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Scars of Love- A True Valentine Story

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War leaves scars. They are emotional. They are physical. They are spiritual. My brother had proposed to my sister-in-law on Valentine's Day, and so it was on that fateful day, 12 years later that his and her lives would change forever. My brother had invited his wife to the posh Phonecia Hotel in Beirut for a cosy romantic lunch date while their three kids were in school. They decided to sit at a table facing the window so they could see the beautiful view outside. They could see the azure sky touching the Mediterranean in the distance. At first, they sat opposite each other, but feeling amorous, my brother asked Pam to sit next to him. She was facing the glass window. During the meal, as they chatted, little did they know that a very important government official was passing on a street close by and that this event would mark them forever. "On 14 February 2005, Rafic Hariri, the former Prime Minister of Lebanon, was killed, along with 21 others, when explosives equivalent of around 1,000 kilograms of TNT (2,200 pounds) were detonated as his motorcade drove near the St. George Hotel in Beirut." This was only a short distance from where my brother and his wife were having their Valentine meal. The glass window imploded when the car bombs detonated, and my brother and his wife were thrown off their chairs. They were soaked in blood and for a while, found it hard to see or know what had happened. They were in a daze. The extensive bleeding was caused by the shards of glass they had been peppered with as the floor to ceiling glass imploded. They looked at each other and the ghastly sight was more than they could take. In the mayhem that ensued, they were able to make their way outside the building with other injured people. Eventually, an ambulance rushed then to the nearby American University Hospital. It was nearby because my brother taught in the Business Department of the American University of Beirut, so they had decided to have a quick lunch in the nearby vicinity. Extensive work was done on both their faces. My sister-in-aw had a tooth knocked out from the force of the impact as she was thrown to the ground. Her injuries were more obvious as she had been sitting facing the glass. Up to this day, my brother sometimes has pieces of glass make their way to the surface of the skin on his face, and he has to pull them out. That's how deeply they became embedded. When later asked if they wanted cosmetic surgery done to cover up the zig zag scars on their faces, my spunky Canadian sister-in-law replied, "Why should we? This is part of our history, of what we have been through, and it gives us a great story to tell." I wish I were as brave as she is. The three children had a hard time seeing their parents in this state. Pam had to stay in intensive care for a while and when the kids finally did get to see her, Dylan, the middle child, burst out crying and said, "Mama, I don't like what's happened to your face." This is life in Lebanon. We have lived through the war. We have survived. We have scars that tell the stories. I have written a full article on this, and will post a few excerpts later. We live in a spiritual battlefield. Christ came to rescue us, the wounded and the dying. He CHOSE to walk into the war zone. Jesus carries the scars in his hands and in his side of that rescue mission. He carries these marks for eternity, a sign of His great love and passion for us and for our salvation. He came to rescue the hostages of war....and "by His stripes, we are healed." Isaiah 53: 5- But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed

Copyright © | Year Posted 2015




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Date: 11/17/2015 6:24:00 PM
Eileen, I know of this painful surfacing of debris in a victim....in Chicago in the late 30's....my Mom's Uncle, a veteran of the Spanish American War (1898) would often come for dinner at her brownstone house....Great Grandma would first have him take off his shoulder holster & body armor (worked for Chicago Mob) then they would get a warm water bowl & extract shrapnel surfacing still from his war wounds
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Date: 11/15/2015 11:16:00 PM
Eileen, my heart suffers with your family's pain...I get so mad at the terrorists....will pray tonite for your family's healing, I am blessed to know you, love, jim
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Eileen Manassian
Date: 11/17/2015 2:30:00 AM
Thank you for taking the time to read this, my dear. The reality of the hatred that can be in people's hearts hit home when they were injured. Thank God they are well now, though they still carry visible scars. Would you believe that some pieces of glass still work their way to the surface of the skin? After all this time...it is hard to believe, but my brother confirms it. Thank you for your love and support. God bless.
Date: 1/24/2015 11:21:00 PM
Ah the funny thing is, I would call this one "hidden beauty" as well. My first thought on seeing that first photo, was, I was looking at beauty, how wonderful to read this and realize how true my first instinct was. Like Richard, it would be such an honor to meet people as this! Please let them know how inspiring they are!
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Date: 1/24/2015 8:58:00 AM
I would love to meet them. Let me know if they come this way. I will try and write something soon, I have a few ideas rolling around in my head. Hugs Rick.
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Date: 1/23/2015 3:42:00 PM
Exceptional write for once words fail me Eileen - Bravo to you for writing this and my admiration for their courage - a 7 from me ! Hugs jan xx
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Date: 1/23/2015 2:37:00 PM
Dear Eileen, I remember the assassination of your x Prime Minister for the Greek media played it for long. I recall the huge crater that was cteated into the ground and the complete destruction of the car the M.P. was in. Your story is a fascinating one that few can understand the magnitude of agony and pain. Your narration is depicting the events as though in a film and if to that one adds the drama of the family then it becomes a masterpiece. A seven, of course, but the pain remains! Bravo!
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Eileen Manassian
Date: 1/23/2015 2:47:00 PM
My dear poet, thank you so much for coming to read this piece. Thank you for your comments. I wanted so much for you to read this. I know that you are moved with compassion for those who suffer...I know that you care for the loftier matters, like human suffering and pain. I wanted you to read this so badly. I'm so glad you have come and grace my work with your presence. Thank you. I send you my warm hugs of appreciation. Filakia...
Date: 1/23/2015 12:10:00 PM
This is both touching and inspiring, Eileen. It did get me all emotional and I am sure more readers will be effected in a similar way. Well done to the narrator, and also to the protagonists of this story of terror, suffering and courage. hugs // paul
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Eileen Manassian
Date: 1/23/2015 12:19:00 PM
I'm very close to my brother. He has always been there to support me through thick and thin... I say that tongue in cheek because he was always trying to get me to exercise and lose weight! ;) He goes to the gym regularly and takes care of his physique. Has a good figure...I don't know what I'd have done if I lost him and his wife. Thank God their lives were spared. I've written an article on this...Valentine is always a time of remembrance for them. Thanks for feeling with us. Hugs
Date: 1/23/2015 10:12:00 AM
Wow Eileen, what a powerful narrative. You must be so thankful and proud of them.
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Eileen Manassian
Date: 1/23/2015 12:02:00 PM
I am, Richard. Maybe one day you will meet them. They know all about you. In fact, they ask about you now and again. They know your place in my life and often want to hear your news. :) In fact, I know that they would love to meet up with you when they visit their family in Kelowna. :) Just the thought of it drives me mad...To think they can, and I can't. BOO HOO HOO...Oh well, I'm glad they had the strength to go through with that ordeal. I'm a bit of a cry baby...Low threshold for pain and all that. Thanks for the visit. I'm waiting for a new write from you...Hope you are well and happy. HUGS
Date: 1/23/2015 7:47:00 AM
Love the emotional side of your expressions, very touchy tale, Eileen
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Eileen Manassian
Date: 1/23/2015 12:13:00 PM
Thank you, Dr Ram. I'm so grateful that their lives were spared. The photos of them when it had just happened are really horrific. Life cannot be taken for granted.
Date: 1/23/2015 7:39:00 AM
Eileen..Ouch you got on my emotional side with this story,and brought me to tears.I do believe God made me meet a person like you in my life to know more of the sufferings of others,and not just acknowledge it,but feel it too,and do and I do feel it sweet one,and I wish there could be anything I can do,apart from learning to appreciate life more..Hugs.
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Eileen Manassian
Date: 1/23/2015 12:22:00 PM
One endeared you to me for life was when you offered me a place should the fighting in Lebanon get worse. You will never know how that touched my heart. I do love you Charmaine. You have a kind and compassionate heart. You deserve every good thing in life. There is a drive in our church at the moment to collect food, clothing, and cooking utensils for the Syrian refugees...It's been a difficult winter and many have passed away. This country....will never have lasting peace....War is always somewhere...waiting to erupt. We can only survive and mourn with those whose loved ones have not. HUGS
Date: 1/22/2015 11:26:00 PM
A chilling story Eileen.... I do love her attitude and can't wait to read more on the story...hugs Tim
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Eileen Manassian
Date: 1/23/2015 12:25:00 PM
Thanks, Tim....I'm thankful that they were able to go through with it. I was living in Cyprus at the time. I remember when Dad called me up to tell me the news. He was in tears...and he flew to Beirut to help them through it. Pam's mother also flew in from Egypt to help her with the household chores as she was often dizzy. It was a difficult time. I'm glad it's all behind them, but at times I wonder, when they pass the memorial for Hariri, if they relive those awful moments. Hugs
Date: 1/22/2015 11:19:00 PM
I had tears in my eyes . . . it is an incredible story that needs to be told . . . your testimony at the end is bold, passionate and full of love . . . just as I have come to know you. You amaze me Little One, your love, your faith, your incredible ways of crafting words . . . deep is the well you draw from . . . I am blessed by your words. Light and love always, 7 fav
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Eileen Manassian
Date: 1/23/2015 2:50:00 PM
I'm blessed with your presence in my life, David. My life has taken turns...There was a time I wanted to be a pastor....I was a youth leader in Cyprus and was asked to be a church elder. I was on fire for God and for spreading a knowledge of him...I worked as a programming manager for a Christian satellite channel as well...and my slogan was...To Make Him Known...Ah...I've lost that passion for truth and spiritual things. It's sad. Yet, I know that God isn't finished with me yet. I know he is patient and loving, and though he is not pleased with my lack of constancy...I know he won't give up on me. Thanks for your encouragement. I can never get enough. Hugs