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Guyana - the unfortunate

offspring of a broken marriage

Dear Editor,

She was born into the custody of one of two divorced parents. The original thought of her conception had come about in happier times.

They were in love then. They had just gotten married then, and were looking forward to a future together bonded in harmony and unto infinity. But sadly that was not to be.

You see theirs was one of those mixed marriages. And, as is sometimes the case with such associations, egos structured by the cultural nurturing of each side seemed to override whatever affection they had for each other in the beginning, and led into a bitter divorce and custodial battle.

It was not the fact that they were different that led to their separation. It was rather the fact that they just happened to be of the sort of thinking where such differences can matter.

And so now in 1966 as she emerged into an existence independent of her host, she found herself in the custody of only one parent.

And the joy and expectation from her beginnings that should have been emanating from every side of the family was, noticeably, somewhat muted from the side of the non-custodial parent.

And here she was now in 2006 at 40, and rapidly approaching that yardstick point in life familiarly considered as middle age. About the only change in her status between birth and now, it would seem, was the fact that she was now living under the control of her other parent. For 26 years she had been nurtured and groomed by one parent, and then for the last 14, the other parent took over.

Looking back and comparing the two periods of her existence, she sought for and could not locate a definitive difference in the quality of her life over these past 40 years.

About the one truism that is poignantly superimposed in her mind and memory was that for all the love her parents professed and expressed that they had for her, neither of them, apparently, loved her strong enough to share her with the other.

As 40-year-old Guyana looks around her surroundings on this day heralding four decades of being an independent entity, she wonders whether her fortunes might have been better if she had been adopted. Surely it could not have been worse.

For 40 years her parents have been involved in a feudal conflict for control over her, and thoughts of her well-being, her happiness, her growth and development into a well-functioning adult, never seemed to breach the borders and reaches of the inner confines of their minds.

She has become a pawn, an emblem, a status quo power representation to feed the egos of those responsible for her conception.

It's sad to be 40 and destitute. It's sad to be 40 and pregnant with the seed of racial and ethnic hate, violence and corruption.

It's sad to be 40 and have to listen to the tired ineffectual rantings of aging parents as they argue with one another over who is best equipped and qualified to take care of her.

But what is saddest of all at this point and time of her existence, is the unwillingness or inability of either of her parents to comprehend that she needed both of them working together to ensure her chances for happiness and survival.

It is indeed sad to discover at 40 that your parents are fighting for you, not because they love you, but just because they love the power of being in control of you.

Robin Williams

Atlanta Georgia

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