Full circle

 

2005

I pulled up ragged black pants and entered the hallway looking for any signs of movement. The children had gone to play and laughter could be heard from the downstairs window. I peeked outside and saw the girls pushing Heme on a large blue bike, back and forth around the tiny housing area. A simple road looped from the parking lot around the tiny compound, passing by the pool and villa. Dishes were still stacked in the sink and bits of egg shell lay strewn on the counter. I dipped a sponge in soapy water and wiped the counters then moved onto sweeping and clearing the table. Sun peeked through the shades that he had purchased from the as is section. They were plain, neat and sterile, the perfect mirror of our existence. Several pictures had been placed on the wall before a return to the old rules and still stood as a testament of hope for the future.  It had been over a decade since we arrived to Riyadh and it seemed as if things had come full circle.

His refusal to pay rent in the previous living space was met with water and phone services being shut off and eventually eviction. He would not accept substandard living and until management agreed to renovate our unit, rent would be withheld. After our trip to drop the boys at University we shifted our residence for the sixth time and arrived once again to an empty home.  Boxes lined the walls and jet leg kept us on a schedule of night time wakefulness. Pad sitting for the floor had been purchased and enabled us to sleep with partial comfort. This villa was equipped with AC,  refrigerator and stove. Although little had changed there had been small improvements from our dismal beginnings and every little bit did count.

I hurried my pace and washed dishes clanking and rinsing, knowing that he would soon emerge to chat and inspect. This was his third time being unemployed and would last a full 12 months just as the other two times had. He walked through the hall and into the living room where a couch, love seat and dining room table had been positioned. Every few days he made his way to a large store and looked through remnants of broken or discontinued items. A rickety clanking from the communal shopping cart could be heard as he carted a table, chairs and couch, making several trips back and forth to the car. We stood in the bare room helping him piece together whatever he had procured all the while relieved to have another addition to this stark environment.

I was happy to have the boys away from life in Riyadh but missed their presence and the shift from a family of 11 to one of 9 had proved difficult. They were my two best friends and confidantes but I could not longer stand to have them stifled, living in a place where they were not welcome, foreigners in every way. I was reminded daily of my betrayal and my utter lack of respect when I insisted on sending his boys away to the United States. His words could be heard each time any problem cropped up, inquiring if I was happy that I had thrown his boys away into the garbage.

 

73 thoughts on “Full circle

  1. Lynn, I sometimes wonder if your children read your blog. You see, I had no kind of father – although I certainly had someone who biologically ‘contributed’ – and your children didn’t either. I wonder what they must think, reading these entries. I know they lived it but I hope they realize that parents should want the very best for their children and it is obvious that you certainly did and still do.
    Keep writing – your story should be shared and celebrated. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I know that you never believed that you were throwing your boys away, I know you were saving them. your the most giving and loving mother I know. Great story, I am just so sorry that you had to endure this mans wrath against you for so long, but I must say you raised a wonderful group of children ! Best mama bear around. I am so happy you are doing well and just keep telling yourself you are in charge of your life and no onw, and I mean no one, especially him, can take that from you. Never let anyone step on your happiness ever again. Love all the pictures. XXXXXXXkat

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Lynn, your strength in the midst of great challenges, shines through in your writing. Love how you were always advocating for your children at school with physical punishment, getting them sent to college in the USA or doing above and beyond every day, despite the obstacles. Keep writing!!!! XOXO

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Senior Salon Roundup Post: March 26 – 30, 2018 | The Recipe Hunter

  5. So good to see your posts again! I don’t know what happened,but I was wondering why I hadn’t seen anything from you. Apparently WordPress messed up and I wasn’t seeing your posts.
    Anyway You are one Amazing Mom!! The things you did for your children even when you knew you would suffer for it! You put them first! (((HUGS))) to you and so glad that you are writing your story. I know it will inspire many!

    Liked by 1 person

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