Until 9 years old I was a care free kid. I played and lived with intensity. I had a father that was very attentive to all my doings. Very few kids had a father like mine. He enjoyed watching me grow, and taught me all the things I’ve known. He sculpted the individual that I became long after his death. My father was my friend, my educator, my protector, and my motivator. He enrolled me in my first Judo class while we lived in Algeria. I think I was four at the time, and I recall going to a military base where the class was held. Later when we moved to Morocco, he would watch all my practices, and would give me a critic on what I did well and what I has to improve on. As I got older, in the last years of his life, he would either pick me up or send for me at school, whenever there was a movie he wanted to see, at the theater next to his business place, even though, some of those movies where not meant for a kid my age in today’s standard.
Then one terrible day, he passed away. I saw him lifeless, and prayed that he would survive this car crash, that tore through the back of his neck, all the way to the hospital. But he died that day. The day I lost my childhood. That day transformed me into a very angry kid. I was angry at God. I was angry at the criminals who caused his death. I was angry at the police who did not know who did it. I later got very confused at my mother’s actions the day of the funeral, and the months that followed when she sent my brother and I away to France.
My father died in car crash that was caused by highway robbers. I learned later that it was a common practice on this road to the beach in Morocco. They’d set a big enough stone on the road, to cause the drivers to either swerve to the side, stop, or crash, and them would empty the content of the vehicle. The local police knew of the practice, and the many previous robberies. None had died so far, my father was the first.
For a few years after his death I was a depressed and angry kid. My first years in France were like a zombie dream.
But with my two aunts and grand parents care, I revived. Oh I did not return to my past care free behavior, I instead became an adult in a kids body. And later I’d become a reckless and stubborn teenager, who did not trust in anything. No one could tell me what to do, nor could I stand anyone harming another. This teenager was like a bull in a china cabinet, whenever someone acted wrongly towards another weaker kid. See, they were kids, I was already an adult. And this period of my life defined my trust in people. It was very hard for me to see another as a good person. Very few got this credit. Very few became my friends. The others I distrusted and punished whenever they acted wrong towards another. If my friends, or those of meek personality, were the target of aggression or bullying I’d become enraged and taught the lesson that had to be. Some of those who were acting wrong, surprisingly changed their ways and even became some of my best friends.
Today as an adult, I’ve often been labelled as a negative individual, by those who failed to understand me. But, in a way they do have a point. It has always been very hard for me to trust in the benevolence of people in general, and still to this day…
I will say this though, now that I am a senior: there are very few who have a good heart. Those few are the precious ones that we should care for and cherish. Children are the future, they are our future, they are what the world will be like when we are gone. Treat them well, teach them well, build their heart, motivate them, guide them, give them the moral values that will be transmitted to the next generations.