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2-The beginning–Morning villa

This is the second story I posted in my series

That night our 10 boxes had been lined up along the empty living room wall. As tired as we were the kids and I ripped open tape and rummaged through each box to find the new, fresh pillows I had purchased and brought along. At the time it seemed like a strange idea to buy pillows, but I did anyway. I also packed 2 blankets passed on to us years before by a man who finished school and left everything he owned in his vacant apartment to go back home. They were big rough blankets, light and dark browns with images of horses or some type of animal. We found the blankets and pillows and made a make shift bed on the floor. We slept in the men’s mejalis (sitting room for male guests) or any other room, it didn’t much matter as each was interchangeable with the other.

Sleep came easily to us after hours of traveling. The kids had laid on their seats resting their heads against each other, they slept intermittently throughout each flight. For me it was different, my 20 month old daughter had no seat so she sat on my lap,which at this point had shrunk down to a small space. I shifted between having her on my lap and letting her sleep on the floor in front of me in the bed the airline provided. This meant a quite ridiculous picture of a woman, 8 months pregnant resting her legs up near the food tray because there was no other place to put them! Then when Foof woke, having her sit on my small space of a lap while I rested my weary feet back on the floor. What a site!  I didn’t sleep much just a nod off here and there when my head would jerk forward waking me from the few minutes of sleep I was able to catch. So, sleep overtook me quite easily that night. We all snuggled up next to each other as we always did at home and slept on our make shift bed.

I awoke with that feeling when you are on vacation or visiting Grama when you think you are home but then realize your surroundings are not the same. I peered out of one eye to see that things had not changed and were as I had remembered them when I went to sleep. My two older children were not there so this woke me from my heavy sleep. I turned on my side, hips throbbing, I crawled to a position that would enable use of my hands. I slowly stood and straightened out my body.  I roamed around the villa to see in the light of day that things looked the same, but every line on the walls, each crack through the plywood and lack of furniture was much more evident. I felt a sudden twinge, that sick feeling when you panic and question, your mind bolts and races and wanders. I then composed myself and tried to remember that I was a God fearing, good woman, we came to this place not for glamour or fun but to start a new life, to raise the kids in a safe environment, to learn a new language and culture. Yes, this was the right choice and I would carry on and make things the very best.

I called for my boys and finally they answered, they had been used to playing in their play house in the back yard, running through the green grass and riding bikes. So, they had gone exploring looking for that place to play. Directly out of the brown door were the stairs that had led us to this place, going up was the roof which was surrounded by tall ( 5 to 6 foot) cement walls. Downstairs was a small courtyard where a car would be parked, but now was empty.

With the boys safe and occupied, I made my way back into the living room. It was hot in the villa with no a/c and everything closed up. I walked to the wall and peered up to the brown, plastic window. I reached up and pulled until it opened.

A small breeze gently caressed my face, the sweat beads dried on my forehead and I felt a momentary relief. The next thing was water and food, I went to the kitchen, a room with a sink and a counter next to it, a small drain in the middle of the floor. Where would I find food or water? Was the water in the sink drinkable? The children would wake soon and they would be hungry. On the counter a small sack from the local bukala (neighborhood store) inside were several bottles of warm water and a melted container of sticky mango ice cream.

Windows in the villa

150 Comments Post a comment
  1. Sometimes I feel like I can smell or feel these things… the breeze, hot with no a/c, the mango ice cream, etc. nice job 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    January 24, 2016
  2. For the love of “Oh Henry” whomever he is you must be kidding me Lynz-this is outrageous at 8 months pregnant! Good grief my dear friend, the endurance you possess is almost unimaginable for me! Hugs and Love, Cheryl xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    January 24, 2016
    • Thanks dear, looking back it sounds ridiculous. We were so hot, no place to sleep, my belly and other areas were throbbing, contracting and no where to even just sit except one plastic chair! No windows to look out. The one window in the picture is high up in the kitchen, my son was standing on the counter by the sink there near it! so, just nothing on top of nothing and no FOOD!

      Liked by 1 person

      January 24, 2016
  3. Oh my heart aches for you with what you endured.

    Liked by 2 people

    January 24, 2016
  4. Have you put this story in a book, Lynz? You write so well.
    Leslie

    Liked by 1 person

    January 24, 2016
    • Hi Leslie, I have tried but am not sure which direction to go so it is a work in progress!

