Thursday, May 13, 2010

Honoring the Women (Part III)

I have to show this picture for its imperfection and quirky story behind it which led to her eventual life mate. This is my mother at the age of 17 in Indonesia (1935). She had many suitors in her day and each one proved to be to her dissatisfaction. Originally, this picture had another person in it, her beau at the time. I believe he was standing to her left (our right). Well, she decided she did not like him any more because he was too bossy, snoopy and too tall and he hovered over her constantly. She broke up with him. In the meantime, the picture was already developed. So when she received the final picture, she took her scissors and cut out his image (pre-photoshop).

Why is this honor worthy ? Because she was true to herself. Despite her flaws, she was always genuinely herself. You got what you saw. I hope I am like that. You cannot pretend to be someone you are not because at some point the truth will come out. She came from a pseudo-aristocratic colonial background and married my father late in life. He was Indonesian. He was a champion boxer in his day. He was a tough KNIL (Royal Netherlands East Indies Army) soldier. He was a former POW. In a colonial social hierarchy the color of one's skin determines the treatment one receives. He was dark brown. She was light-skinned. He stole her heart and for whatever reason, out of all the suitors he fit the bill. They faced many challenges which are beyond comprehension today and even divorced from each other, two times. As teenagers, we attended their second wedding ceremony. However, they remained committed to their children and to each other as parents. There was so much history between them that it functioned as the glue. In the twilight of their years, they lived only 5 American freeway minutes apart.

She was true to herself.

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