Friday, November 23, 2012

Knowing You are Crazy and Yet...

A sister working at an immigration center in the diocese heard someone calling, "Sister." She turned around and a woman whose face she remembered abruptly gave her a hug. The sister hadn't seen her for some time and asked: "How is it that you are here at the center?" "I have gone crazy," she answered. "What is that all about? sister responded.

The sister recounts the full story in a recent issue of the Bible & Life  magazine. The woman, Duit, a Vietnamese immigrant, now a Korean citizen and married with a child, had just returned from the court house where she had petitioned for a divorce. Her husband also was there, standing at a distance, shoulders dropping, averting his eyes from what was going on. A woman relation, very much upset, stood by his side.

The husband was envied, said the sister, for his kindness by many of the women who came to the immigration center to learn Korean. He had bought a house for the wife's family and took  care of the expenses of schooling for her brother. Sister could not understand what was going on, and was determined to find out.

She discovered that while learning Korean at the center, Duit had found a job in a factory, where she met a Vietnamese man and fell in love. More surprising to her was that the man had a family in Vietnam. Since Duit was now a Korean citizen, sister felt there was a possibility that Duit was being used by the man, and tried to dissuade her from proceeding with the divorce. She replied that she was present when the man had called his wife in Vietnam, asking for a divorce. Hearing this additional news, sister was even more convinced that both had lost their senses. As Duit had said, it felt as if she had gone crazy, believing what the man was saying and nothing else made any difference. In her desire to follow her feelings, the hurt she was inflicting on the husband was enormous. The consequences of this behavior, sister was convinced, would be far from smooth.

Sister called the husband shortly after and was told the wife had left the house and had put everything in the hands of a lawyer. The husband said he would now concentrate on being a good father for their child. He was calm about all that had happened and never mentioned what he had done for the family or complained. Sister felt bad for what happened to the husband; his hope that his wife would return made it all the harder to accept. Sister was also concerned on the influence this would have on the other women of the center.

Seeing what happened to Duit, who knew what she was doing was crazy, divorcing a husband who seemed ideal in so many ways, leaving her husband and child for a perilous future, was beyond her understanding, the sister said. She was consoled, however, by the thought that many of these foreign-born women, though mistreated by their husbands, often work through the difficulties in their married life to become good wives and mothers.

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