First visit to Damascus

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Picture of Osama on our visit to see in-laws, 1988. I came across this picture recently and it brought back so many memories.

Osama was only 8 months old when I decided to travel to Damascus. I was 2 months pregnant with my second child and having horrible morning sickness. He did not tell his parents that he had married me or that we had a child. So, when Osama was a few months old he told his brother, who then informed the family. They were upset and furious and wanted nothing to do with us!

They told him they would never be happy about this decision and that was that. Being the stubborn person that I am in such issues, I insisted on traveling there and making them see that I was a good wife and mother. He dropped us off at the airport in Seattle and when he arrived home received a letter saying, Β please do not send this lady she does not know the language or culture and it just won’t work! It was too late we were already on our way! Β I spent 5 weeks with them. The night before I left my father-in-law sat with me and told me, “Um Osama (mother of Osama) we love you and accept you! I am glad I put in the effort and when tough times came my mother-in-law stood by the kids and I!

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122 thoughts on “First visit to Damascus

  1. What a cute picture of Osama! Brave women to travel with a toddler and pregnant to meet in laws who were not happy about your marriage. They must have seen what a great person and mother you were as you turned there views right around! Good on you.

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    1. Well, when we moved here and stayed he told everyone he was paying helping me, being a great guy. When he married his second wife, I got up my nerve and called his mom, his brothers. At first she was snotty to me, thought I left him etc. I told her in my broken arabic what had happened, he told everyone I was ok with him marrying! So, she cried all day and night(her nephew informed me) and was very upset with him, instructed him to PAY, buy a home, make things right! Two of his brothers told me they would help me in any way possible and were furious with him for abandoning us!

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      1. As you know Syria is a very poor country and so I never took them up on it. Having been there many times I have seen, the basic thing we take for granted would not even be available there such as a dishwasher, carpeting, cheap fruit and meat. I insisted he got an air conditioner for a sister in law, insisted on bringing clothing etc. so they are in big need but just the idea of caring made me happy. My brother in law told me he does not agree with anything that his brother has done and that he is furious with him! That is a huge thing in the middle east as you must stick by your family. so, just the idea that they feel bad and care is enough. My mother in law insisted he cooperate with me and purchase a home, she put her motherly push on him. He has not paid now for a year and she is living with him but I really do not want to call her or get into that again. I am free and just want to try to raise the kids without his help! I really have no contact with them and have not for several years.

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      2. The honesty and common sense that you display in recognized who has what, is a true testament to your character. I can imagine that it was a HUGE balm to your bruised soul, to have his mother & brother see your side of the story. We can only pity wife #2, eh?

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      3. It really made me feel better. I spent those months feeling the worst ever, thinking he would just go marry a lady 18 years younger after coming to see me, begging me to come back, then months later an email saying he was married, 9 months later a baby! It really put me so low! So, hearing that they were mad did help! She knew he was married, didn’t care basically, she is an architect, successful, had money, left her little boy in Syria and basically said she knew but thought I didnt care. I really struggled with this for so long, it hurt me more to think some other woman would not care at all for me or my kids. My kids visited and said she was quite tough and they fought endlessly!!! she finally left him, so all of that drama and hurt for nothing.

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  2. Wow…I know it’s been awhile (I’ve been having some site related issues) but I love what you’ve done to the place! There has been a lot of changes since I’ve last visited and it looks wonderful! You are a brave woman for going into hostile territory like that Lynz…and you won them over! That speaks volumes to the confidence you had going into the relationship!

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  3. Oh, Lynn, I admire you! I don’t know if I have had the courage to go there and meet them. It was great that you did and they even stood by you. But I am not surprised, you just capture hearts, dear!
    Btw. I like the new look of your blog!

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      1. You can still change again to something else. I understand that well. Sometimes you just need a change… Thought about changes of my site too but that needs time I don’t have at the moment. But you have made that idea spinning in my mind again…lol!

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    1. Thanks Sarah! My mom has told me for years when I get frustrated with anything or anyone, “Be your personal best do not care about what others do” I used to get so irritated and think who cares, but I did as she said. I do believe it pays off.

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  4. A brave decision, and the result is that all these years later you have their good wishes. It does not need to be material support to have meaning for your and your children. (K)

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    1. He could not go for years! He had left and was supposed to go back into the army but did not. He did not go back for maybe 15 years. So I made a few trips alone so his family could see the children. I went after my 6th child was born, a newborn, 6 kids along. It was not easy but I felt bad, wanted them to see their grandkids. He did not encourage us to go, I think it was the isolation factor of abuse! his family always questioned, pushed for us to have things, go places! Abusers want you alone, scared and no contact with others. xxx

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  5. Wow, I am glad they came around Lynn! What a wonderful gesture to go all the way there with a child and being pregnant. I can’t believe he hid you from them for so long.

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  6. This is so heart warming to know. It was a very bold decision on your part, must have taken a lot of effort and strength. Every family deserves a daughter in law like you. You’re an inspiration, dear one. God bless the family. πŸ™‚

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  7. This just shows dear Lynz when armed in love as you were then to make your family union complete, all things are possible. Plus it also shows those who have a perceptions before getting to know some one, should really get to know a person before labelling them . This in the end worked out as your Mother and Father-in-law accepted you for YOU.. And how in the end your Mother-in-law would support and help you and your children.
    Thank you for sharing that part of your story Lynz.. A remarkable journey you undertook, not knowing then how your life would take shape.

    Love and Blessings
    Sue xxx

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  8. I’m glad you felt support from them. How brave you were to go there by yourself! And I’m glad you had their support through the difficulties, that’s good for your children to have too. πŸ™‚

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