Inheritance (uncles and daughters!)
A close friend of my dad’s passed away last week. Not only was the news shocking, they were also very upsetting. His death came unexpectedly. He was preparing a salad alone at home, when he had a heart attack. He was found a few hours later, with his tomato half cut, and the tap water still running.
His death brought many thoughts to my mind; among them is that he left a young wife and three daughters to struggle with life alone. I always thought one of the reasons for getting married is that I wanted my husband to grow old with me… (This will sound tacky and mushy.) But my illusions about marriage revolved around wanting my husband to tell me I am pretty in my forties, when men no longer try to flirt with me. To need me in my fifties, when my children are independent and no longer need me, to be my companion in my sixties when I am too old to make new friends, and to be kind and tender with me in my seventies, when it is the only thing that really matters… and of course for the taboo sex as well. I realized that it just does not work like that… Here is this woman in her forties… she must have had similar illusions, when she first got married, but ended up losing her illusions in a split of a second. (I am not saying that women get married only for these reasons…we get married for love, companionship, children, stability, freedom from society’s tyranny, , sexual frustration, bank accounts, status, power, family name, loneliness,… and many other many reasons but this is not our topic)
This lady is still in her forties. As a mother of three young ladies… and a woman who had been married for almost twenty years…. well… lets be honest here, her chances of meeting someone to be tender in her seventies ( A number that is still thirty years away) are a bit less than zero! In all cases… it will be considered inappropriate for her to remarry, let alone have any form of a relationship with a man.
Tomorrow her daughters will all get married, or find their paths in life, and she will be left alone… The sad truth is that woman has been condemned to loneliness and isolation the moment her husband died. ( not that this is the issue now, I am sure she is too sad to even think about food … so of course she is not thinking about these intellectual exercises I am applying here… I mean she might never even want to leave the house again, let alone thinking about marriage or men or anything of the sort… I am just arguing a hypothetical case here.)
I just remembered someone I met while living in the states. A sixty something man, who was moving in with his fifty something girlfriend… they were both widowed. They met, fell in love with each other and moved in together. This makes me wonder… How come society in the west is kinder and more merciful to people? How come standards in our society are too high for our own good? How come society does not acknowledge our needs for intimacy, love and companionship as human beings?
(I am reading The Citadel Children by Ziad Al Qasem these days… and I just came upon a character whose son in at the university and had just been widowed… the point where I stopped yesterday is that someone came to ask the son for his mother’s hand… so maybe widows chances are more than zero?)
Let’s forget this long term thought and get to more pressing issues. This woman does not work, and the only source of income until last week had come from her husband’s work… however this is not a problem since her husband made enough money to permit her and their high school daughters to live comfortably. During his life, he also sustained his old mother and supported his brothers and their families … (They are not as comfortable as he was)
The question is: what happens now to the wife and daughters when the uncles come and take the money? They might not be forced to go hungry, or work for living or any of those horrific stories that we hear about every day of our lives…. no… But with that percentage gone, they will no longer be able to afford the comfortable life that their father spent his entire life (literally) sweating so that they can have.
His work, all his dreams for them, will have to be compromised because they are not boys or at least none of them is a boy…well… of course the idea behind this law is that their male folk are supposed to see that they are well taken care of, this is why they take their money…. however in this case, their men folk are barely making ends meet… and have enough on their plates to chew…. and this money would not help anyone, once it is distributed this way, but would have made a difference for the daughters.
Ok will stop now, to go work a bit more on our Zoo… I am not sure, who is enjoying the collage more… my nephew or myself! So far we have a lion, a sheep (which is supposed to be the lion’s food… only it is too cute to be eaten by the lion) two Zebras ( a mother and a baby) one Giraffe and one huge glittery Elephant!