How My Late Mother Saved Me and Others from HELL (i.e., HAITI)
So, once upon a time, I was 13 years of age, and I happened to have had the most wonderful Mother in the World. She was so beautiful… I mean, she was just gorgeous… She was noble, prestigious, wise, a great listener and extremely clean-natured… I have never seen a stain on my Mother’s garments nor smell my Mother’s body or breath once… so gorgeous inside and out, with such serenity, grace, and both inner and outer beauty that I always looked forward to waking up just to see my beautiful Mother again. I had never gotten into an argument with her once, something that I also transferred into my relationship with my children (respect, love, and harmony as opposed to vain arguments... so far, so good... her legacy continues). In a nutshell, There was a feeling in me and in so many others that she could have saved the World if and only if she could have spoken to the World at large. While my Father was wise in his own ways and very ethical and principled and certainly a family man, he was never a great listener. He was rather altruistic and at times to the demise of his family he would give more to others than he should have.
My late Mother had a tough past. She was about 10 when her Mother died. My Grandmother was killed/poisoned by her best friend. She was a biracial/mixed lady, who although was illiterate like so many Haitians are, was a genius businesswoman. My grandmother had one of the nicest grocery stores in her area, but because she was gorgeous with natural long silky hair she stood out and had to hide her features as best as possible to fit in. Little did she know, she would have died at the demise of her best friend who envied her success… I don’t think my Mother ever quite forgave my Grandmother, and even though someone else had caused her demise, my Mother always appeared to feel that she was too trusting and would often mutter things about her Mother that indicated much psychological scars. She was a very spoiled little girl and was extremely particular. It was as if she were saying, how could you be so trusting? Needless to say, my Mother never quite fully trusted anyone anymore neither did I. We learned about Haitian voodoo and the harsh realities of being Haitian with my Mother losing her Mother (or I losing my Grandmother)… My Grandfather was a ladies’ man, and my Mother always reminded me to be careful because I was genetically tied to him, and she was right correct to have so asserted. She was never impressed about her darker-skinned Father. Not because of his skin tone, but rather because of his substance as a person. His man interest was the ladies and not his family. Thus, I don’t know too much about him.
Following my maternal Grandmother’s death, my Mother was so distraught that she slept on her Mother’s tomb for nearly six (6) months every night, and even though her Godmother was supposed to have taken care of her, that person ended up being just another voodoo priestess who was trying to use my Mother to effectuate her Witchcraft. Accordingly, my Mother escaped from that country-side to the City of Port-au-Prince, where she was introduced to a family in an area called “Cite Militere” (“Military City”), where she was rescued/hired/adopted by a wonderful Military family called the “CEDIEU” family. She became a daughter, mother, sister, and best friends for them and their children and from there on my late Mother started in her journey in life. It is there that she was convinced to unwillingly date my Dad who was a friend of the military family. She preferred to have male friends because she hated to gossip and she always preferred sons over daughters and she only had two sons.
Although, she had only gone to design/seamstress school for a short time and quit, and had never graduated from High School, she perfected her craft and was a genius designer in her days, and designed clothes for children and adults and also designed and created wedding gowns and had her own haute-couture shops for many years in Port-au-Prince. She had also help take care of her younger Brother, and went on to take care of countless orphan girls in orphanages that she and my Dad directed. As a child, there were countless people that came to see her and my Father and they never seemed to stop helping. The doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, educators were all our friends, and my parents went on to becoming one of the most respected people in Port-au-Prince both principles-wise and class wise. My Father was revered and respected for his heart for the poor, I recall him helping guys who were pushing carts push their carts off the road while he was in his suits. My mother’s grace was limitless… her neighbors would line up when she finally exited the Lorins residence as she was always graceful, beautiful, an exquisitely dressed.
MY MOTHER AS THE ULTIMATE RESCUER
So, it was 1986… Haiti was a WAR ZONE… I mean literally. After Baby Doc (Jean-Claude Duvalier) was ousted, all his militia members were being beheaded, attacked and their houses were being looted or burnt… the sounds of gunshots was a regular occurrence. Tires were being burnt all over… the place was a MESS and it still is unfortunately.
Anyhow, I recalled hearing the sound of gunshots while I was in school and recall feeling the classroom shake because whoever was doing the shooting was using heavy artillery in a close proximity. I HAD ENOUGH. One day, after my Dad came to grab me from school yet again because the country was so dangerous, I spoke to my Mother about leaving Haiti. I was only 13 years of age. She asked me: “where do you intend to go SON”?