      Liked by 1 person

      January 24, 2016
      • Actually writing a book now days isn’t that easy. Perhaps it is just better to keep doing what you are doing. Little episodes at a time. We all want to read more of your story.
        Leslie

        Liked by 2 people

        January 24, 2016
        • Thanks so much Leslie! I will continue to post these old stories each Sunday! xx

          Liked by 1 person

          January 24, 2016
          • Looking forward to it, Lynz. At some point it will be easy to compile them together if you ever decided to turn it into a book.
            Leslie

            Liked by 1 person

            January 24, 2016
          • My daughter told me there is some type of book like that, she is into literature. So, yes that would be easier for me! xx

            Liked by 1 person

            January 24, 2016
  5. I don’t know how you did it Lynn, being 8 months pregnant. You are a strong woman, that’s for sure! Your stories are all so interesting and I learn so much! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    January 24, 2016
  6. The picture of you, hippo-like on the plane trying to balance to teeny tot on your diminished lap is at once heart-rending and hilarious. I’m not sure I could have born the sticky mango mush … I’m eager to know what became of it!

    Liked by 2 people

    January 24, 2016
  7. I love reading your stories! btw, thanks for the friend request on Facebook 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    January 24, 2016
    • I am so glad you liked my page that was so sweeet of you! Thanks so much, I am glad we are now fb friends as well!

      Liked by 1 person

      January 24, 2016
  8. As I said you do such a good job describing what is going on that I feel it on a visceral level. Where was “he”?

    Liked by 1 person

    January 24, 2016
    • He is in Saudi, he came last May which was awful! He doesn’t believe in divorce and has said he will drag me and my kids through the court system! So, I am just doing my best and raising my kids!After I left there were lots of threats, no support money, then a visit, reconciliation, separation, a marriage and baby, etc. you get the picture. He then left me alone for 18 months until last year! so its a roller coaster Bernadettte!

      Liked by 1 person

      January 24, 2016
  9. Lynz, I love reading what an incredible mom you are. You always inspire me. I adore you so much! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    January 24, 2016
  10. OMG My heart goes out to you. We are cut from the same cloth of endurance and not panicking too much. Be well my friend

    Liked by 1 person

    January 24, 2016
  11. As usual, you amaze me! Your story and your story telling take me with you on this journey. You have come such a long ways Lynn, I very much admire you. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    January 24, 2016
  12. What courage!!! And it sounds like your kids weren’t the ‘bouncing off the wall type’…. or were they? That’s one hell of a long flight….even without kids!!

    Liked by 1 person

    January 24, 2016
    • well yes they were typical kids and my oldest, well I could write a book on him hahaha he was quite active!

      Like

      January 24, 2016
      • I have no idea how you’ve done it all. I have twin sons… now 42… and that was all I could handle… and I was a ‘screamer’ at times!! LOL ; o )

        Liked by 1 person

        January 24, 2016
  13. As always, I’m sitting on the edge of my seat as I read your life story! The only saving grace is that I know this is all in the past. You and your children are safe and sound, at home, far far away from him.

    Liked by 2 people

    January 24, 2016
  14. Was “he” in country at this time? It’s unconscionable that he would leave his family in such peril and hardship! 😠

    Liked by 1 person

    January 24, 2016
    • He went to Saudi about 2 months before us, got the villa, um no furniture but got indoor outdoor carpeting black, and an old set of these pads from the swap meet. Yes he picked us up from the airport and took us to the villa. Then went to work the next morning so we were all alone, no food, a few bottles of warm water and the ice cream. He came home at one p.m. and brought a bag of rice, took a nap as he did every day and we sat. At the time I was so shocked and I was pregnant so I didn’t know what to do. no phones available in Saudi, no p.o. box, no windows, no where to sit, no appliance, no fridge or stove etc. and no way to go out to buy anything. So I slept all day jet lag and it was darn hot maybe 100 degrees. It was weird and I guess the perfect next step to isolate us.

      Liked by 3 people

      January 24, 2016
  15. Wow. You have a really amazing story. Thanks for sharing it!

    Liked by 1 person

    January 24, 2016
    • Thank you for reading it! This is the beginning that I am now reposting for those who are new to my blog! Thanks for reading, a new story will be on tuesday! I will pop over and visit you!

