2 April 2009

little battles....

I knew a girl a while back who had immigrated to America. Her entire family had moved to the states and they were spread across it. Mothers, sisters, brothers, cousins, the entire extended family had immigrated. except her dad. Her dad had chosen to stay in his home town. He sent his family thousands of miles away and he chose to stay. why? because he felt it was his duty.

see, the family was from Bogotá, Columbia. safe to say the drug capital of the world. as sad, and stereotypical, as it is, Columbia is now synonymous with drugs. they kind of go hang in hand. well, that and kidnapping. and this particular family? well, their dad was a judge. an honest judge. a judge who worked hard to remove drug dealers and drug users from the streets. a judge who gives out harsh sentences, a judge who could not be bribed. a judge who felt it his duty to serve the country he loved so much. a country that he remember much differently from what it has now become. and he was determined to do whatever he could to try to bring Columbia back to its former glory; to take the country back from the drug dealers and criminals.

But since the dad in said family was an honest judge, and determined to stay honest, his family was not safe. Criminals don’t take too kindly when their livelihood is threatened. Assassination attempts, countless break-ins, car bombs, attempting kidnappings, and unbelievable security for any family member any time they wanted to leave the house. even for school. These kids had 3 bodyguards each when the went to school. body guards that never left their side. Finally it reached a point where enough was enough. The family, the entire family, was shipped off to America under the cover of night, using decoys. Names were changed when they reached America and special arrangements were made with the US government to ensure protection. and the dad stayed behind. Why? because Columbia is his country and he wasn’t about to let anyone run him off. He would stay and fight, sometimes completely on his own, for as long as it took.

His life is threatened daily. His home has been destroyed. Cars run off the road, offices bombed. He has been shot at, stabbed and people have tried to kidnap him more times than he can count. Yet he stays and he fights. 'Little battles' he says, they are just 'little battles'. they dont seem so little to me. Take for example the family home. The home that my friend and her family grew up in, the home so full of memories, of pictures, of belongings. When the honourable judge returned home from work one day he found the home open, completely ransacked and smelling of gasoline. Police and his bodyguards quickly realised it was a deadly trap and instructed him to turn around, walk out the door, dont look back and never return. The house soon exploded. completely destroyed. that seems like a pretty big battle to me.

and he stays on still. Last i knew, he was still alive. still fighting. still trying to defend his country and his people against those who want to destroy it. still an honest judge. and what does he say? "little battles make you stronger and prepare you to fight the real war" He is a strong man. he is an admirable man. i only wish i had a tenth of his strength to fight for the things that I truly believe in.

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