MY ANSWER – I want to leave for America and will write a letter to my AUNT to ask her to allow me to come live with her. And so I did, and my AUNT (the other HERO in my life who also had inherited my Grandmother’s entrepreneurial spirit and was a very successful merchant who had built her own Cathedral-like property) agreed. She is MY HERO because she didn’t have to. She was living in a small apartment with so many others and had no room for another person, but she loved me, and I recalled vacationing at her house as a young boy, and even though she could be tough lady, I loved her, and I knew she had so much LOVE in her heart for me and others. I knew their story and knew that like my Mother, they had a tough life, but despite losing their Mother, they each crafted a life of success for themselves, proving that ONE cannot kill GENIUS... it gets passed down gene-rationally like seeds from a tree.
So, just like that, my mother who was an orphan that rescued other orphans was now the person who was going to rescue her own son… a conspiracy was created against my Dad’s will to have me vacation in the States and stay there indefinitely… It’s been the best vacation of my life and STILL THE BEST DECISION OF MY LIFE. At a time when my Mother lost a young church member who was close to her, she was depressed. There were also several people who came from the United States to stay with my parents while they awaited their green cards. My parents are still the most hospitable people that I know about. I am not that hospitable (LOL).
Thus began my journey in the United States. And of course it wasn’t easy to adapt or assimilate. The culture shock was apparent. I didn’t have the right articles of clothing, or attitude or style or mindset or language… it felt as if I were a misfit. I didn’t fit among Black Americans, nor did I fit among Jamaicans and Whites. So, for two years I cried because I missed my Mother, but I was determined NOT TO RETURN TO HELL. Thus, even after my FATHER came to get me to return to Haiti, I cried and resisted and ended up staying in the land of the FREE.
You see, in Haiti, the only thing that was certain was uncertainty. At a moment’s notice one’s World could just collapse. At times, the police is also the culprit and relatives of the governments have been known to have been implicated in crimes… Presidents have been mass murderers… and with that in mind, it took me decades to accept that despite its past triumph over the FRENCH during a brutal fight, Haiti’s violent nature never left it, and Haiti, which has lost so many of its brightest folks has for the most part become A LAND OF IDIOTS and HELL!
I recall her approaching MILITIA (Tonton Macoutes) MEN at their homes with no weapons (except her wisdom)... MEN that made others tremble... YET she succeeded in preventing them from confronting my more HOT-HEADED FATHER...GENIUS!
My mother was always a VOICE OF REASON in the family room. She never lost her 'coolheadedness". She can make a World War appear to be just another day in paradise... and even as she fought for her life against cancer, she displayed more grace than most people (including myself) do on a regular day. Her serenity is still unmatched. YESTERDAY, as I listened to family members that offered NO VOICE OF REASON, I just wish my MOTHER would have still been around because even in disagreement, she would have brought calmness and certainty. WISDOM cannot be bought... Coming from a NATION OF HOT HEADS, she displayed the very opposite... She was a stranger in her own nation, and had the heart of an angel. I would have loved to have had ONE LAST CONVERSATION with her especially after YESTERDAY b/c the last 5 ones were SO DARN GOOD. I can only imagine what she would have told me about YESTERDAY... because for a moment, I felt like I was in HELL (Haiti) again, where I never want to return again for reasons that I have already mentioned and for other unmentioned ones as well.
HAITI was already a politically and infra-structurally-hellish, but as if that was not enough, it was HIT by a massive Earthquake recently, which practically induced it to become "HELL ON EARTH". Accordingly, if you ever want to tell someone to go to HELL… save your breath, because until HAITI and HAITIANS change their mentality, Haiti may as well be synonymous to HELL!
One last thing… Her love for GOD was amazing. She prayed 3 times a day... and if my Dad taught me about a lot about FAITH, she taught me so much about respect, prayer and GODLINESS. THANK YOU MOTHER FOR SAVING ME FROM HELL… I ADORE YOU FOREVER… THANK ABOUT EVERYDAY… I AM EVERYTHING I AM BECAUSE YOU LOVED ME ENOUGH TO DEPRIVE YOURSELF OF ME TO SAVE ME FROM HELL!