      Like

      January 24, 2016
  16. Great reading, Lynn. I love following along, it’s a fabulously interesting story you have to tell!

    Liked by 2 people

    January 24, 2016
  17. Lynn your amazing and you had very special children….I would of been heading back to the airport to go back home…..I bow down to you!!! kat

    Liked by 1 person

    January 24, 2016
  18. Where was “the man” of the house while you were going through this big move and change? “The man” is supposed to take care of his family. Wow… how short he fell. (okay, sorry, I really do try not to sound annoyed at him, but sometimes I just can’t help it, 😉 )

    Liked by 1 person

    January 24, 2016
    • He went 2 months before us, what the heck was he doing I have no idea!! He picked us up from the airport and took us there and that was that, end of his job. The honest truth is that he was never there for me or the kids. One of my older kids said they have no memories of doing any activity with him or him being around. He just wasn’t around, off with friends and off going places. My parents bought all clothing and household items. So, an easy family for him huh? No obligations or responsibilities!! By the way, he forced his second wife and child out as well, they had no place to live and he refuses to support them now! So, that is just who he is I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 24, 2016
      • Wow! What a lazy git. I hope he at least treats his mother with some respect as she’s living with him now. Oh, I so don’t like this man. He never let you spend any money because he always needed it to impress his friends. Karma really is going to bite him… and hard. Ugh.

        Liked by 1 person

        January 24, 2016
        • He is basically all alone! He has his little daughter there who is now 5 and I think he does see her each week now. His mom is about 85 years old and away from her kids and family in Syria. She hasnt seen them for maybe 4 years since she left. She is a tough lady so I think she can look out for herself. He has warned me time and again that Karma will get me and the kids will soon know the truth! what that means I do not know! xx

          Liked by 1 person

          January 24, 2016
          • It means he’s absolutely lost touch with reality and what’s right. I didn’t realize he was still in Syria though. Oh dear. :-/

            Liked by 1 person

            January 24, 2016
          • Sorry no he is in Saudi, his mom moved from syria to saudi! His family brothers aunts uncles are all in Syria. He used to visit syria but not since the war. He wanted to send his mom here to live with me and I would take care of her.

            Liked by 1 person

            January 24, 2016
          • Ohhh, okay, sorry, my confusion. But yes, he wanted to send her to you so he could shirk more of his responsibility, I’m sure. Okay, granted, she would be safer here, but how cruel to take her out of her homeland.

            Liked by 1 person

            January 24, 2016
          • Yes!!

            Liked by 1 person

            January 24, 2016
          • He didn’t provide for you yet he expects you to take care of his mother?! I’m not saying you shouldn’t, but hey you went through so much to be where you are now, all by your own efforts! And he freely dump his “burden” on you! He’s an a%#h@&%!

            Liked by 1 person

            January 26, 2016
          • I felt so so so bad but told him he could bring her and she could stay for a few months. This was when he was paying and we were speaking, two years ago. I told him I have no insurance for my children, no way to care for another person. I said I would help and she could come any time but I feared he would leave her and I would have another person to take care of, she has diabetes, needs care!

            Liked by 1 person

            January 26, 2016
          • The medical fees for diabetes is no joke. Did she come eventually?

            Liked by 1 person

            January 26, 2016
          • No, I offered many times and he said no until we quit speaking then he wanted to send her and would write me mysteriously saying he needed my house deed etc.! I actually offered to take her in the beginning. I also tried to help his two nephews and get them into school here to live with us etc. But nothing worked out. He does not do that kind of helping, paper work etc. so nothing ever comes of it!

            Liked by 1 person

            January 26, 2016
          • Phew! I wouldn’t want to have anything to do with such a person. You are a wonderful and kind lady. It’s his waste for not treasuring you.

            Liked by 1 person

            January 26, 2016
          • thanks dear! xxx

            Liked by 1 person

            January 26, 2016
          • 😘xoxoxo

            Liked by 1 person

            January 26, 2016
          • xoxo

            Liked by 1 person

            January 26, 2016
      • Oh my the truth is your children will know the man (Whimp) he really is…Now, I am really ticked off Lynz…His threats are meaningless! Absolutely useless he is-yes I said it!!! Hugs and Love to you always my friend Bestie 2 xoxoxoxo

        Liked by 1 person

        January 24, 2016
  19. I’m so glad you are re-sharing your earlier stories because I haven’t taken the time to go find them but don’t want to miss a word!

