He would have liked to go home under different circumstances. He would have liked to introduced his new family to his old family with a little bit more grace and class. He would have liked to shown the country of his birth that he went out and made a name for himself on behalf of Lebanon.
He would have liked to do a lot of things, but in the end, he reached too high for the sun and melted his wings.
Fred came out of the Federal Detention Center one month after we drove up to the border out of desperation to move his immigration case. He was escorted by two agents of Homeland Security who were more interested in the free layover in Amsterdam than any real security concern over Fred. He arrived in Beirut a changed man: physically ripped from hours of daily pushups, and mentally ripped apart from hours of loneliness and anguish. He greeted his baby daughter with tears, hugs, and kisses. He greeted me slightly differently as would a husband who had been incarcerated for a month 😉
As much as he greeted his wife and daughter with the tenderness and affection of a long awaited reunion, there was an anger inside him that brewed and lashed out at his long forgotten family in Lebanon. There was resentment dripping in his tone. I couldn’t understand it… this is what he had been fighting for, what he had been fighting about with ME for … and now he that was there, he was bitterly unhappy.
That is what happens when you idealize a moment and it falls tragically short of that ideal. Fred had forgotten what it was about Lebanon that made him desperate to leave. And when he went back, so too did all the bad memories…