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Rise to Stardom and Aria’s Griefs


One of the many things I don’t desire is to attract a lot of attention. I like to be more on the edge of things, being able to observe and be mostly unnoticed. Maybe this results from my artistic tendencies to want to capture things as they are, whether that be through writing, photography, or sketch. But sometimes I do attract a lot of attention. One way is by being a foreigner; another way is by being a movie star.
Yes, you heard me right—a movie star. My thoughts on the subject?—“Oh great. I’d rather not, thank you very much.” John’s far more excited about seeing me on Television than I am. However, a white woman was needed for a short reenactment in one of CBN’s productions, so I was it.
I was to pose as a South African missionary who visits patients in the hospital and shares Jesus with them. In this particular clip, I was sharing with a Hindu man who was suffering from cancer. It was somewhat weird to me acting in front of a camera. I’ve done very amateur theatre productions before in front of audiences; this was different. There was no rehearsal and no audience, besides the curious people in the area trying to get a peek at what was going on. When all was said and done, I can’t say I’d ever want to be a movie star; if I ever did happen to act, I’d choose the stage. Maybe the opera would be ideal, though I don’t think I have any hope of being able to sing operatic arias (key solos in the opera)!
The filming took place in a local hospital. After being in Western hospitals, this hardly was what I was used to. We entered the ground floor of the cement building and found ourselves in the low-ceilinged, dark room with a reception desk and a bench. A ridged, cement ramp led to the subsequent floors and the camera equipment was set up on the first floor (second floor in U.S.). I had to wait around a while as things were being set up and found Aria and myself as the centre of attention. As usual, a woman came over and asked to hold Aria. I always find myself wondering what the right course of action is when this happens. As Aria was in a relatively good mood, I consented and hoped that the woman wouldn’t take her into another room. Thankfully, she stayed nearby, but then two young nurses rushed up and took Aria from her (also a common occurrence) and they were almost fighting over her. The first nurse (the one holding Aria) was fine, but the second nurse was treating her roughly. She gave her thigh a couple of good swats and pinched her cheek a little harder than I’ve usually seen them do it. She then proceeded to take Aria away from the first nurse and started to walk off with her. I was already wanting to take Aria back and as I saw the second nurse carrying Aria away, I began to protest.
“Wait!” I called as Aria was beginning to fuss.
I know that I should be more firm when it comes to my little daughter, but I really find myself at a loss of what to do in these situations. Later, I’ll look back in hindsight and know exactly what I should have done or said. I think I have a problem with worrying about offending people!
At this point, the woman who’d first taken Aria came and took her again as she was fussing, but then began to take Aria into one of the patients’ rooms, beckoning me to follow. I made my way through the small crowd of people and went to try to rescue my daughter. The room we were in was the room of the woman’s mother-in-law and of course, they were exclaiming over Aria. By this point Aria had had enough and so had I. She began to cry and I took her. She was relieved to be back with me and held on tight. I felt bad for all she’d gone through and was relieved to see John coming back. He never seems to have a problem saying “no”.Sad Aria!
He held Aria for the shoot and I told him to keep Aria away from the one nurse as every time she would pass she’d grab some part of Aria’s delicate skin and pinch it causing Aria to fuss and suck her thumb violently in an effort to comfort herself. Finally, the shoot was over and John and I were preparing to leave. The nurse passed us one more time on her way to the reception area and gave Aria’s cheek one last vicious pinch. I saw it happening out of the corner of my eye and it had looked like she’d done it hard. I looked at John with disbelief and shock and then turned to Aria’s face to see if she was all right. Her face scrunched up and she began to wail! My poor little baby had experienced enough painful pinches and seemed unsure of how to take it all. She isn’t used to being so inflicted. I hugged her tight as we went down the ramp and as we passed the reception desk John said to the nurse, “No more pinching.” Maybe she got the idea, maybe not. At any rate, I know I’m not ready to leave my babe in the hands of strangers and take up an acting career. Stardom can wait!

