Let it Be
July 26, 2019 – Victoria, B.C., Canada
Visiting relatives in Canada has given me time to rest, reflect, and just be. “Let it be” is something I’ve always aspired to, but never attained, so maybe it’s time to figure out why. Like many others, I grew up in a tumultuous household. My dad, no doubt unhappy with his life, stirred up whirlwinds of negativity wherever he went. Staunchly opinionated, quick to anger, and impossible to please, he’d quash any objections with a single word, “Nonsense.” If he couldn’t (or didn’t want to) answer our questions, he used a word he’d invented for that purpose, “entressman.”
But every situation has its moments of humor, and there are certainly some to be found in his behavior. A staunch atheist, he flew off the handle when I told him one day I wanted to go to church with my best friend, Nancy. He looked at me with that familiar scorn-filled expression. “They’ll fill your brain with rubbish,” he replied, but I went anyway. I’ve always been a rebel and his condemnation made me determined to go. Later, as I sat in that quiet, stifling place of worship, I wondered what all the fuss was about.
Shortly before leaving England, my dad decided to take us on a tour of Europe in his old 1942 Austin. Crossing the alps was our first ordeal. The car engine overheated, and we stopped often to cool it down as my father fumed. By the time we reached the top, the prized vehicle had become a noose around his neck and he couldn’t wait to get rid of “the bloody thing.”
Though he’d never admit it, my father was the stereotypical tourist, the type who is feared and despised by locals. Rather than make an embarrassing mistake, he’d resort to just about anything to avoid uttering a foreign word. On our trip, we stopped one night at an inn in rural Switzerland. We had just settled into our quaint little room, when the inevitable problem arose. “There’s no rubbish bin here. What kind of a civilized place is this?” (anything that didn’t fit my dad’s expectations could be classified as “uncivilized.”) A call to the front desk produced the maid, and he echoed his complaint, though it got him nowhere since she didn’t speak English.
My dad resorted to a rudimentary form of sign language, moving his right arm in an arc while gripping an invisible trash can with his left hand. It seemed to be working and the maid’s eyes lit up with renewed hope. She appeared minutes later with an object in her hand—a bottle of milk. Frustration darkened her face once more as she saw my father’s mounting anger. She returned with several different items, on the chance that one might work, until finally she hit upon the right one. Fortunately for her, we departed early the next morning.
Brent can’t join me in Canada—they have strict rules on admitting anyone with a DUI which is a felony up here. It’s possible to bypass, but it requires time and effort. My son can’t come here either, due to a 20-year-old felony conviction. He’s not a violent criminal, his conviction was for property damage in excess of $500—property damage perpetrated by his friend no less. It’s ironic that our so-called “justice” system commits so many injustices. Many of those charged, like my son, are forced into making plea bargain agreements which basically are admissions to crimes they haven’t committed—in other words, they’re lying in order to avoid the possibility of going to trial and getting convicted. For those unable to afford a “real” lawyer, there’s a strong possibility of conviction with public defenders who are overloaded with clients. But, as my son likes to point out, he got away with a lot during his teenage years, so maybe it was just karma coming back to haunt him.
I’ve been saying this for months, I know, but Arizona is getting closer every day. Brent will complete his 5-day work assignment on August 9th—then we’ll be free to leave. We’d like to sell some of our shells before that, so we have funds for our trip. After the 9th, we’ll head back to Joemma Beach for 10 days and hopefully sell stuff at the weekend swap meet. By the end of August, we should be out of here.
Meanwhile, I’ll do my best to work on “letting it be”—no drama, go with the flow, stay positive. My solution, up until now, has been flight—when the relationship won’t work, it’s easier to leave than work on my issues (not saying it’s all me, but I’ve certainly contributed.)
Arizona, here we come!