Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Day Forty-three JBM - Reunion

Every year the Southern Baptist Missionaries from Japan get together and have a reunion. About twenty years ago, I started joining them. As time went by, more and more MK's started coming and we have made this a tradition in our lives.

Tomorrow, we all gather again, to re-unite. We have some coming from California, Virginia, North Carolina, Texas, New Mexico, Tenessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana and many other places. Often it reminds me of the movie, Same Time Next Year with Allen Alda and Susan Sarandon.

We'll be together from Thursday until Sunday and then on Sunday evening, my two sisters and I will stay together to rest and debrief about the weekend. I look forward to the reunion with my non-blood cousins. Although, often I feel closer to them that any of my blood cousins.

So, while we all wait........... I'll be reunioning.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Day Forty-two Fire flies

What happened to lightning bugs? or Fire Flies?

When I was growing up we used to catch fire flies. They would light up the late summer sky and light the way to where ever we were going. We would capture them in a jar and release them in the morning. I don't see fire flies much any more. I wonder why the environmentalist don't worry about fire flies. They seem to be creatures lost in the eco structure.

I watched a movie tonight called Hounddog. I've never seen it before. It's about an eleven or twelve year old girl, growing up during the 60's, during Elvis's era, her life without a mother, a father who was absent and grandmother who thought sin abound.

She loved Elvis. She loved to sing and she wanted to be noticed. Her father was often gone and when home brought home different women. One day while he was home he got struck by lightening and LouEllen (named after her dad and mother) had to take care of him.

Her best friend was a young boy who she taught how to swim. He introduced her to an older guy who ended up raping her after bribing her with a ticket to an Elvis concert. He wanted to see her sing "Hounddog" but insisted on her doing it without any clothes on. They were in a barn, no one else was around and he proceeded to rape her after she sang the song. She was only twelve.

Although the movie was set in a different place and a different setting than my life, I could relate to her to some degree. She was alone, left to her own thoughts, she loved Elvis and his music and she basically took care of herself.

Many children are left to take care of themselves. Look at the many children who are in poverty, who grow up without fathers. Who are born of children themselves. Many of the people I work with on a daily basis are babies raising babies. There are many true stories that are much more horrific than mine.

To be sure, I was not alone. My parents loved me, although at the time they didn't know they were leaving me to be subject to an abuser. And because I knew they loved me and because I wasn't abused by them, I believe I was able to get beyond the things I experienced. Once I was able to get beyond that, I was able live life to its fullest. "You always gotta make good of what can poison you."

Oh well, I'm tired and so weary
But I must go alone
Till the lord comes and calls, calls me away, oh yes
Well the morning's so bright
And the lamp is alight
And the night, night is as black as the sea, oh yes

There will be peace in the valley for me, some day
There will be peace in the valley for me, oh Lord I pray
There'll be no sadness, no sorrow
No trouble, trouble I see
There will be peace in the valley for me, for me

Well the bear will be gentle
And the wolves will be tame
And the lion shall lay down by the lamb, oh yes
And the beasts from the wild
Shall be lit by a child
And I'll be changed, changed from this creature that I am, oh yes

There will be peace in the valley for me, some day
There will be peace in the valley for me, oh Lord I pray
There'll be no sadness, no sorrow
No trouble, trouble I see
There will be peace in the valley for me, for me

And we waited............

Monday, October 19, 2009

Day Forty-one - Waiting

As we waited for a response we still received emails and communications from different people. I remember receiving a call from a friend of mine who I was really close to during my seventh and eighth grade years but her family left to go on furlough our ninth grade year and my family went on our sophomore year and we ended up growing apart. Evidently, she was probably being abused the same time as me but we didn't even know it. Then, when she returned back to Japan after furlough her family moved about two hours away from ASIJ so Jack convinced her parents to let her live with him.

During her high school years, she lived with Jack in Mitaka and he basically treated her as his wife. I can't believe her parents allowed their daughter to live with a teacher 30 years her senior and didn't suspect a thing. When I talked to her in 2003 she was ready to go to Japan with Michele and me. She was furious. He had been in touch with her later, trying to convince her to come back to Japan and actually marry him. I found out that he did that with several different people. At the time, she shared with me that she was still struggling with relationships because of him. Does that surprise you?

Also, while we waited, we heard from people who were furious with us. Why are you doing this? I don't believe you. You are lying. If he was going to choose anyone it would have been me. And on and on we heard denial and accusations. One of the reason why people who have been abused have such a hard time coming out is because of fear of rejection. Well, we got our share, trust me. But we also got our share of affirmation and encouragement. Our determination and support from each other and others really helped us continue to make sure he would not work with children anymore.

Still waiting.........

I talked to someone today........she was another....... never told anyone....... really don't know how many.....before today, no one knew.

Sunday, October 18, 2009