Tuesday, 26 April 2011

HAPPY EASTER, BUT NOT FOR SOME.

Easter is normally an exciting time of year for children. They eagerly look forward to all the chocolate and candy goodies that the Easter Bunny, a.k.a. mom or dad, brings to them. The weather in northern latitudes also improves dramatically, allowing them to play outside without bundling up like Arctic explorers. Then there's the days spent away from the routine of school. This period varies from one region to another.

In Deliverance From Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School), I wrote about how I not only was sent five-hundred miles from home to a residential school but I had to stay in the dorm over the Easter holidays three times. As this excerpt shows, I felt deeply hurt that one Alberta boy's parents sent him a plane ticket so he could go home while mine didn't.

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I faced another lonely Easter away from home with even more sadness in my heart than the previous year. I felt particularly grieved that Brian's parents paid for his plane ticket, allowing him to be with his loved ones. "Why couldn't Mom and Dad buy me a plane ticket home?" I kept asking myself.

My morale sank even lower when Mrs. Parker drove us to the airport one midnight to see Brian off. We all waved and said good-bye as our fortunate friend boarded the jet, each of us silently envying him. As our supervisor drove us back to Jericho, we discussed Brian's privilege of having an Easter vacation at home.

"Farmers must be rich since Brian's parents can have him sent home for Easter," I grumped. Mrs. Parker overheard and jumped on that remark. "You should be ashamed of yourself. Farmers aren't rich; Brian's parents love him. Don't you realize how much airplane tickets cost." Though she was right regarding farmers, I felt wounded due to her insensitive rebuke.

As we cruised through the dark rain-drenched streets, I pondered why my parents refused to buy me a ticket as well so I could leave for a few weeks. Did they not care at all about me?

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Deliverance from Jericho contains many more vignettes of what life was like in that government-run institution. These range from poignant experiences of homesickness to hilarious incidents of mischief. Click here to read more about this book and to order it. You may also e-mail me directly if the comment form doesn't work.