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We were walking from the plane across a very hot tarmac. “Dad, is that who I think it is?” pointing to my right. A celebrity was being escorted across to the airport terminal by 5 men in full guerrilla uniforms and large machine guns slung over their shoulders. It was the celebrity that caught my eye.

I turned back to find another army clad man bending down and smiling at me. My uncle, the General. He leaned down to embrace me. I liked his calm gentleness. 2 Months later the airport closed and war was in full force. We stayed for 5 years.

Shortly after we arrived I met my dad’s cousin, who I called uncle. He headed up one of the militia groups in the mountains. He was passionate about his cause and passionate about life and his family. Even though his brother headed up a different group, it never conflicted with their relationship. He was an anti-fundamentalist, just a person who was willing to lead, live and die for freedom. I didn’t know what a fundamentalist was at the time, but I knew my uncle wasn’t one. He lived two houses down from my dad’s family home. My grandfather was a renowned bounty hunter and lived in a 3 storey house that was painted pink and overlooked an orchard. Once we settled in we visited him regularly because he was dying. I would sneak two doors down and watch my uncle and his boys handle all sorts of weaponry. I liked him instantly. He had such a warmth in his eyes. I wasn’t fooled by his tough, bearded 6f7” exterior. I wanted to join them but I was a girl. So I stole my bed ridden grandfather’s army uniform, buttoned myself up and hung around the vicinity for a few days. They let me.

I had a heated argument with one of his sons on the fifth day for not humanely killing an injured bird he found on the side of the road. I snapped the neck, placed it in a small box and buried it. The next day I was holding an M16 and being told how not to handle it. One Month later I was disassembling and re-assembling one. A few months later I was able to handle over 30 types of guns. Despite my slender build I had good strong shoulders and was an extremely accurate shot with single pointed focus. He was a good teacher in more ways than I understood at the time. A year later my uncle was assassinated. I wasn’t allowed to attend the funeral, being a girl, so I snuck into the family tomb a while later and said goodbye.

Sometimes people don’t like it when you speak your truth, and like it less when you act on it, even in defense. Sometimes you subconsciously hide it, but that is not to say it ever disappears. It lays dormant for a while waiting for you to find some courage to summon it back to the surface.

Following your deepest inner truth and intuition sometimes means overcoming fierce resistance in the outside world.  No blood need ever be shed in the name of truth, but it was.

I dislike guns. I no longer hold them…but I now stand strong without one.


Linkin Park – In My Remains

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