, and how you overcame it. That was a great landmark. The story of the lemon bars just leaves me shaking my head, as does the story of your husband singing your praises to the sheik (If that’s the correct interpretation). If that’s what he did, it seems very odd, considering how badly he treated you at home. I hope that finally being back in the US has allowed the healing process to take place.

    Like

    September 27, 2015
    • Thanks Millie, things are better! yes a common thing to do, brag about the person while putting them down in person, very strange

      Liked by 1 person

      September 27, 2015
      • The ‘putting down’ part is usually to make oneself feel or look good, I believe. Then bragging about you to others somehow doesn’t fit with that. As you say, very strange.

        Liked by 1 person

        September 27, 2015
        • yes so weird. when I started waking up and protesting, he would laugh and say, but I tell everyone how great you are!

          Liked by 1 person

          September 27, 2015
          • Now I’m wondering whether you ever did find out why he did that. How hard it must have been for you to live with someone whose behaviour totally confused you.

            Liked by 1 person

            September 28, 2015
          • well I think this is a common trait, put you down but brag weird

            Liked by 1 person

            September 28, 2015
  15. Ha! I was right. It was you!

    Liked by 1 person

    September 27, 2015
  16. another wonderful post, Lynn – and brief glimpse into your story. Oh how I’ve grown to look forward to these stories. Especially knowing that you are now healing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    September 27, 2015
  17. Beautiful picture of you Lynz and wonderful post😊

    Liked by 2 people

    September 27, 2015
  18. Another gripping post, Lynz. I hope you publish a memoir when the story of this part of your life concludes.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 27, 2015
  19. Oh what a lovely story…he couldn’t tell you to your face that would show a sign of weakness in his control that he holds so dearly close to his heart….but how wonderful to know that he bragged about you, he should, you were his rock..and kept his life exactly as he wanted it….lovely story…brings rays of warmth to my heart…..thank you for sharing… and you are such a beautiful women…xx.kathy

    Liked by 1 person

    September 27, 2015
  20. I wish I could have tasted those lemon bars that day:)

    Liked by 1 person

    September 28, 2015
  21. Another insight into the lady you are today…doesn’t it hurt though when your husband praises you to others but puts you down to your face:)

    Liked by 1 person

    September 29, 2015
    • Oh yes that was why I wrote it, always critical but then a little mention that he spoke about me to others!!! What good did that do, and it was more to brag not praise

      Liked by 1 person

      September 29, 2015
    • he used to tell me”I made you this person” so about his ego

      Liked by 1 person

      September 29, 2015
      • Been there but not as bad as you at least I was home and got away sooner…it’s amazing how they justify everything to themselves isn’t it?

        Liked by 1 person

        September 29, 2015
        • yes it is! sorry you were there too!!!! In the end I learned to laugh to myself hearing his talk about this lady he created, I thought ha ha not the gum chomping loud lady I truly was!

          Liked by 1 person

          September 29, 2015
  22. Yes won’t tell you on here to public what the outcome was but trust me what goes around comes around.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 29, 2015
  23. It was definitely you Lynz!

    Liked by 2 people

    September 29, 2015
  24. I was beginning to feel angry while reading your post, but realized it was you he was speaking of. My husband does the same thing occasionally, he’ll tell me how he told others how proud he was of me, but rarely says the words to me. I think it’s a “male” thing (sorry for the generalization)!

    p.s. Beautiful photo of you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    September 29, 2015
    • ha ha it wouldn’t have hurt so much if he wasn’t constantly mad at me and criticizing the very things he then bragged about. That caused the real pain.

      Like

      September 29, 2015
  25. You have an amazing blog! Your memories that you share are spoken of in great detail.You definitely speak to the reader! I am so glad I found this blog 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    September 29, 2015
    • Thanks so much for reading! I appreciate it! The beginning stories are at the top of my page if you ever want to read them!

      Liked by 1 person

      September 29, 2015
  26. I wish I could hear you sing again 🙂 So natural, beautiful and easy! I remember Mr. McGuire! Hehe! Wonderful writing – thank you for sharing!!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    October 1, 2015
  27. I would say that woman was you:) I always enjoying reading your posts:)

    Like

    October 2, 2015

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