    Liked by 2 people

    January 24, 2016
  20. Hi Lynz…just reading what you went through makes me want to reach out and hug you! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    January 24, 2016
  21. Mama Lynz, you had a true Arabian adventure. Your stories are always heart pulling.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 24, 2016
  22. What a start for you and the kids Lynn… I did read this before, but good to get it refreshed.
    Big hugs to you, dear friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 24, 2016
  23. The resilience of the human spirit is unbelievable! That is, if you have any, because obviously he doesn’t. I pity his youngest child, at least the others have you and you managed to get them all out… The book could be in diary form, I think with a bit of help it would make fascinating reading. And you already have an audience!

    Liked by 2 people

    January 24, 2016
  24. Hard to comprend how a man who should love and cherish his wife and children could show such a callous disreqard for their welfare…..hugs xx

    Liked by 1 person

    January 25, 2016
  25. This is so hard to read Lynz. As a mom, I can’t imagine how heavy your heart must have been through these times. You are a warrior.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 25, 2016
    • I didn’t really think I guess it was just how it was and I had so many little children so I just tried to keep them safe and get things they needed. I had pillow fights in the mejalis, played soccer with them and we thought up silly games- I guess having no furniture there was allot of room to play games! But looking back it feels awful.

      Like

      January 25, 2016
  26. Oh! Lynn! I just wonder how did you manage everything…a pregnant woman, a strenuous long journey, no sleep… kids to be taken care of..no ac in such a hot weather. My respect ..your stories are so inspiring! … 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    January 25, 2016
  27. Hugs and love! 🌷🌷🌷

    Liked by 1 person

    January 25, 2016
  28. Wonderful series, Lynz. What a peek into a world I’ll never be able to visit.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 25, 2016
  29. I’m at least glad you felt safe letting the boys play on the roof and in the courtyard. I’m curious what you did for food… Can’t wait for your next post. And I can imagine the plane ride. I’ve traveled pregnant with a child on my lap too. Thankfully it wasn’t for a move!

    Liked by 1 person

    January 25, 2016
    • Thanks Sadie, just waited for him to arrive for his lunch around 1 and he brought a bag of mendi- saudi rice. Then just waiting for each time he came home. He slept until 3 then back to work, saudi schedule home at 9 pm. This is the traditional work schedule for saudis and all stores everything shuts down at that time.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 25, 2016
      • Wow, you had to wait in him for your food every day?

        Liked by 1 person

        January 25, 2016
        • we had no refrigerator or stove or cupboards! a big empty room with a sink and a counter! So, nothing to cook on or put food in. Then we got a used fridge and the a used stove etc. but many problems haha with the stove. so, it wasn’t until we moved to the compound that I could just go to the store with a bus driver! Thank God!!

          Liked by 1 person

          January 25, 2016
          • I remember you talking about your problems with electricity too! I knew it was a terrible situation, I just never thought about you having to be at his mercy for food (aka basic survival).

            Liked by 1 person

            January 25, 2016
          • I feel very guilty, you and I discussed that a long time ago! I did what I could, but really we had nothing as in nothing! Little to no medical care and he was unwilling to take us, limited food and no way to get out! no phones etc. It was bad, I try to be positive and matter of fact in my writing, but it was bad! We made do, I played in the mejalis we had pillow fights, I cut up a baby book (feel so bad) but we had nothing, so we colored on it and laughed and played! So, I tried but he would not give in and if I bugged him it meant big problems. I will post tomorrow where I am a little more bold! Thanks Sadie, you are one of my dearest and biggest supporters! xoxo much love to you, Owen and the kids!

            Liked by 2 people

            January 25, 2016
          • Much love to you too!

            Liked by 1 person

            January 25, 2016
          • Thanks!

            Liked by 1 person

            January 25, 2016
  30. Well that was certainly not the white picket fence that most newlyweds dream about when starting a family. You just described the beginning of your nightmare. Glad to see you on the other end of that today!

    Liked by 2 people

    January 25, 2016
  31. I can not imagine that flight, pregnant, with the kids to oversee, a baby on the lap and a baby inside. Oh lordy me. Well written. I look forward to the next.

