Do you remember that scene? Do you?
I was about seven years old the first time my father and grandfather told me about our family ancestor. You probably thought I was meant the closing scene from the Movie, Braveheart.
The movie was a DIFFERENT story. For me. Both when I was a child, and years later when I was a Sergeant in the US Army.
Just about ten days before I saw Braveheart, my RACIST room-mate decided to tell me he was a racist Muslim.
He was not kind enough for those words, so let me tell you the story.
I opened the door to our room. The smell of rotting paper hit me as I opened the door. The windows were opened to ‘air out’ the room. It made the open door into a wind tunnel.
I walked into my room and headed for my ‘corner.’ That was all he ‘could spare.’
I knew this arrangement was just supposed to last a few weeks. In reality, I knew that this would probably last till I got out of the Army. I was counting down my time.
The air was stifling. Not from heat, but the moldy smell of rotting paper.
I turned to try to squeeze into my corner of the room. I felt the pain shoot down my left leg. My knee quivered. And I was afraid my leg would give out, I would fall slight forward, and be extremely STUCK between my wall locker and my desk.
I turned to my left, and released my left hand straps, and dropped my pack on the corner of my desk. I looked at the opening to my corner. I looked at the one foot square tiles used for our floor. The opening was less than two feet into my corner.
Then I looked at the other corner which should have been used by both of us. That corner was stacked waist deep with used magazines and army ‘correspondence courses.’ They were wet, moldy, and musty. Twelve squares wide by over ten squares deep.
I counted that two-stacks of his wet books took up two and a half squares deep and two squares wide. I realized that these could be moved and I could at least get in to my corner safely. And without excessive pain.
I asked him if we could move just a few of his books that next weekend.
Have you ever looked evil in the face?
The nicest thing he said was, “You and all white people like you are the children of Satan. That is right, Satan is YOUR father.”
I turned towards him with my corner behind me. I couldn’t move backwards, because my back pack was on my desk.
I was attracted to his nativity scene. I had looked at it many times. I remember thinking, “How could this man have been my friend? How could this man claim the little Jesus in that crib. AND WHY IS THE JESUS so pale, and Mary and Joseph so black?”
I felt a hot poker burn into my forehead. I knew I had to get out of that room.
To this day, I thank God for the black NCO’s (Sergeants) in my chain of command (& auxiliary chain of command).
They were truly angels sent to protect me by God from above.
But, discussing them in this blog would take away from the movie.
Remember ten days?
By the time I saw the movie, I had turned myself in for professional counseling.
That hot poker in the front of my forehead? It was rage. Or, more accurately, PTSD burning itself in.
If I wasn’t careful, rage went from ZERO to about MACH 4 in about .5 seconds. People wonder why I avoid stupid things …. When stupid comes after you a couple of times, you learn to look for it and GET OUT OF THE WAY.
The movie was engaging. And it got my blood pumping. Remember? I grew up knowing this man was one of my ancestors. His clan and mine were on that field of battle together, some historians write we were the same clan – family.
Do you remember when he rode the horse into the bedroom? Do you remember the mace dropping?
I FELT THE MACE IN MY HAND as I stood and yelled, “YEAH!”
I felt the looks, but I really didn’t care at that point.
I sat back down.
And by the time we got to watch Wallace be disembowelled, yes they really did cut him in four pieces and send those pieces to the “four corners of the Realm.”
They thought that would calm my clan down.
Who knows if he really yelled, “Freedom.” He may have just yelled as they cut him into parts.l
But, Freedom is what my clan has fought for centuries.
Freedom to live with out name – legally.
Freedom from slavery – yes, we were sold to the colonies.
Freedom to believe in God – do you start to see where I am going?
My family made America into a great place to live. A place where Freedom was believed in.
Let us remember that.