November 17, 2009

7 Years Old

When I turned 7 years old for reasons that I still don't know (maybe it was because I no longer needed treatment?) I returned to Mama Santos care. I LOVED IT! I must have been there for a week or so when we received a visitor that later turned out to be my biological grandfather. He felt that since he was in El Salvador now (had just left the USA after living here for 10 years) he should take care of me and not his brother or wife (Papa Cheyo and Mama Santos).

I went over to his farm (across the street from Mama Santos) and was enrolled in school. My grandfather had more structure than Mama Santos although he hit me only once in the whole year I spent with him. The reason: I lied that a letter in my backpack wasn't mine when in reality it was. Some boy had slipped it in to my bag and I read it later but didn't discard it. I got two or three (hard) belt to the bottom or back can't remember. He explained to me that I was getting hit not because of the letter but because I lied. NEVER lied again.

Anyway living with my grandfather was fun I had A LOT of responsibilities but they were fun. Like I was responsible for putting the baby chicks and the mama hen in to boxes and they would be taken inside our house. That way no stray dog, cat or coyote would eat them and they would be safe from the cold. It was so fun because I had to run around after cute chicks and their mother would chase me to leave them alone. Somehow I never injured any chicks although the same can't be said about me. *shakes fist at mama hen*
Most of the chickens actually sleep in trees because chicken outhouses don't keep the predators out and it cost too much to build. So this is a good example.

Once the baby chicks learned how to get up the trees (mama hen would teach them) I didn't need to chase them any more. Some of my other favorite activities was to wake up right before dawn and watch as my grandfather would tie the cow to a post and milk her. Reason I loved it was because the baby calf would be tied next to the mama and I could pet it as long as I wanted to.

I didn't have any medical problems during this time and I had tons of fun. My grandfather had a maid to come clean and cook for us since I was so young and he wasn't married. She was a cool person until one day she asked me to gather up all the chicks because a storm was coming. I did the best I could but for some reason I couldn't find one. So she hit me with an open palm and I just started crying my eyes out. I don't know how my grandfather heard my scream but that man was in front of us in a flash. He had been in the field and was demanding to know why I had been hit and why she felt she had authority to do it. He fired her on the spot and didn't want to hear any excuses.

She was so desperately poor that her family came to beg for her job back as she was the main provider in her family. My grandfather thought it over and asked me how I felt about it. I told him I didn't mind so he gave her the job back. She never mistreated or hit me again. Alhamdulillah.

My grandfather taught me the time tables. He would jump out from the bushes and ask "whats 9 times 12?!" and I had just seconds to respond. My mind was so sharp then because it was constantly getting exercise. He was very proud of me and proud at how fast I could learn and how I could recall it whenever he asked. I never told him about what happened to me. I actually forgot during the year I spent living with him. May Allah swt bless him with iman. ameen.

3 days before my 8th birthday I arrived in the USA. One of the last things I remember is me trying to pack this barbie doll I had received as a gift and my grandfather telling me that I wasn't coming to America to play, at least not with my mother. He was so right.


Stacy aka Fahiima said...

Your grandfather's presence in your life is probably one of the reasons you were able to trust men again in the future.

AlabasterMuslim said...

I agree with SAF. That probably contributed to you being able to trust men one day. Inshallah he will become muslim! Your grandfather seems very cool. Do you keep in contact with him?

aminaspolyblog said...

Ameen to Salma's duaa. I read your other entry and subhanAllah it broke my heart :(
I don't know you, but I love you for the sake of Allah swt *hugs*