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Charles' Stories Stories by Charles Croes, true Aruban :)

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Old Saturday, May 14th, 2011, 12:47 AM
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Sitting in his parlor room, he looked off to the side. Almost a stare but yet there was an intensity and a glimpse of loneliness that made up his stare. His right hand mindlessly scratched his left one. The fluidity with which he did that assured it was not a reaction but instead a habit. He stared and scratched and muttered softly to himself - "Tanto - Asina tanto" "So much - So very much". Hardly had his lips stopped moving than there was a slight knock on the door, He inhaled and stood for a second, then sat back down and said "Please come in my children" "Drenta muchanan"

His children sat scattered but all eyes and ears were on him. He leaned over and touched one of them on the face, something he enjoyed doing. Then he let them know that he loved them so much. "I see parts and pieces of me in all of you. I am so proud and thinking of you gives me peace and tranquility during some difficult times. As he said this, his hand aimlessly scratched the other. Lifting his head so that he could look at each one in the eyes - he said

"I am your father and I am so very proud of that. I live for you and you are the fiber of my soul, yet something has happened, and I must share it with you." He looked down and then up again and stared much like he had before. Then continued. "I am the father of many other children and of their parents and many other people that live here. I will always be their father. I think that this will be the case even after I am no longer alive. I have adopted a small country. Not on purpose but it just happened. I believed in something and it has just grown and grown. I am stunned at the people that call me their father. And my children, this is affecting me because I feel that this will grow and shortly I will be the father of even more children. They have listed to me and now they are calling me to be there for them. If I do not do this, I will have let down a country. If I do listen to their cries, it will mean less time at my home and I will have let you down. Understand for me please that I never knew, I never anticipated, that it would be so much. So very much of a sacrifice. I have given my soul to people I do not know and in the process have taken precious time away from those I love so dearly."

The children let him know that they understood and that is was OK - PA"

He scratched his hand once again and he smiled his school teacher smile then cried. Not an outward cry but the cry that is from within - the one that shatters glass and rips the soul and the heart.

He said "Thank you for understanding" - knowing in his essence that no child understands the loss of a father that is still very much alive. He turned to them again and said " It is simply so much more that Papa ever imagined it would be - So much more." They kissed him and hugged and lingered just long enough to smell his neck. Then they left. A bit sadder I suppose yet better for having heard those words from his lips.

He continued to sit in his parlor room and look off to the side as his right hand mindlessly scratched his left one - the fluidity with which he did that assured it was not a reaction but instead a habit. He stared and scratched and muttered softly to himself - "Tanto - Asina tanto".

It was not an easy thing to be Betico Croes. No it wasn't.

Be well

Most of the above has come to me in bits and pieces from members of the family. Throw in about 15% of my own conclusions and .....
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