    Liked by 2 people

    January 25, 2016
  32. What I like best about your stories is the sense of the deep love connecting you and your children. You let your children be children and gave them the best life you could. I’m glad you finally got angry. I experienced the power of clean pure anger that propelled me to divorce my first husband. He was not an awful person but I did not feel heard. I wanted to be free.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 25, 2016
    • I guess looking back I was so afraid and when I actually left him, he did threaten me and so my fears were for a reason!

      Like

      January 25, 2016
      • It must have taken an enormous amount of courage for you to leave. I’m so very glad you freed yourself. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        January 25, 2016
        • Honestly I was so afraid, but again it was the kids! My oldest daughter had passed the GED and he said she should get married!!! So she sat for two years and I promised her I would get her to the states and university, my other two who were 17 and 15 and told me they would not go back no matter what and they knew I would never leave them! So, I was very scared but I stayed! My daughter graduated with three majors and is now working on her Masters degree while working in admissions at our university! She would be married I am sure and sitting with no education or possibilities! So, the kids once again and my love for them, forced me to stay!!

          Liked by 1 person

          January 25, 2016
  33. Wow. It’s a complete other world Lynz. You are so brave for simply “getting on with it”
    I honestly take my hat off to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 26, 2016
  34. I really can’t imagine being 8 months pregnant, and sleeping in such conditions, and after such a long trip. Wow…..

    Liked by 2 people

    January 26, 2016
  35. And this was just the beginning to your nightmares!! You have endured so much dear, I’m so happy that it’s all in the past 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    January 26, 2016
  36. This has to be the cruelest homecoming I’ve ever read. He was basically acting like a jailer, and this was his family he was supposed to love? Unimaginable, truly.

    You’re such a good writer, Lynn, I hope you’re able to turn this into a book one day. People would definitely buy it.
    Have you heard of Blurb? (http://www.blurb.com/) You can create books with photos on line and sell them there too.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 26, 2016
  37. Lynn, I think I am still just shaking my head ! That was unacceptable, selfish, disrespectful and need I carry on ! Please excuse, the word, but the hell that man put you through…..unbelievable ! There is a saying that says…’Every dog gets his day’ I wonder whether he will get his day? xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    January 27, 2016
    • Well his second wife left him and his family was furious with him when he married her while still married to me, he was not welcome in many relatives homes! He has a child there who he sees but I don’t know much about his life. I do know he is missing out on these amazing children, amazing! Two little babies coming and so many important events! so, yes I think in the end you get back what you put in?

      Liked by 2 people

      January 27, 2016
  38. I cannot believe what you lived with and for so long! The picture of you pregnant and with your children and with so few resources was such a trial! And, he did take another wife?! Talk about culture shock! How did you manage???? And, to remain sane throughout this? Unbelievable!

    Liked by 1 person

    January 27, 2016
    • He did after I left him but he would not divorce and so it was 3 years of this and a baby immediately. She was 18 years younger, a career woman and had been married. He claimed that did not make it a second wife situation although he came here and we were trying to work things out and he then went back to her and his child, twice a year. We also talked daily. It was heartbreaking! that was honestly the hardest part and just the cherry on top of years of abuse!

      Liked by 1 person

      January 28, 2016
      • Yuck!

        Liked by 1 person

        January 28, 2016
        • It really well hmm I don’t know how to explain my feelings. He had told me constantly he would marry, as a joke. In my next segment I might post something I wrote, each time anyone talked to him in the end he would say, “bring me a second wife” so I had been humiliated for years hearing this, when he did it I just felt devastated! I was waiting for him to say–Lynn wow I am sorry you are a good person- instead he married and would not agree to divorce me! She left him after 3 short years but they are still legally married as well.

          Like

          January 28, 2016
  39. Lynz, doing all of this while being that far along in your pregnancy makes the story even more remarkable. You are such a brave devoted mother!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    January 27, 2016
  40. Thanks for posting Lyn. Look at how much interest their is in your story.

    Liked by 2 people

    January 28, 2016
    • Thanks Bernadette! I will now go over and visit people on Senior salon! I worked all day yeah and was gone from 8-4! so I did not get the chance to visit!

      Liked by 1 person

      January 28, 2016
  41. I remember reading one of your first posts on this and thinking is this a work of fiction and going back through to find out, you are such a strong lady

    Liked by 1 person

    January 29, 2016
  42. You must have been heartsick. Your descriptions are wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    May 19, 2016

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