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zaterdag, september 09, 2023

Let me tell you about my mother (a #story)

Let me tell you about my mother.
My mother is dead.
End of story.

But there's more. She was a feminist. Without calling herself one, without publicly burning her bra or shouting 'Women have rights too!' in marches.

She had a different approach. 
Like when her boss in the mid seventies sent her home: "You're wearing pants. That's not becoming of a woman. Go home now and return tomorrow wearing a skirt or a dress, as all women always should be dressed."

She returned to the office the next day. Wearing pants. Just like all her female colleagues she had called the night before. She ever so calmly did her job, not grinning or even with a defiant look. She just simply. .did.

She was an ever so sweet Indonesian lady. But don't cross her boundaries. I'm not only referring to a man in his forties who hit my then twelve years old brother and was last seen crying and running with a fork jammed in his buttocks but also to the incident with our pastor.

My mother, me and our parakeet in the arms of the pastor's wife.

He had beautiful sermons about how the God of Love loves all people and Jesus never said: "Love thy neighbour. Except when they're black, poor, foreigners, homosexuals or in any other way differ from you."

The poor guy made the mistake of kicking his daughter out of the house when he found out she was a lesbian. My mother heard about it through the gossiping in church where she was an Elder.

She set up a meeting with the pastor at his home. Under the guise of helping him write his next sermon. And she did. Nine years old me was there and only later, as an adult, understood I had witnessed a historic event. 

Without raising her voice but with a look that would make the Devil wet his pants had he been wearing any, she calmly told him: "In this Sunday's sermon you will tell the congregation that you are a hypocrite and tell them exactly why. Then you will invite your daughter and her girlfriend over for dinner and apologize. Only if it's a good apology and she accepts, can we ever be friends again."

This was only one of the stories of my mom. Who I dearly loved and often miss.

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