9 Responses to “Rise to Stardom and Aria’s Griefs”

  1. Rachel
    March 23rd, 2006 04:33

    P.S. Three days after this experience, I took Aria next door to the corner store. There was a large gathering of people there along with camera equipment and the like. I manuevered through the crowd, getting the few things I needed and asking one man to move so I could get in the milk fridge. One of the guys came up to us and began to play with Aria and ask her name. He also asked where we were from and I simply said Canada (even though Aria’s never been there). An hour or so later John comes home and says that he just met a Telagu (the local language) movie star. I said “Oh. The gathering over at Havelli’s?” Aparently the guy asking about Aria was some well-known movie actor. Shucks!… missed my big break!;-)

  2. Tara Hills
    March 23rd, 2006 05:37

    Oh Rachel! My face expressed all kinds of emotions as I read this email. Big smile, sad smile, scowls, smiles again. What an experience! What an opportunity for God to reveal the root of people pleasing eh? I remember us talking about this before Aria was born…and I know it’s not easy for you…but I do trust that God will bring freedom from shame and fear of rejection! Only He can and I know that He will. The root is prolly fear (all roots are) with a big mask of shame over it. I’m praying for you (cuz I can totally relate!! It’s the human dilemma!) My prayer for you is that you will know in your core who your Judge is so you won’t set yourself up or allow others into that holy place. Know that He calls you His own beloved daughter and you are fully accepted in Him because of what He has done on the Cross (read Ephesians 1-3 like you never read it before!). I’m trusting that you will learn to say no as you chose to say yes (to God!). I also pray you’ll receive these words of love from me as they are intended and the enemy won’t whisper lies and try his nasty shame-shame thing. In Jesus name, NO to the enemy’s tactics and YES to the FREEDOM of the LORD!



  3. Rachel
    March 23rd, 2006 09:46

    Wow, Tara! What a beautiful heart of encouragement you have! Thank you for encouraging me to trust in God’s promises of freedom and acceptance.

  4. Dorothy Donovan
    March 27th, 2006 22:18

    Hi, Rachel, You and John are very unique in your expression. I love it. It is so like you. It is interesting to see you and to keep up with what you are doing.

    God bless you and yours.

  5. Great Gramma
    March 28th, 2006 20:23

    Dearest Rachel, your letter was wonderful. We so enjoy being able to share your experiences with you. Next time somebody pinches MY baby, kick ’em in the shins. Hope being a movie star doesn’t go to your head. Love you all GG

  6. John
    March 29th, 2006 09:04

    Kick em in the SHINS? GRAMMA?!?!?! Wow! I guess only the love of a Great Grandma could stir up such a gentle woman to take up arms huh? Maybe we’ll try it, as long as it’s not another cop doing it. The only other serious pinch that she’s gotten other than the nurse one was by a cop. Go figure eh? People we’re supposed to trust–a nurse, and a cop. Anyway, we were walking across a busy street and a traffic cop, put his hand out, we thought to lightly touch the cheeks and kiss as a symbol of affection (like many do here). But, he clamped right on to that little cheek and gave a good firm twist. Ouch!! So, we were kinda dumbfounded. What to do, ya know. If we kick that guy we could end up in jail you know!

  7. Amory
    March 31st, 2006 18:05

    I’m sure that Aria is absolutely gorgeous, it must be hard for people to resist her charms. I am sorry about the pinchings, I hope that she doesn’t grow up with any kind of complex or abnormal fear about people touching her face. I love you guys and I’m so excited about what is going on in your lives!

  8. Rachel
    April 3rd, 2006 00:38

    Thanks, Amory. We love you too!

  9. gramma clancy
    April 5th, 2006 21:05

    Rachel, I always knew you were star quality with your beautiful skin and hair and photogenic too. Save the clip. But my sweet, your piece about the nurses snatching Aria brought a lot of issues to my mind. It is easy here in America for children to dissapear and they do everyday….Aria is so beautiful….your intuition was kicking in and your motherly instinct too.
    Love you all so much….gc

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